I’m sure that a lot of us find kitty paws really cute. Within that cute, furry paw, lies a sharp and tricky tool that our feline friends have. That’s right, that’s the cat’s claw. Being cat lovers, we all know about this, some of us hate it, while some of us are good with it. But one thing is for sure, just like every part of a kitty’s body, the claw plays important roles as well.
The Logan of the Animal Kingdom
Logan, as in, Wolverine in the famous comic book series, cartoon series, and movie series from Marvel. If you’re familiar with this guy, then you know of his mutant abilities especially his retractable adamantium claws. So what does this have to do with a cat’s claw? Just like Wolverine, cats can also conceal their claws. Although Wolverine’s may be retractable, for cats, it would be more appropriate to say that their claws are “protractable”. This is because the natural state of our feline cutie’s claws is hidden. It is attached to the final toe bone of their legs and is attached to an elastic ligament. When in a tight situation, be it frightened or excited, the muscles of kitty will pull the tendons back exposing the claws. So it’s not the claw itself that is moving just like Wolverine’s, rather, the muscles around it.
The Hidden Blade
That’s right! It acts like a hidden blade for cats. But just like any other blade, it needs to be sharpened from time to time. That is one of the main reasons why your kitty loves scratching. This is their form of sharpening their claws. Giving your beloved kitty a scratching post or a place to scratch will definitely be useful both for your kitty and also to save your furniture at home.
Aside from scratching and tearing things apart, there are many uses for the claw in kitty’s day to day life. Here are the primary uses for them;
Cats are natural born hunters. Even if you play with your kitty, you will be able to notice these hunter tendencies. Point a laser on the ground and your kitty will surely pounce on it quickly as if a prey was just caught. Their claws are effective in hunting. They can keep it hidden while stalking on their prey to stay quiet and in a blink of an eye, a claw strikes down the prey. Imagine if the claws weren’t “protractable”, the claws would make contact on the floor or any surface where kitty would be standing, making noise, and alerting the prey.
Being natural hunters, not all hunts take place on the ground. They can also hunt from tall trees and they lay in wait on tree branches. This makes our feline companions “pawesome” climbers. Their claws are great at digging into tree barks making it easy for kitties to climb on trees or furniture. If their claws weren’t “protractable”, it would then make it hard for cats to pounce on a prey from a tree as their claws would keep them attached to the tree’s bark thus making them unable to make the pounce swiftly.
Just like any creature in the animal kingdom, cat’s have a defense mechanism too. Even if they are natural born hunters and being good at it, they are not the only predators and hunters. When your kitty is scared or being chased down by a threat, their claws are their first line of defense.
Now that we know the primary uses of a cat’s claws, what comes to mind next is the thought of declawing. It is not advisable to have a cat declawed. Not only is this very painful for your kitty, but it can also prove to be life-threatening for your feline companion as well. Every part of your kitty’s body has a purpose, so why even think about taking out one of them?