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options other than declawing  

post #1 of 68
Thread Starter 
I guess we have decided to keep our little kitten but now my husband wants to get him in to get neutered AND declawed! I don't agree with the declawing (and especially not declawing all paws like he wants). What are options other than declawing? I've been trimming his nails (did it agian last night).
post #2 of 68
SOFT PAWS!
Pretty much everyone here who has clawed kitties that like to scratch up things uses them... they're little plastic caps that you glue onto their nails - many people apply them on their own, but groomers will do it too... they fall off as the nail naturally sheds and then you just clip and reapply them... Ollie wears them and they're great!

Have you tried explaining to your husband what exactly declawing is? IE: tell him to imagine having his fingers and toes amputated and then trying to live a normal and pain free life... cuz that's basically what declawing is (I mean, you don't have to be mean about it, but most people don't understand what exactly takes place during a declaw surgery)... plus, declawing can create big behavior problems, including refusal to use the litter box... if you do a search on declawing and/or soft paws (aka soft claws) you'll find a lot of info on here
post #3 of 68

I just got Pippin some soft claws from Dr Fosters & Smith who have them on sale right now! http://www.drsfostersmith.com/produc...pc=1&N=0&Nty=1

They were really easy to put on and took Pippin no time to adjust to. He got Purple!

I didn't get them because he tears up the furniture but cuz he tears me up when he snuggles in for a kneading-on-mommy session. It's much more comfy now.

Devlyn
post #4 of 68
Definitely use Soft Claws and start using them from an early age! I use The Cat and Kitten Store for mine - they're $16.95 with free shipping, and you can use the code SAVE5 to get another 5% off.

Also get double sided tape. You can get expensive stuff from the pet store which is specifically to stop cats scratching, but I just get a roll of the 3M Scotch Double Sided Tape from the supermarket - it works just as well and is so much cheaper!!!

Put that wherever they try to scratch or where you think they might scratch and they'll learn soon enough that the sticky stuff doesn't feel nice on their paws.

Also invest in a decent cat tree. If your husband says they're expensive, tell him it's still cheaper than getting a cat declawed

So:

1) Soft Claws for the kitty
2) Double sided tape to stop unwanted scratching
3) Cat tree for kitty to scratch and play on. I have a large cat tree and also a small cheapo cardboard scratcher and they love both!

Good luck and good on you for finding alternatives to declawing
post #5 of 68
Hmmm...do soft claws really last 4-6 weeks, though? Due to the leather furniture, I've been forced to consider de-clawing my kitten once he is a little older. My sister had Jerry de-clawed in the front paws, when he was 4. He had no adjustment or behavioral problems and he's still healthy.

I'd rather not de-claw my kitty, so maybe I'll try out soft claws for a bit and see how they work out. Do you have to clip their claws before you put them on?
post #6 of 68
Thread Starter 
I think that would definetely be worth trying (the soft claws). The main reason my husband wants him declawed is because he's afraid he'll scratch one of our kids. My children are the reason I think he needs the claws (he needs some protection from my two)!

My cat as a child was completely declawed. First we did just the front and he figured out how to scratch our furniture and stuff with just the back so my parents had the back done too. We had two cats when we first got married and we had them both completely declawed (before I knew any better) and they were fine behaviorally (well except our oldest who always had problem from the day we got her at 4 weeks). They always used the litter box.

I just think it'd be better, and safer, for him to have claws. If he got out on accident one day he would need his claws for protection. I'll keep on him though. I clip his nails now and he does pretty good at just sitting while I do them.
post #7 of 68
I merely take Zoey to the groomer and have hers clipped every three to four weeks ... plus she has six different scratching type posts
post #8 of 68
Kittens need nails checked and clipped at least once a week, sometimes twice. You can trim nails, use soft paws (nail caps).

Point out to your husband that declawing doesn't mean just cutting the nails - its like removing the first joint of your finger. Tell him they can have balance or walking problems later in life, or they will bite more or hide from people out of fear with no defense. Also ask him if he minds the cat wetting in other places like the bed or his clothes rather then in the litter pan. Many declawed cats will do that.

And if that doesn't convince him then show him in pictures on the net what declawing REALLY is.
post #9 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by lonelykitten View Post
I clip his nails now and he does pretty good at just sitting while I do them.

