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Declawing Advice... Please no mean comments!!  

post #1 of 69
Thread Starter 
I have had Layla for a little while now and I have been trying to train her to stop scratching people and furniture to no avail. My husband is at his wits end and is demanding that she be declawed. I understand why he feels this way as she has drawn blood from some of her scratches before and at this point I feel that I have no other choice than to declaw her. She is an indoor only cat, so she will not be outside trying to fend off an attacker. I know that most cat owners disagree with this practice, and I understand that, I am not exactly excited about having it done, but I need advice on how to help Layla afterwards. Any advice will be appreciated, but I do not want any judgemental remarks please.
post #2 of 69
This site is a serious ANTI- declaw site .... and only offers other alternatives to having her declawed ........... have you read the info on what it entailes to have her declawed? And the behavorial problems that follow most declawed cats? From inappropraite peeing/pooing?

You will then just have other problems to deal with instead of scratching. Have you considered soft claws?
post #3 of 69
Soft claws wont stop the scratching but they will stop the damage and bleeding, so do try that before you even consider declawing

Also, some cats who are declawed and have a tendancy to scratch turn to biting and hurt people more
post #4 of 69
Thread Starter 
I have, but Layla is a smart little thing and she will have them off in a split second. I know this is a de-clawing site, but it is also an educational site where people can ask questions regarding their cats. This happens to be something I need to know about b/c he's saying declaw or re-home. I love her she will not be re-homed. Simple as that.
post #5 of 69
Heres some links to help you


Is he tormenting her for her to scratch him?, ie : waving his hands in front of her face?.
post #6 of 69
But you are asking advice for aftercare of a proceedure ........

Let me ask you this ........ if you were given the choice to rehome her or declaw her, why is it that you would choose the declaw?
post #7 of 69
This is a big thing for me and my husband to, (we argued so much in the first 2 weeks I was reduced to tears, and Mellow hasnt even scratched anything up)I have said to him I would rather take Mellow back than get him declawed. Try the Soft claw option, where you put the rubber caps over the claws, it works quite well, I worked out its best to put them on Mellow when he is half asleep and he doesn't realize what I am doing LOL! http://cgi.ebay.com/Soft-Claws-Nail-...QQcmdZViewItem This is some doft clws I found on ebay to show you, I got mine at petsmart tho.
I googled declawing as My hubby was saying that I was crazy to listen to a bunch of crazy cat people (sorry TCS ) and I couldnt find any positive reviews. It does seem a rather nasty procedure, My friend had both her cats done b4 I new her, and she said instead of clawing things they bite (including the carpet)! its easier to cover claws than to cover teeth.....
post #8 of 69
Thread Starter 
She is my baby, I would be so sad without her! I love her!! If she is declawed she will still be with me, not someone else.
post #9 of 69
Originally Posted by Mrs.Harris View Post
I know this is a de-clawing site, but it is also an educational site where people can ask questions regarding their cats.
No, were "anti" declaw
Originally Posted by Mrs.Harris View Post
I love her she will not be re-homed. Simple as that.
Then if you love her look into the alternatives by having a read of the links i gave you before doing anything drastic
post #10 of 69
Thread Starter 
And no, my husband does not irritate her or provoke her. I was sitting still one night and she latched onto my leg so tightly I had blood running down my calf, and another time my husband was asleep and she jumped on his face and cut him up before I got her off.
post #11 of 69
Originally Posted by Mrs.Harris View Post
I have, but Layla is a smart little thing and she will have them off in a split second. I know this is a de-clawing site, but it is also an educational site where people can ask questions regarding their cats. This happens to be something I need to know about b/c he's saying declaw or re-home. I love her she will not be re-homed. Simple as that.
Mellow had his first lot off too, USE TONS OF GLUE, it soon stopped Mellow
post #12 of 69
Please understand this is coming from someone who deeply loves cats ....... if those are your only 2 choices ...... then please choose the choice that is less harmful for her. The choice you are making is the one that is less harmful for you.

