Why Cats Have Claws and How to Live with Them

Why Cats Have Claws…

  • Claws help provide balance and agility when a cat jumps and walks.
  • Claws help cats grip and enjoy stretches that tone their backs and shoulders.
  • Without claws, a cat can feel defenseless and can be more prone to biting.
  • Cats scratch to release happiness or frustration…which is why your cat may joyfully scratch the scratching post when you come home!
  • Declawing is a painful procedure that removes part of a cat’s toes, cutting bones and nerves.
  • Declawing frequently causes an aversion to kitty litter…which can lead to inappropriate soiling.
  • Animal Friends and the ASPCA discourage declawing, and it is illegal in many countries where declawing is considered inhumane.

…and How to Live with Them

  • First, give your cat a pleasurable and approved surface to scratch.
  • Cardboard, carpet, rope or fabric scratchers are available. You can find a scratching surface that your cat will like more than your sofa!
  • Trimming a cat’s claws every few weeks can curb damage from scratching. Make trimming a pleasurable activity for your cat by using treats as a reward.
  • Professional groomers will also trim your cat’s claws.
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