Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Let's Hear It For Claws!

And the winner is . . . !!!!  No, wait, I haven't told you what the contest is.  And the current best StreetCats contest is . . . !!!  Okay, I'm just messing with you.  Yes, there was a contest and yes, there was a winner, but I'm not going to tell you what or who right now.  And I'm not just being mean, I promise!  You see, one of our wonderful StreetCats photographers, Vickie Sanborn, is out of town and can't get a picture of the contest winner right now.  But she will be back very soon and as soon as she gets me a picture I'll make the big announcement.  This one is really cool, you guys, so stay tuned!

So today we are going to talk about claws.  Humans don't have claws.  They have fingernails and toenails, but those are not quite the same.  Claws are usually thought of as being sharp and dangerous!  I guess it is for that reason that when some humans get a kitty they remove their front claws and sometimes even their back claws, too.  Usually the danger they are most worried about is damage to their furniture and curtains!  What's with the furniture, humans?!  And, make no mistake, the vets who perform the claw removing operation are not just removing claws . . . they are removing a whole joint on kitty paws.  Ouch!!!  We have several kitties at StreetCats who have had their claws removed and they seem to be doing just fine.  But I sure am glad I still have mine!

And why, you ask, are you glad you have your claws, Vanna?  Well, I'll tell you.  I use them!  It isn't hard to figure out that we use our claws for climbing, right?  But did you know that with that last joint on our paws that includes our claws we can run on our tiptoes at top speeds???  Yes, we can!!  Isn't that cool!  Without our claws we can't run as fast.  Balancing is a lot harder, too!  That's sort of sad, isn't it?  And did you know that in many countries declawing (the medical term for this operation is onychectomy) is illegal??!!  That's because those humans who live there find it inhumane  to perform a onychectomy on a cat.  Interesting term, inhumane.  Do they mean infeline?  Anyway, the countries that ban onychectomies are Australia, Brazil, England, Scotland, Wales, Denmark, Norway . . . well, you get the message.  There are many more!

In fairness there are those who argue that declawing your cat is just fine.  And, as I said, the declawed cats at StreetCats seem to be okay.  It is still legal in all the states of the US of A.  So I suppose the debate about claws will continue around here without resolution.  Time will tell.  Frankly, I know which side of the debate I'm on!  As I said before, ouch!!

And now I am going to show you pictures of our kitty, Dot, demonstrating the use of claws!  In the first photo she is clawing on a scratching post.  These are devices that humans keep so that maybe cats will claw on them instead of furniture.  And sometimes it works!  In the second picture, you will see Dot using her claws to climb up a cat tree, another toy that people keep for their indoor cats.  And in the third picture . . . success!  She made it to the top.  Yeah claws!!

Yes, her ears are pink, but only on the inside, unlike mine!  Kind of cute, isn't she?!

Okay, only two more things to say about claws.  Here are two things you can do if you're afraid of cats' claws.  First, you can get Soft Paws, easy-to-apply hollow vinyl nail caps that are glued onto your cat's nails.  They even come in crazy colors.  (Frankly, I'm not so sure about the "easy-to-apply" part.  We are cats!)  Or, to avoid cat claws destroying your home, which some of you are afraid of, get a DOG!  He won't claw your drapes . . . just might eat them, that's all!  Don't be surprised if the dog attacks the mailman, however, or barks at 3:00 AM.  Just saying.


  1. Feral mom cat was caught and SPCA took her but there are still 3-4 kittens in my crawl space under my condo and I am scared, allergic and have no clue how to get them out! Please help!


    smack7980@yahoo.com or shannon.mckenzie@gatewayloan.com

    Your website email was not working properly!

  2. Any idea how old the kittens are? Did SPCA know they were there?