Originally Posted by Mrs.Harris View Post
She is my baby, I would be so sad without her! I love her!! If she is declawed she will still be with me, not someone else.
post #13 of 69
Thread Starter 
How long does package of soft claws last?
post #14 of 69
there were 40 nail caps in my package, two lots of glue and 5 (i think) applicators
I only put them on his front paws so it doesn't use much.

The claws come off when the cat naturally sheds his claws, not sure when that is as it hasnt happened yet
post #15 of 69
Originally Posted by Mrs.Harris View Post
I was sitting still one night and she latched onto my leg so tightly I had blood running down my calf .
I've got a 4 month old kitten and you should see the mess he has my legs in through putting his claws in, and this has been ongoing since he came into my home at 10 weeks but it hasn't been done on purpose.
post #16 of 69
Here is a list of questions and answers form the website...

3) How long do they last and how often do they need to be reapplied?

Once the nail caps are applied they remain in place for approximately 4-6 weeks. They will fall off with the natural growth of your cat's nails. We recommend that you check your cat's nails periodically because usually just one or two fall off at a time and these can be easily reapplied.

Each kit contains 40 nail caps and will last approximately 4-6 months per cat.

Note: While the vast majority of cats acclimate to the claw covers within minutes, some cats may require an adjustment period. Cat's fastidious natures sometimes causes them to groom the claw covers excessively at first. This may result in one or two falling off. No problem. Just check the claws daily at first and if one is missing, simply replace it with another from the package. Thus, the first package may not last as long as subsequent packages. Again, most cats do not even notice they are wearing them after the first 30 minutes.

A good tip is to feed your cat his or her favorite food after applying the Soft Claws. This serves as a good reward and also diverts their attention away from their new acquisition. Some people find it easier to apply the Soft Claws when their cats are sleepy.
post #17 of 69
Thread Starter 
I know she doesn't do it on purpose, it doesn't really bother me, but he gets very ill about it.
post #18 of 69
You're just assuming that the cat will be able to get the Softclaws off. But you don't know this. I think you absolutely owe it to the cat to give the Softclaws at least six months to work before you do anything drastic.

Your cat isn't different from any other cat that uses softclaws. If you decide that that's going to be your solution and you apply them properly, they will work and you won't have to declaw the cat.

You should also do things like giving the cat more scratching posts (I think it's important to try all three textures — carpet, cardboard and rope — since individual cats may love one but avoid the others) and try to train her out of attacking humans (by saying "no" loudly and locking her in another room for 10 minutes after she does it, or by throwing a toy to keep her from "hunting" the humans).

Also, how old is this cat? If she's young, this behavior is probably temporary, only kitten playfulness... cats settle down a lot once they're two or three years old.
post #19 of 69
Thread Starter 
I am looking at the softclaws right now! So thank you to those of you that suggested them, especially Mellow. I wasn't exactly sure of how they stayed on, so I am going to try them.
post #20 of 69
I regret every day getting Joey declawed. Not only because the vet did a horrible job of it, but because of the pain he is in some days. It hurts him to use the litter box, he has a claw that they didnt get the root out or something so it grows up and we have to keep it clipped, he also has 1 claw that they completely MISSED! His paws got very badly infected after the surgery almost to the point of amputation. His toes have callouses on them and he will bite if you even think of touching them. I didnt know what the procedure for declawing was, or I would have NEVER let it happen no matter how much he was scratching. We spent a lot more money on him because of the declaw, and are going to have to spend more to get that one claw fixed.
Be happy that there are these items like soft paws out now. They are a great alternative! Go get some and try them out.
post #21 of 69
Please try out the softpaws first. It sounds as if you're going to do that and that's fantastic.

