Monday, September 14, 2009

Cats Have Claws

a cat who needs his nails trimmedThe act of declawing a cat is banned in 25 countries and one US city. Why? Well, put your hand on the table, palm down. Look at your hand, and imagine someone chopping off the end of each finger, below the base of the fingernail. That's what declawing does to a cat.

San Francisco is considering a law to also ban the procedure. Amazingly, the San Francisco ASPCA and the California Veterinary Medical Association OPPOSE the law. They say if people can't declaw their cats, they will abandon them. There is no evidence to support this claim.

It seems to me to be a simple anti-cruelty issue. Declawing is cruel. If a person can't stand to have an animal around without mutilating it, they shouldn't have an animal. Cats have claws. If you don't like that idea, don't get a cat.

Dealing responsibly with a cat includes trimming their claws regularly, either by learning to do it yourself or having a pro do it. But it's not that hard to do. Tip: If your cat struggles while you're trimming his claws, pick a time of day when your cat is sleepy. He'll put up with it much better.

Dealing with a cat's claws on a day-to-day basis is easy, too. Even our youngest cat, who is full of energy and loves to play (and play rough) knows to ease up when playing with me and almost never scratches me. Yes, "almost". Accidents happen, and you have to be an adult and deal with them. She learned to ease up quite easily: If she hurt me while playing, I said "OW!" and stopped playing. All my cats understand "OW!". If it was an accident that drew blood, I show them the blood immediately. They invariably give the eye blink response, indicating they didn't mean to do that. And they remember the next time we play.

It comes down to this: Your pet can think and learn. If you establish a mutually respectful relationship, life is better for everyone.

No comments:

Post a Comment