If he does well with you clipping his nails, he should do well with the applying of soft paws... it takes a bit of time for both you and the kitty to get used to, but they do get used to it and you learn to better apply them each time... I get on the floor with Oliver - I kneel (like with my shins flat on the floor) and lay Ollie between my legs and use my thighs to help hold him in place, hehe... he does still try to scoot away, but he tries to scoot away even when I'm just applying flea stuff... the first application or 2 you might not get all the toes done in 1 sitting - again, the more you do it, the quicker it'll go... keep tryin to convince that hubby (I'd think that cat bites would be worse on the kids than a few scratches - and with no claws, biting's what they go to)!
post #10 of 68
Thread Starter 
The thing is he has NEVER even attempted to scratch or bite the kids. My daughter has picked him up oddly a few times or been a little rough with him and we'd stop her but he didn't try to bite or scratch and was in her lap wanting to get attention 30 seconds later. I keep telling him why declaw him when he isn't causing a problem we can work on him scratching furniture (which he really doesn't do either just my computer chair which I don't mind).

He's just got the old fashioned way of thinking (thanks to his parents) and I need to smack some sense into him!
post #11 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by lonelykitten View Post
He's just got the old fashioned way of thinking (thanks to his parents) and I need to smack some sense into him!
Needs a good ol' swift kick in the butt! hehe.... you should sneak up on him when he's sleeping and tape his fingers and toes together with medical tape - then be like how do you like not having digits - and this doesnt even hurt! teehee, jk jk jk
post #12 of 68
Declawing is harsh enough, but 4 paw?
Tell your hubby to carry around a supply of cotton balls.
Any time he gets an itch, tell him he can only scratch himself with the cotton balls

As far as kids go, well, we have always had at least one cat in my family, from the very day I was born.
It's good for kids to experience the consequences associated with teasing a cat, it teaches them to stop doing it at a younger age.
Kids don't learn anything if we keep building buffers around them and prevent them from these learning experiences.
post #13 of 68
This is my opinion only:

Declawing is purely for the CONVENIENCE of the human. There is no benefit at all to the animal-it actually hurts them.

If people don't like cats with claws, they should get a stuffed animal or adopt a cat that is already declawed, keeping in mind a declawed cat may have litterbox and aggression issues.

Declawing is cutting the claws off AT the first knuckle. It isn't simply a removal of claws. What if a toddler used crayons on a wall? Do we work with them and teach them differently or do we remove their finger tips?
Cats are the same. They can learn. If you have children, if you have cats, you need to make some decisions about what your true priorities are.

I have trouble believing that humans can value inanimate, material goods over
the health and well-being of a living, breathing being.

In most of the world, declawing is illegal. I believe only Canada and the US still allow this practice. Vets make money off it. "Spay and Declaw?" Sure, why not, need another trip to Hawaii Makes me very cranky!

Thanks for working on hubby Maybe if you sat him down, drew lines across the first knuckles on his toes and fingers and ask him to imagine living without those.

edit: All but the last paragraph was meant for the general "you" not the OP specificly Off my soapbox now!
post #14 of 68
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Arlyn View Post
As far as kids go, well, we have always had at least one cat in my family, from the very day I was born.
It's good for kids to experience the consequences associated with teasing a cat, it teaches them to stop doing it at a younger age.
Kids don't learn anything if we keep building buffers around them and prevent them from these learning experiences.
That's exactly how I feel. If the kids are doing something mean to the kitten than they deserve a scratch to let them know not to do that agian. I think I will prevail on this one, just like he told me no more animals and here we now have a little kitten and we're keeping him after he said no more I have my ways!
post #15 of 68
Ask your hubby which is worse, being clawed by a kitten or bit by an angry adult cat who is going to bite a lot because he amputated all of its toes!

Or have him call the local shelters & ask just how many cats are killed because of side-effects of declawing. Just how many cats that are completely declawed spray & are killed?

I know you do not want to declaw, but this is my soft spot. I am one of the people who has to choose whether or not to kill a declawed kitty because of the side-effects of declawing. The one kitty had not one claw & sprayed. She now lives on someone's porch. I think her 1st birthday is coming up & she's been through 6 homes already! No one wanted her, she was moments away from death when the vet tech decided to take her home.
post #16 of 68
2 of my Cats are fully Armed and my newst kitty came already declawed. While I found it IS nice when he is kneeding on my leg while I'm petting him that I'm not getting "needles" in my thigh LOL, I myself never would have done it, but dont feel bad cause I'm not the one that did it

