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post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 
I feel so guilty, I just have to tell someone about this...

There's a woman who lives across from my Mom & Dad's house who has precious little ten-year-old twin girls. We've all known the family ever since the girls were born. I adore the girls (I've already chosen one of them to eventually marry my little nephew ), and although their mom is awfully conservative for me, she's been very good to my folks and I appreciate that a lot.

So about a year ago, the girls decided they wanted a kitten, and since I volunteer at a shelter, they asked me to help them find one. I took them to my shelter, but their mom (who had never had a pet before) just wasn't ready. She was worried about shedding and scratching and how do you train them to go in the box and so forth.

I gave her all kinds of reassurance and encouragement, and I'm sure I played a part in persuading her to let the girls have a kitten. They eventually found a little brown tabby girl at the SPCA.

I didn't meet the kitten until a couple of months later, and my impression was that the poor thing was scared of her own shadow. She cringed and hid and tried to squirm away when the girls would pick her up, even though the girls were very gentle. I don't know how to explain it, but I could just sense that this was a very unhappy kitty... and it's been the same every time I've seen her since.

Well, today I found out why: they had declawed her.

I had talked to the woman about declawing, explained exactly what a cruel mutilation it is, described the problems it can cause for both the cat and the family... and I thought I had convinced her. But today, she was visiting and noticed one of our kitties scratching the sofa, and she said, "That's why I had Misty declawed right away."

For my parents' sake, I didn't want to be too harsh, but I did say, "Oh, no! I didn't know you'd done that. I mean -- all due respect, but... you remember, it's not just removing the claws, it's outright amputation."

And she replied, "Yes, but for me, it was just easier."

So. I know they might have gotten a cat even if I hadn't encouraged them, but... oh, how I wish I hadn't. It breaks my heart to think I played any part in such an evil thing. And I especially worry about what those sweet little girls are learning from a mother who is willing to surgically maim a kitten for her own convenience.

I just feel sick.
post #2 of 18
Don't feel guilty - it's not your fault. You couldn't have known they'd do that. Poor kitty And another generation will grow up thinking it's normal and acceptable.

Originally Posted by CarolPetunia View Post
And she replied, "Yes, but for me, it was just easier."
That kind of response makes me so mad
post #3 of 18
No, don't blame yourself. You did your best to explain what declawing involves. Some people just have misplaced priorities. Nothing you do will change them. I do feel sad for the kitty, though.
post #4 of 18
I have to say, declaw or not since the cat was an SPCA cat, she's likely to have lived a hard life and was scared or spooky by nature. I doubt declawing her scarred her for life. I know many cats that are declawed and completely mentally sound. Even adults that have it done come out no different.

All of that aside, it's not your fault. They would have gotten a cat with or without your help. You did your part in warning them of the potential risks in the future, you told them how much pain the cat would be in during recovery, you told them that it was more than just simply cutting nails. These will be the same people that will likely get rid of the cat when it's soiling outside the litter box because it's "easier".

All you can do is educate people. They will decide what to do with that information. At least this cat has a home, it may not be the ideal home but it's still a cat that isn't dead, or a cat wandering around starving. It's really hard to judge people and it isn't your fault that they decided not to listen to you.

It's not your fault, period.
post #5 of 18
oh my, my heart sank for you when I read the dreaded - declawed - bit

please, please dont feel bad, you did your best, explained the situation and what declawing meant........... and you know maybe the vet she went to for her spay convinced about declawing ...blah...blah ...blah .. and well I suppose a lot of people do put trust in a so-called professionals

Hopefully the children will learn from other avenues that this is not an acceptable solution !
post #6 of 18
Don't feel guilty, you had nothing to do with it.
post #7 of 18
That poor little kitty! It is NOT your fault though. You did everything you could, including finding it a home that doesn't involve being in a cage and you did your best to try to educate them about declawing. Some people are just like that unfortunately, and will do it no matter what you tell them.
post #8 of 18
Originally Posted by urbantigers View Post
That kind of response makes me so mad
ugh, that response infuriated me as well.

i'll never forget when my boyfriend's sister told me she had her cat declawed. i had to get up and leave the room, because i felt like i wouldn't act civilized if i didn't. it's one thing if you're trying to convince someone not to do it. but if it's already done, it's done.

anyway, you tried to do a nice thing for both the family and the kitty. you had every good intention. it's the woman who is cruel and selfish.

you said the daughters were very gentle with her. so it sounds like the kitty is in a good environment otherwise, and will have a decent life.
post #9 of 18
Poor little thing - I just can't believe declawing is even legal in our so-called caring worlld - it is so disgusting - I knew so little about it before I joined this site - you guys have done a good thing opening my eyes to things that go on in the world

Please don't blame yourself - you gave them the facts - their ignorance is not down to you
post #10 of 18
Thread Starter 
First thing when I got online this morning, I came here to see if anyone had responded... and I thank you all so much. Your kindness and reassurance mean a lot.
post #11 of 18
It wasn't your fault at all . You told the lady your thoughts and feelings about the declawing but she didn't take your advice.

When I first got my two kittens I thought it was okay to declaw as long as they were still kittens until I read this board and did some research. My DH wanted to have it done also but I talked him into trying to train them and trim their nails. They are good kittys and we have never had a problem with their claws! I'm so happy I did my research.
post #12 of 18
It's too bad it happened, but I think overall you still did a good thing for this cat by finding it a home. It's much better off in a loving house than in a shelter.

I also agree that the cat may just be shy and skittish by nature. I've known many clawed cats to be that way. And when I was little we had a declawed cat, and he was happy and normal as can be. So you shouldn't assume this cat is unhappy or that, if it is, it's because of the declawing. It's possible this is just one of those cats that hates to be picked up.
post #13 of 18
You told her what declawing was & she made the decision to declaw the kitten anyways. She had the information, just chose not to think about it. This is in no way whatsoever your fault...you did your best.
post #14 of 18
Also, if the cat has only been in the home a few months, the adjustment period isn't over. It may take much longer than that for a shelter cat to get relaxed and happy.
post #15 of 18
I know this is a touchy subject so I only have one question. Why does many people think scared cats or bad cats are created from declawing them?? Why can't there be another reason for it??? I am sorry but this upsets me.
post #16 of 18
Don't feel bad. Like others have said, you didn't know she was going to do that and you tried to educate her. I told my friend all about declawing when her family got a new kitten but her parents declawed her anyway.
post #17 of 18
Originally Posted by crazyforinfo View Post
I know this is a touchy subject so I only have one question. Why does many people think scared cats or bad cats are created from declawing them?? Why can't there be another reason for it??? I am sorry but this upsets me.
I think there can be other reasons, but it is probaby the main reason in most cases. Just think about how traumatic it would be for you to have your fingers cut off as a child...I think I would have some behavior problems after that.
post #18 of 18
Thread Starter 
I didn't mean to imply that the declawing was the only reason this kitty is so skittish and fearful -- of course cats can have different personalities by nature, just as people do. But what was done to her was morally wrong, and she will never be whole again because of it. Even if that didn't upset the cat (though how could it not?), it upsets me.
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