People that have gotten scratched and hurt by cats have wondered, should you declaw your cat? The short answer is: No, you shouldn’t. Now for the longer explanation.
You annoy your cat, you end up with a scratch and it hurts big time. We got kittens so it is even worse at the moment. Kittens have even sharper needle teeth and claws, because their claws are still in development, together with the rest of their body.
You then maybe wonder how you should get rid of the scratch or how to prevent this painful event from happening again.
Anatomy Of The Cats Claw
The cats claw starts at their paw and ends up at the claw tip. The nerve ends are therefore through the entire claw and a good first part of their paws.
A cats’ claw is sharpened by scratching it on surfaces, such as on tree trunks or on scratching boards inside your house. When a new layer of their claw is available and fully grown, the outer layer will fall off during a scratching session.
The sharp edge of the claw is the part that is possible to cut off, the closer you get to the bone, you will find the nail to be more pinkish. This is called “the quick” and is the place where the blood vessels and the nerve ends are located.
Cutting the nail at this point might make your cat bleed and in worse cases, it will hurt your cat and possibly permanently damage their nerve ends.
Function Of A Cats Claw
Cats use their claws for a lot of different functions:
- catching prey
- climbing trees
- scratching themselves
- digging holes
- covering up
- defense against others
Cats use their claws to catch their prey. It is also used as a defense against other cats in cat fights. They actually also use their claws to grab a prey to eat it.
Cats also use their claws to climb trees. Unfortunately cats cannot use these claws to go back down again, because their claws are made in such an angle that it would mean they would plunge down. That is why they will usually try to back down in reverse mode.
Their claws are also used in scratching away that one itch every morning. They use their claws (and paws) to dig holes for their ‘business’ and use the same techniques and claws to cover up after them.
Of course they also use their claws on trees and other objects in nature, to sharpen their claws. It is very important to have sharpened claws if that has so many features in life to survival as it has for cats.
To Cut Or To Declaw?
As declawing would essentially mean to chop a piece of a cats’ finger off, declawing seems cruel. Simply clipping (cutting) their nails seems to be a way better solution to the problem.
Surely you will have to do this more often than when you declaw a cat, but at least your cat won’t suffer and you will not have any more pain (or noise) from them scratching you.
Read: How To Clip Cat Nails
As declawing is rather cruel by removing a piece of their finger, nail clipping surely seems to be a better alternative and it will have the same type of effects on your skin and your furniture. It does however require some skill to actually get it done.