Every cat owner is faced with a seemingly obvious question; declaw or not to declaw? Although this may appear to be an easy decision to make. This surgery has more underlining complications that are unknown to the public. Onychectomy, the true name of declawing, is a partial or total amputation of the last joint between the middle and last phalanx ("The Facts"). This could be compared to severing the last knuckle of ones finger or toe so that the last bone would be completely removed ("Declaw Cruelty"). Even though declawing is inhumane, it is still a common practice in most Veterinarian Clinics in the United Stated of America. Cat owners have the right to know what they are unintentionally putting their feline through.
One can not understand the full extent of the procedure without knowing what and how the placement of the claw effect the structure of the cats body. The claws of the cat are not retractable because they require no effort to pull the claw back this is called protractive (Alderton 2). When they are not in use they are in a fleshy sheaths to prevents them from being chipped of blunted (Lowe 2). The cats limb itself is modified so that it is digitigrade meaning they walk on their toes rather than the whole pad o n the paw (Alderton; "The Facts"). Since the cat walks like this, the paw meets the ground at a precise angle that helps the rest of the body to be aligned ("The Facts"). When the angle is correct, the back, shoulder,leg, and paws muscles, ligaments, joints, tendons, and nerves are then able to support and distribute the weight across the cats toes to walk, run, and climb properly ("The Facts"). This is why the claw (and the bone it is connected to,Distal Phalanx) are important part of the structure of the feline ("The Facts").
Although knowing how the claws and the digital phalanx help it walk, it does not explain why the cat scratches. Cats scratch for many reasons, one being that it helps keep the nails trim and sharp (Schelling). Another good reason the act of scratching is one of the only ways the cat can exercise, stretches, and tone the muscles of the back and shoulders ("The Facts"). One of the last reasons is that it is a cats form of communication (Georgy). This communication is caused when the scent glands in the paws secrete a sent while the cat scratches something, marking its territory (Schelling). These reasons show that not only so the cats need it for structural reasons ,but also so they can still participate in the natural instinct that is innate to them.
None the less, cats are still being lined up to be declawed. This procedure is thought to be a “routine”operation that is needed to make an acceptable pet(Costigan).Also most veterinarians do not sit down and explain the full procedure to the owners ("Declaw Cruelty"). So many owners think that the operation is to remove the nail like a human getting their nails trimmed, but truth is the complete amputation of the last bone ("Decawing"). The actual...