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Rock County Humane Society Newsletters

Stay up to date on the latest animal news and events through our paper and electronic newsletters.

RCHS in the News

Recent RCHS Press

  • Newsletter Summer 2013
  • Welcome from Brett Frazier!!

    A welcome from new Executive Director Brett Frazier

    Follow RCHS On The Web

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    UPCOMING EVENTS

    SPECIAL NOTICES

    Memorial and Honorarium Giving

    Click here to visit our Memorial and Honorarium giving page for recognition of those who have donated on behalf of the special people, pets, or occasions in their life.

    Help Me, Heal Me Fund

    Your contributions to our special medical fund, "Help Me, Heal Me," enables us to help those animals most at risk and in need.  Help us to help them!

    Pet of the Week!

    105.9 The Hog: Listen every Monday as The Hog announces a new adoptable pet of the week! You can also see them all week long at The Hog's web site!

    99.9 WJVL Pam Garland-Gjestson speaks with Mike Austin every Monday morning! Listen between 7:30-7:35 am to hear all about this week's pet of the week. You can also see a video at WJVL.com.

    Businesses That Support Us

    Learn more about businesses that support RCHS.
    Beloit Family Eye Care sponsors one of our Best Buddy cats each month. Best Buddy cats have their adoption fee paid by a local business sponsor - helping them to find their forever homes even faster. To learn who this month's Best Buddy cat is, visit Beloit Family Eye Care or stop in to RCHS!

    Who's Helping Animals

    Amelia Rhinerson

    Scratching, Claws, and Declawing

    There is perhaps no cat-related issue that generates so much debate as the topic of declawing. Many people feel that declawing is a painful and unnecessary alteration of the cat.  Others feel that if it prevents a cat from being euthanized or re-homed, it is worth it.  The bottom line is that it is a very important decision that should not be made without much consideration.

    Cats scratch for a number of reasons.  Scratching helps to stretch the muscles in their legs and back.  It helps to condition the cat's claws by pulling off the husks of the old claws.  Scent glands in the cat's paws leave a scent mark for other cats.  Cats use their claws for balance, climbing, play, defense, communication, and exercise.

    Declawing is a permanent procedure, done under general anesthesia, and consists of the amputation of the cat's toes from the last knuckle down.  After a cat is declawed, it can take several weeks for her to recover.  During this time, some cats may develop an aversion to using their litter box that may last beyond the healing time.  This is because the cat associates the pain of her paws with the litter box (litter box = painful, behind the couch = not painful).  Also, cats tend to be very particular about how clean their litter box is and so will oftentimes try to minimize their contact with the litter by raising themselves up on their tiptoes.  Since a cat that has been declawed no longer has tiptoes, she may decide that the box is too dirty and find another place to eliminate.

    In addition, because the cat's first line of defense is now gone, some cats may become extremely timid or overly aggressive.  It is especially difficult for cats that are old, easily frightened, overweight, or already somewhat aggressive.  A declawed cat that gets outside is at a huge disadvantage since she has little to no defense in a fight with another animal.

    So what is the solution?  Since scratching is a completely normal behavior, the answer is to direct the scratching onto an appropriate surface.  Providing several different scratching options, as well as placing them in easy to reach areas, will give you the best chance of success.

    There are three things to look for in a scratching device:

    • It must be tall enough for the cat to fully stretch when scratching (2½ - 3 feet is ideal for most cats).
    • It must be stable and not wobble when being scratched.
    • Most cats prefer sisal rope or natural wood to carpet.  The "scratchiness" of the rope or natural wood is more appealing to most cats.  Some cats also do well if provided a horizontal cardboard scratch pad.
    • Training a cat to use a scratching post is quite easy.  Rub some catnip into the post and dangle a string along the side of it, and most cats won't be able to resist.  If you are having trouble coaxing the cat to use the post, contact Cats International.  They talk to thousands of people per year about cat behavior and have never encountered a cat that they couldn't teach to scratch appropriately.