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Cats are digitigrades which means they walk on their toes. Their muscles, tendons, nerves, paw, leg joints, shoulder, and back are designed to support and distribute the cat’s weight across their toes as it walks, runs and climbs. Their claws are for balance, exercising, and stretching muscles in their legs, shoulders, and back. They exercise by putting their claws into a surface and pulling back. This is the only way a cat can exercise his muscles. Declawing drastically alters their feet and causes them to meet the ground at an unnatural angel.

Before you declaw you must first understand what “declawing” is. It is NOT just removing the claw or the “nail.” The cat’s claw is not like a human fingernail. The cat’s claw is the last bone (distal phalanx) in the cat’s toe. Declawing consists of actually amputating not just the claw, but the whole phalanx (toe) up to the joint, including bones, ligaments, and tendons! To remove the claw, the bone, nerve, joint capsule and collateral ligaments and the extensor and flexsor tendons must all be amputated. This is not a simple procedure but 10 separate, very painful amputations. If a person had this done each finger would be removed at the last joint.