I have 2 WITH Claws and DO have 4, 3 Year Olds. Who Play with the Cats with Feather Toys and sure they get carried away and they get scratched accidentally & at first it used to bother the kids... but actually now when it happens the kids dont even flinch LOL!... course now I have to tell the kids to let me know when the Cats scratch them so that I can at least clean it out! LOL! Cat Scratch Fever isn't just a Song
post #17 of 68
I would just keep the kitten's nails trimmed and train the kitty not to scratch on the furniture (Sticky Paws might help, as will either a can of coins or a squirt bottle as a deterrent. I adopted my cats as adults (ages almost a year and 14 years upon adoption) and neither of them have ever scratched my furniture. They have two cat trees and a smaller scratching post. I think it really is a matter of training as my boyfriend's cat has been allowed to do whatever he wants and scratches the daylights out of everything. Keeping the kitty's nails trimmed will help protect the furniture from accidental punctures.
post #18 of 68
My bf insisted on getting my two cats declawed because of the possibility of scratching furnitures. I said to him that if he allows me to amputate his fingers, then I will declaw them. Of course, that got him to stop the thought.

I have never used the soft paws but I guess a lot of ppl here have and works really well. For me, I just trim their nails weekly and make sure they have plenty of scratching posts. Although the leather sofa has some light surface scratches but it was never intentional nor have I seen them purposely scratch anything other than their posts.

As far as playing with them, yeah I do get some scratches now and then but that is part of having a pet. Accidents does happen. When they make their biscuits on my legs, they have never digged their claws into me. I guess you can train your cat to know that if and when they scratch you or the furniture, it's a NO NO by saying NO! loudly and walk away. I think that's how I did it and it's been working quite well.

I hope you do try the soft paws cause it's just inhuman to declaw them~
post #19 of 68
Keep the nails trimmed and get lots of scratching posts (nice, firm ones). My kitties have never scratched furniture. If there are lots of things they can scratch, there's a good chance they won't bother with the furniture. I'm not keen on soft paws unless all else has failed so I'd try without them to begin with (will save you money!)
post #20 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by urbantigers View Post
Keep the nails trimmed and get lots of scratching posts (nice, firm ones). My kitties have never scratched furniture. If there are lots of things they can scratch, there's a good chance they won't bother with the furniture. I'm not keen on soft paws unless all else has failed so I'd try without them to begin with (will save you money!)
I agree with this scenario. We also clip approximately weekly and have a cat tree with scratching posts. Our cats never bothered with the furniture. They both sometimes stretch and scratch a bit on the rug under the table but not enough to destroy it.
post #21 of 68
My cats have several things they are allowed to scratch - a nice tall scratching post (they need enough room to really stretch up and if it's not tall enough they will try to find something that is), a small kitty condo, and a horizontal scratcher. One of these days i'm going to get them a nice cat tree with perches and such. Like all trainable behavior issues, it really helps when you give them positive reinforcement when they use the post (play with them at the post, rub some catnip on it, tell them they are good and pretty when they use it, etc.) and when you redirect them to it when you catch them scratching elsewhere. If you do this consistently, most cats catch on pretty quick.

I clip my cats' claws whenever i see them get stuck to a scratching post... or to my shirt, heh. I've been clipping them since they were kittens and they are pretty good about it although they do squirm around a bit. I got some soft paws to try on Rajah when her allergies were making her scratch herself bald, but i didn't think i could get them applied properly - and they were pretty expensive for a set, so i stuck with clipping. Most of the time only their front paws need clipping - the backs only get done about twice a year because they are generally relatively dull. I would absolutely never declaw a cat unless it was medically necessary due to an infected paw or something like that - it's unecessary and can create other behavior issues that are much more difficult to control than scratching is.
post #22 of 68
Ahhh I'm so confused! I'm being pushed by my mother to de-claw my kitten, because I bring the cat home from school for the summers. I don't particularly agree with declawing, but I do want to keep my cat. I've tried explaining to my mum what you've all said declawing is like...but she really isn't fazed. I suppose after growing up on a farm and seeing dozens of stray barn cats get hit by cars and such...she really isn't sympathetic to a "little" surgery.

I also spoke with my vet and she seems to think that declawing isn't such a problem and that the younger the cat the better if I'm going to do it. I asked her about soft claws and she didn't give me much reassurance about them.

I know several people, including my sister, that have declawed their cats without any problems.

I feel like I'm 50/50 on the issue right now ...but I do think I should exhaust all alternative options before I decide on surgery.

-Kristen
post #23 of 68
To those that choose to declaw I say this to them:

"If you have tried everything else and have to resort to declawing your cat, then YOU should be keeping him/her the rest of their life no matter WHAT happens. If the cat starts biting in fear, or hiding a lot because of no defense, or has trouble balancing or jumping or climbing, OR starts peeing in other places in the house or on your clothes instead of the litter pan - they YOU are to blame because the cat did none of this before."

