You choose: take 15% off online OR we'll make a 15% donation to the Paw Project! Love the Cat, Love the Claws at the Cat Connection this month!
15% off online code: CLAWS
- OR -
Use code PAWS and the Cat Connection will donate 15% to the Paw Project
From the Desk of the Head Cat Lady
Dear friends,
As you know, the Cat Connection puts feline health and safety above everything else we do. We love your cats as though they were our own, so it’s no surprise that we can be pretty vocal about what is right and what is wrong when it comes to matters of quality of life for your feline.
It’s for this reason that the Cat Connection has declared February to be our “Love the Cat, Love the Claws” month. Throughout the next few weeks, we will be presenting information about why cats absolutely need their claws. While we respect differing opinions and welcome polite exchange, our stance is very clear: declawing cats is not humane and should not be performed.

Cat Cafe kitty is tearing it up!
We thought long and hard about this month and whether it was worth potentially alienating customers, friends, and even some family members. It was not easy.
But I’ll tell you what ultimately made the decision for us: we have seen too many cats come through our doors that have been absolutely ruined by declawing. I won't go into the gory details here, but behavioral changes, biting, medical complications and other adverse effects of declawing are not uncommon, and the end result is often suffering, pain, abandonment and even euthanasia.
In this newsletter, you’ll find information about declawing and why cats scratch in the first place. You’ll read interviews with cat professionals who see the adverse effects of declawing every day. You’ll learn about the alternatives to declawing and what you can do to help spread the word.
Our intent is to educate, not condemn. If you’ve declawed your cats in the past, you are not alone. But the facts are the facts, and ignorance is no longer an acceptable reason to declaw your cat. It’s a new world, and ultimately, your cat will be happier, healthier and safer living in it.
Thank you for reading and for thinking about your cat’s health in new ways. As a token of our gratitude, please take 15% off all online purchases from through Thursday, February 11 using the code CLAWS. Or, if you'd prefer, use the code PAWS and the Cat Connection will donate 15% of your order to the Paw Project! For tracking purposes, you'll also receive a 1% discount with this code. The choice is yours! We appreciate your support as we advocate for your cats. They are the reason we do what we do.
If you have any questions, please simply reply to this email. We will be more than happy to address any concerns you may have regarding this topic or any others.
If you love the cat, then love the claws,
~Errin West, Co-Owner, The Cat Connection
Why Cats Scratch
Scratching is one of the most natural feline behaviors, but is often met with frustration or fear by their human guardians. Scratching is a way of marking territory. Not only does the physical scratch broadcast to the world (and other cats) "I was here," but pheromones are also deposited onto the surface via glands on the cat's paws. Scratching relieves stress and excess energy, so it's not uncommon to see a cat vigorously scratching after an upsetting moment or during play. Scratching feels good, allowing the cat to stretch their whole spine, as well as the tendons and muscles in their paws. It is also necessary for nail care, as the scratching motion strips the claw of old sheaths.

Sometimes, cats scratch furniture because it is heavily marked by their human's scent. By mingling their own scent with yours via scratching, they feel more secure in their territory and connected to their person.
It's love!
Scratching is NOT






Proof that your cat hates your taste in furniture.

Declawing What You Need to Know
Declawing, or onychectomy, is the amputation of the last digit of each toe. Because a cat's claws grow directly from bone, the bone itself must be amputated; it is not simply the removal of claws. The surgery is performed with either a scalpel or a laser on either the front or back set of paws. It is the equivalent of amputating a human's fingers or toes at the first joint.
Declaw Diagram
Because cats walk on their toes, such an amputation has an immediate negative consequence to the cat's mobility. Cats must shift their weight backwards, walking on their "wrists." Over time, this unnatural gait can lead to mobility issues, arthritis and other health concerns.

Contrary to popular belief, there is no "right way" to declaw a cat. This is a significant amputation that, even when done by the best surgeon, will negatively impact a cat's quality of life. Furthermore, declawing is NOT medically necessary and in no way benefits the cat.
Problems After Declawing

Chronic pain
Claw regrowth
Residual nail & bone fragments
Nerve damage
Phantom pains
Arthritis and other mobility issues
Litter box avoidance & spraying
Biting & aggression
Alternatives to Declawing

Regular nail trims (at home or at a groomer or vet's office)
SoftPaws / SoftClaws application
Appropriate scratching surfaces
Site-specific deterrents
Don't let your cat get bored

It's that simple!
Countries where declawing is either illegal or considered inhumane except under the most extreme circumstances include:
  • England
  • Scotland
  • Wales
  • Italy
  • Austria
  • Switzerland
  • Norway
  • Sweden
  • Ireland
  • Denmark
  • Finland
  • Slovenia
  • Brazil
  • Australia
  • New Zealand
  • Serbia
  • Montenegro
  • Macedonia
  • Slovenia
  • France
  • Germany
  • Bosnia
  • Malta
  • Netherlands
  • Northern Ireland
  • Portugal
  • Belgium
  • Israel
Interviews with the Cat Experts
Interview with Dallas' PRO-CLAW Vet Dr. Raina Weldon

Dr. Raina Weldon has the distinction of being the only veterinarian in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex on the official Does Not Declaw List of The owner and sole doctor of The Cat Hospital of Dallas, Dr. Weldon kindly sat down with us to answer a few questions about her decision not to declaw cats, her experience with the surgery and what Cat People absolutely need to know about a decision that will change your cat’s life.

For Dr. Weldon's full interview, click here.

Surrender Yourself Not the Cat with DQ Quagliozzi

Daniel “DQ” Quagliozzi is the cat behavior guru behind Go, Cat, Go – San Francisco’s leading in-home resource for cat behavior advice. With more than a decade of experience working with cats in shelters and in homes, DQ’s custom designed Action Plans save cat lives, educate frustrated cat guardians and restore peace in homes. Go, Cat, Go is all about the cat, teaching clients to see the world through their cat’s eyes to arrive at a place of understanding and compassion for all parties – feline and human. DQ graciously answered a few behavioral questions the Cat Connection had regarding declaws, cat welfare and the human-animal bond. True to form, his answers left little room for waffling – when feline health and safety are at stake, DQ is the guy you want advocating for your cat.

For DQ's full interview, click here.

Featured Products for Claw Health
To keep your cat's claws healthy and trimmed, you need the right equipment. Check out these products from the Cat Connection to help you live in harmony with your cat and her claws!
Nail Clipper
Cat Nail Clippers
A must-have to keep your cat's nails trimmed, these clippers are ideal. The cat's claw fits easily in the groove for maximum control. Price: $12.99
Soft Claws Nail Caps
Soft Claws Nail Caps
Veterinarian-developed, Soft Claws Nail Caps are attached to your cat's nails and help prevent damage from natural scratching behavior. Price: $12.99
Smart Cat Ultimate Scratching Post
Smart Cat Ultimate Scratching Post
Perfect for cats who prefer vertical scratching surfaces, this post is durable and allows for a full stretch. Price: $64.99. Some assembly required.
Copyright © 2016 The Cat Connection, All rights reserved.

unsubscribe from this list    update subscription preferences 

All photos used in this newsletter are either the sole property of the Cat Connection or are believed to be in the public domain and freely available on the internet. Whenever possible, we have made every attempt to identify and credit the photographer. If you are the owner of a photo, please reply to this email.