Poster by Ruth
Some people think that if their cat scratches the furniture he is being badly behaved.
They are wrong, it is necessary behavior for a cat to scratch and if a scratching post or pad isn’t provided then naturally the cat will use whatever else he can find to dig his claws into.
I read a blog the other day which inspired this article. It was by an anti-declaw person who wrote:
‘When your cat is behaving badly by scratching your couch you may think about having it declawed, but please reconsider.’
It went on to give some reasons not to declaw, such as the pain it causes the cat, making the cat defenseless etc. It was obviously written by a cat lover, but one who mistakenly thinks that scratching is bad behavior and who didn’t explain either that scratching is essential to a cat’s health and happiness.
Unfortunately there was no place to comment or to contact the author of the blog to point out this very important omission
Cats need to dig in their claws to stretch and exercise their leg, shoulder, stomach and back muscles and the reason most declawed cats develop painful arthritis is because they can’t do that.
The other reasons cats need to use their claws are that scratching removes the dead outer sheaths of the claws and that they also need them for marking their territory by the scent glands between their toes.
Cats are born with claws because they need claws and depriving them of those very essential claws by any method of declawing is very cruel, unnecessary and causes many cats a lifetime of physical and mental problems.