"Don't try to dump the cat on someone else for something you chose to do to the cat - their feet were fine before." You declaw, you accept the consequences of what happens.
post #24 of 68
Cats hide pain exceptionally well. Just because we don't see it doesn't mean it isn't there. If they step on a piece of glass and their paw bleeds we immediately think "Oh no, poor baby!" Yet the act of actually cutting off toes doesn't seem to bother some people. I just do not get it.

I grew up dirt poor, sometimes on a farm, sometimes in small towns and sometimes in a city - no one I knew would have ever thought to pay to have toes amputated or to ever amputate.

Of course vets aren't going to say it is a bad thing. It is a large part of their practice and profit. Some have been brainwashed. Yet, many of these vets will treat paws that have been damaged in other ways as though there was something medically wrong.

So, I suppose my point is: if a cut paw hurts and needs medical treatment, why not a paw that has had its toes cut off? What more serious damage is there?

I wish the US and Canada would get out of the Dark Ages as far as this is concerned. We have members here from countries other than US and Canada who are absolutely shocked when they hear this practice is not only legal but socially acceptede and expected.

I would advise to fight for your cat's claws. You won't always be with this mother-in-law but the cat will always miss his claws.

*puts away soap box until the next post*
post #25 of 68
DO NOT DECLAW YOUR CAT!!!! Not only is it cruel to them it can cause problems for you.

I clip my cats nails whenever they show signs of getting pointy. Just clip the very tips because going too deep can cause pain and bleeding. As with most things regarding cats, patience and gentle determination should reveal good results.

http://www.thatpetplace.com/pet/group/12374/product.web

X
post #26 of 68
Yes, I've already decided that I'm going to fight for my kittens claws. I just ordered a pack of soft claws and I'm going to buy an extra scratching post. I'm trying to get him used to me handling his paws, so he hopefully won't put up too much of fight when I use the soft claws.

And for the record, I don't believe I would ever abandon my cat if he underwent behavioral changes. I didn't give up on my first cat when she went blind. When she got sick, I woke up in puddles of urine on my bed but I still loved her and tried everything I could to help her. Anyway, I just hate the idea that some people might think I'm heartless I'm just looking for all the facts. Perhaps someone could please direct me to another thread or website that they feel best explains declawing (from a medical standpoint)?

-Kristen
post #27 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nimbus View Post
Yes, I've already decided that I'm going to fight for my kittens claws. I just ordered a pack of soft claws and I'm going to buy an extra scratching post. I'm trying to get him used to me handling his paws, so he hopefully won't put up too much of fight when I use the soft claws.

And for the record, I don't believe I would ever abandon my cat if he underwent behavioral changes. I didn't give up on my first cat when she went blind. When she got sick, I woke up in puddles of urine on my bed but I still loved her and tried everything I could to help her. Anyway, I just hate the idea that some people might think I'm heartless I'm just looking for all the facts. Perhaps someone could please direct me to another thread or website that they feel best explains declawing (from a medical standpoint)?

-Kristen
I understand that you aren't heartless. It takes a lot of courage and love to care for a disabled kitty I have this soapbox that magically appears when the declaw issue arises.

I will look up some links for you. I am sure others here will have some good links as well.

Thank you
post #28 of 68
post #29 of 68
Here are some more:


http://www.catsinternational.org/art...declawing.html

http://www.declaw.com/
(list of vets who do not declaw ... there is one in my area!)

http://www.declawing.com/htmls/outlawed.htm
(countries where declawing is illegal or considered inhumane)

http://www.declawing.com/
(by a vet. There is a link at the bottom with more about the surgery)

http://www.catsinfo.com/declaw.html

http://cats.about.com/cs/declawing/a/disclose_wait.htm

http://maxshouse.com/facts_about_declawing.htm

Hope these help!
post #30 of 68
Cat scratchers:

My cats like this one:
http://www.thecatconnection.com/page...TGY/PLAY-SRTCH

Sebastian uses this type all the time: (I get something similar at Walmart for $10US)
http://www.terrificpets.com/pet_supp...hers/14654.asp

http://www.drsfostersmith.com/Produc...1&N=2002&Nty=1

Some cats like to scratch vertically, others horizontally. If you have both options, they should catch on quickly. Seb uses his all the time It doesn't have to be an expensive thing.
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