The damage caused by a domestic cat’s claws is greatly exaggerated
by Maggie Sharp
Weapons of destruction?
Very many of us here are the carers of cat with sharp claws. Every day we are exposed to such claws, and what they are capable of. I have no doubt that cat claws are capable of damage but the damage described by those who have considered declawing is often an horrendous exaggeration.
Take a look at your cat right now. Can you imagine your cat to be one of the animals who literally destroy a home's interior? If you answered no, I'm mighty glad! For a cat's claws are NOT capable of such destruction. These are very small animals, rarely weighing more than 8 kilos (approximately 16lbs), their claws aren't even an inch long, how on earth could they "destroy the entire home"?
If we had mutant cats the size of lions or tigers, then perhaps I would be inclined to believe in the possibility of such destruction. But the domestic cat? Why, their claws are barely capable of destroying their own scratching post! Let alone an entire home!
Now, many times the reasoning behind declawing is that claws possess the risk of hurting people. This is no reason, in fact, I think it's the worst excuse that anyone can use to justify torture. It's extremely selfish and hypocritical. It's literally a case of "the cat hurt me, so I'll hurt the cat!"
What gives us the right to mutilate these animals for our benefit? When it comes to animals, nothing should be done for our own benefit. These animals are under our care, and so anything we do should be for the benefit of those animals.
We disadvantaged cats through domestication, and as a result they are now dangerously reliant upon us. However, I have noticed that not only are cats reliant upon us, but they also have expectations to live up to. We don't really know such expectations are there, but they are. For example, when one introduces a cat to their home, an expectation is that the cat will use a litter box or do their business outside. When cats fail to meet this expectation they are sometimes abandoned on the streets, dumped in shelters or, in the most tragic cases, they are killed.
This can also relate back to claws. People know cats come with claws, but very many people expect the cat not to scratch. Particularity to such unimaginable extents often described by the opposing people, who are known by myself as 'claw haters'.
People expect a cat to scratch a tree or cat furniture, but this isn't always the case. A cat may not like the cat furniture (due to incorrect size etc) or may not be 'trained' to use it. And so, when that cat scratches the furniture the 'owners' of that cat get frustrated and recognise the claws as a threat to their precious furniture, and when cruel methods of (physcial) discipline fail, the owners turn to declawing.
Why? Because the owners (sub consciously?) exaggerate the situation and resort to mutilation.
If such exaggerations did not occur, would declawing be a less popular resort to minimizing (or ridding) the destruction which is apparently caused by cats' claws?