Category Archives: News

The war between the veterinary profession and the passionate welfare advocates. The declaw debate.

My very good friend Karen called me yesterday to borrow some battery juice. She has found her second calling in life as a feral cat rescue lobbyist and welfare reform advocate and wanted my thoughts on declawing and why it is so impossible to find affordable help from the veterinary community for the multitude of rescue organizations she is trying to assist? She had spent enough time entrenched in the horror reality of cat rescue to become bitter about how my side was crippling the efforts to get where she wanted cat welfare and critical medical needs to be.

The conversation started as they always do… we reminded each other how much we needed each other, how hard we were working and how the road blocks never seem to lessen, soften, widen, or cease.

Karen has made numerous trips around the country visiting rescues, organizations and other role models for feral cats in the hopes she can pick up some of the tips and tools of their successes to carry back home to her own backyard  for the benefit of New Jerseys over whelming under served misplaced community cats. She is a woman on a mission and she has gumption, intelligence, and resources. I admire and adore her.

Her dilemma du jour was causing her ulcers to erupt. She was curious and reluctantly pessimistic to see what my opinion and stance on declawing was? I could hear the trepidation and despair in her voice as she muttered, “I cannot believe this ban might actually stall in NJ? The veterinary association and even my own vet, who I have known and trusted for years, is opposed to the ban. How could anyone be opposed to this ban?” (see more on NJ’s proposed ban here)

To read more.. click here

http://kmdvm.blogspot.ca/2017/01/the-war-between-veterinary-profession.html?m=1

 

WHY DO CATS SCRATCH???

The cat claw is unique anatomically, serving several functions for the cat.  The claws of the forelimb are uniquely retractable in cats, allowing them to sheath their claws when not in use.   The cat can actively unsheath their claws by contracting forelimb muscles which pulls on the tendons attached to the ends of the forelimb digits.  This exposes the claws.

The cat may wish to expose the claws for several reasons.   When hunting, the cat will use the claws to grasp prey.  During times of conflict with other cats or other animals, the cat may wish to use it’s claws to defend itself.  Lastly, the claws will need to be exposed for the purpose of scratching inanimate objects.  Outdoors this may include trees, fences and other solid surfaces. Indoors, cats may scratch furniture, door frames and carpet.

Scratching inanimate objects serves two purposes.  The first is to renew the claw by dislodging the old nail growth and exposing a new, sharper claw underneath.  The second purpose is for marking.  In this latter case, the claws do not need to be exposed.  The cat is using the paw pads to mark surfaces with pheromones, in order to communicate it’s presence and ownership of territory to other cats and animals.  Take note when your cat is going through the motions of ‘scratching’ at home.  Sometimes the cat is actually renewing the claw surfaces, in which case you may heard the points of the nails catching on the scratched surface.  In the second case, the marking may not include the nails, and therefore the rubbing may be silent.  Sometimes both will occur.  In these cases, the cat is sometimes trying to chemically AND visually mark the surfaces in order to indicate territory presence and ownership.  It is important to understand these behaviours, as they are natural to your cat and both are very necessary.  In addition, increased scratching and marking may occur in times of anxiety and stress, when environmental resources are threatened or restricted.   Simply readdressing the situation may reduce the anxiety and subsequent increased marking.

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As you can see, we are currently under construction.  We appreciate your patience as we finish up the site content.  The site will always be changing, so watch for weekly updates on our blogs.

If you are a veterinarian, check out our veterinary content.  Not a member?  Contact Dr. Kelly St. Denis for more information about  becoming a member of Proclaw Veterinarians of Canada.

Are you currently owned by a cat?  Follow our blogs and training pages for lots of information and the natural, clawed cat.  We are here to help,  so you are also welcome to send us a question via ‘contact us’.

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Why do Cats Scratch?

The cat claw is unique anatomically, serving several functions for the cat.  The claws of the forelimb are uniquely retractable in cats, allowing them to sheath their claws when not in use.   The cat can actively unsheath their claws by contracting forelimb muscles which pulls on the tendons attached to the ends of the forelimb digits.  This exposes the claws.

The cat may wish to expose the claws for several reasons.   When hunting, the cat will use the claws to grasp prey.  During times of conflict with other cats or other animals, the cat may wish to use it’s claws to defend itself.  Lastly, the claws will need to be exposed for the purpose of scratching inanimate objects.  Outdoors this may include trees, fences and other solid surfaces. Indoors, cats may scratch furniture, door frames and carpet.

Scratching inanimate objects serves two purposes.  The first is to renew the claw by dislodging the old nail growth and exposing a new, sharper claw underneath.  The second purpose is for marking.  In this latter case, the claws do not need to be exposed.  The cat is using the paw pads to mark surfaces with pheromones, in order to communicate it’s presence and ownership of territory to other cats and animals.  Take note when your cat is going through the motions of ‘scratching’ at home.  Sometimes the cat is actually renewing the claw surfaces, in which case you may heard the points of the nails catching on the scratched surface.  In the second case, the marking may not include the nails, and therefore the rubbing may be silent.  Sometimes both will occur.  In these cases, the cat is sometimes trying to chemically AND visually mark the surfaces in order to indicate territory presence and ownership.  It is important to understand these behaviours, as they are natural to your cat and both are very necessary.  In addition, increased scratching and marking may occur in times of anxiety and stress, when environmental resources are threatened or restricted.   Simply readdressing the situation may reduce the anxiety and subsequent increased marking.