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Cats need their claws: why is that


For cats, their claws are like a kind of Swiss Army knife and an indispensable tool. They need the cat's claws for defense and hunting, for their balance and also for communicating. Learn more about the purpose of the sharp blades hidden in the velvet paws below. Even small cats have to learn to use their claws properly as a tool - Shutterstock / Andrey Khusnutdinov

In the United States and Canada, it is sometimes cruel practice to remove the claws of cats. The cuddly tigers are lost without their tools and can get sick through the procedure. Occasionally cats need help with claw care - gently shortening the claws then corresponds to cutting nails in humans. The complete removal of the cat's claws, however, is equivalent to an amputation and is cruelty to animals. Why the claws are so important for cats:

Without claws, cats find no hold

Newborn kittens have tiny claws on their paws. They need this at a young age to be able to hold onto their cat mother's fur while looking for and sucking on the milk teats. With the so-called milk kick, kittens stimulate milk production from their mum and the mini claws also come in handy. Adult cats keep pedaling when they feel safe.

In cats, the claws perform comparatively, among other things, the task that the toes and uppermost limbs perform in humans. Without the cat's claws, the fur noses are shaky and insecure on their velvet paws, just as we humans would have difficulty balancing and grasping if we no longer had toes or fingertips. The claws are also important so that cats can follow their natural climbing instinct. Without their tools, the cuddly tigers would no longer be able to climb trees or their beloved elevated lookouts - this could result in serious mental damage.

Role of cat's claws when hunting

Another natural instinct in cats is hunting behavior. As cuddly, cute and lovable as our balls of fleece are, they are and remain predators.

Even indoor cats live out their hunting instinct when they can play. If not, the tigers are underutilized and there is boredom, possibly depression or behavioral problems. However, fur noses can only live out the hunting instinct properly with their claws, as they not only find support and balance, but also grab and grab their prey to carry out the fatal neck bite.

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Cats need claws to defend themselves

But your kitty needs her claws not only for attack, but also for defense. For example, if she has to fight territorial fights with fellow species or is attacked herself, she defends herself with the sharp blades in her paws. Sometimes cats scratch even when they only feel attacked, even when there is no real danger to them. This can end painfully for people who misinterpreted the body language of their fur nose when they felt threatened.

However, the cat's claws should never be removed. After all, the animals feel even more threatened because they are exposed to all attacks and dangers without protection and they cannot even climb a tree to escape and take themselves to safety. If your cat tends to be aggressive for no reason, you should better go to a veterinarian with her. She may be in pain or sick. If an organic cause can be ruled out, a cat psychologist knows advice and can help your velvet paw to find peace of mind and behave peacefully towards you. The claws then no longer pose a danger to people.

Cats mark their territory with their claws

Finally, cats need their claws to communicate. On the one hand, they signal with a paw stroke that their counterpart should please keep away from them. On the other hand, the animals set scent marks with their claws, with which they mark their territory and signal to their peers that the territory belongs to them. Unfortunately for many cat owners, the velvet paws like to mark furniture and carpets with their claws. You can limit this by providing your cat with a nice scratching post and other scratching options in the home.