For the love of cats

I am an animal lover! Grew up as a “dog person”, but in my adult life discovered the awesomeness of cats and now I am a proud cat owner.

We currently have 3 cats (Duncan is 5 and has been with us since we adopted him for our local animal shelter when he was a kitten, Arli is 1, also adopted from the animal shelter as a kitten and Momma Cat is 17 and she was my mother-in-law’s) – they are all very different, all have very distinct personalities but they all have a very important characteristic in common “claws”, those sharp little buggers that dig right in your skin….

As much as of a pain in the ass claws can be, they are part of cats. They are much of what makes a cat, a cat… So please, for the love of cats, stop declawing!!! Educate yourself, read, research and see what you are doing to your cat when you decide to amputate him/her – yes, I said it, amputate. This is what happens when you declaw your cat:

what-a-declaw-is

More than removing the claw, you are removing a whole phalanx… If you “declawed” a human, this is what it would look like:

590_2D00_text_2D00_declawing_2D00_1_2D00_knuckles_2D00_cut

When you declaw your cat your are taking away his/hers first line of defense, and actually potentially making the cat more aggressive… Without claws, biting will be the next defense of choice! Also, you may be facing a litter box use (or lack of) problem. Litter will hurt on the paws and of course your cat will see the litter box as a painful, unconfortable place, to be avoided… You will also be putting your cat through a lot of pain and at risk of infection.

Declawing is illegal in several countries, but unfortunately there are still too many vets performing this inhumane procedure, so it is very important that people stop seeking it.

Trim your cat’s claws regularly; make scratching areas available – buy some sturdy posts, preferably tall enough for your cat to stretch while scratching, or make your own! If your cat is scratching your furniture, take the time to teach him/her not to do so. It may take a little time, but it is the right thing to do – sprinkle some catnip on the posts once a week, use a loud, firm voice whenever he or she starts to scratch the furniture – cats don’t like loud noises!

To learn more about declawing check out the Paw Project.

Remember, a pet is not a toy! When you bring a pet into your home you are responsible for its well being – take the time to bond, to play, to teach, to love!

Adopt, don’t shop!

A.

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