Declawing can have a lot of side effects like capt_jordi mentioned. The surgery involves mutilating the cat's paws. Cats walk on their toes and the first joint of the toes is cut off. It makes them more likely to get arthritis as they get older. The prodecure is very painful and some cats develop an aversion to litterbox use after it because it hurts their paws to scratch in the litterbox. Others become very skittish and nervous and never return to being the lovely cat they were before. Some also start biting and even biting pre-emptively because they feel so insecure. Some become what their owners describe as 'more loving' in the few weeks after the surgery but usually what is happening is that the cat is in pain and confused and regresses developmentally back into acting like a young kitten and becomes very dependent on their human. This can then lead to separation anxiety and other mental problems when the human can't be around the cat 24/7

Then there's potential phantom pain, lameness and and claw regrowth etc.

This doesn't happen to every declawed cat. Far from it, but it can and does happen.

I've had a bunch of scratches from my cat, either from over enthuastic play or from her getting scared while I'm holding her and she kicks off with her back feet to get away.

I see that as a normal part of choosing to share my life with a cat. It can be really lessened by trimming the claws and then if that's not enough to add softpaws on.

Cats are very rarely agressive towards humans, any 'attack' by a cat is usually a bored young cat wanting to play. That type of play agression is not an attack and can easily be handled by playing enough with the cat using toys and then using behavoural training to discourage the play attacks if they've become routine. It can be a bit of work but gets easier as the cat gets older.

Cats are socially mature at around 2 years old so until then you'll still be dealing with the very energetic kitten type behaviour although it depends on the cat and some cats never slow down.
post #22 of 69
Have you tried clipping nails once a week? You have to do it often if you want less problems with clawing/scratching. I would say too to try the nail caps before considering the declawing. Don't make excuses to "she won't keep them on" if you've never even given her the chance.

IF nothing else is successful, and you choose the declawing, then you MUST keep her no matter what happens after - whether its peeing on clothes, rugs, or other places rather then the litter pan; or she starts fear biting more; or if she hides from strangers or even you or your husband.

There was nothing wrong with the cat before the declaw so you are responsible for any physical or emotional problems that could happen after.

IMO I'd rehome your cat if nothing else works and if you really want a cat, then adopt one that is declawed and accept any and all problems - rather then ruin another cat by declawing.
post #23 of 69
I'm with most people who have posted that are giving the advice of not declawing your cat.

When I was young my family adopted our first cat and not knowing any better we had her declawed. It was a terrible mistake. She had personality changes and was never the same kitty. She developed a horrible infection and had to have 3 of her toes amputated that caused her years of trouble.

Please try the soft claws, they are a much more humane solution.
post #24 of 69
You could try just clipping at first--my cat attacks my feet too, and he can't break the skin if he's been clipped. You might have to roll her up in a towel to get her to stay still; and she'll hate it--but she'd hate being declawed even more! A girl like her, who loves to pounce on things... She'd just start biting, if she couldn't use her claws; and a cat's teeth are BAD things to have pierce your skin. Very easy to get infected wounds with a cat's bite.

Question: How old is she? Many cats really settle down once they get out of the kitten stage, and stop pouncing so much.
post #25 of 69
I'm not going to chastise you for this decision. You are well enough aware of the nature of this procedure. I will say, see if you can find a vet who does the procedure with the laser. There is less chance of hemmorrage and a much quicker recovery time. The last cat my mother had declawed was done this way and it was a lot easier to care for him afterwards. The prior cat had a lot of hemorraging afterwards and as a result of the turniquets has nerve damage in one foot. Since then though, claw removal has changed, and most vets use the laser to zap the nail bed, instead of rip out the claws.

Aftercare is simple, no jumping! Keep the cat as mellow as possible. She will be lethargic the first day as the anethesia wears off, but she will get more active. Keep the litter box impeccably clean, clean it as often as possible and change the litter completely before she comes home. If there is another cat in the house I would even go so far as to buy a disposable litter pan and seperate the cats for the first few days to prevent infection. Look for signs of infection, ie: hot swollen paw pads, or bad reactions to the anethesia like vomiting, and not eating or drinking. Otherwise, your vet will give you advise on after care. Lots of cuddles and treats and a comfy warm bed god far in aiding in recovery!

After recovery, leave the scratching posts and stuff out, my boy with no claws still rubs his feet on them cos they have scent glands there!

My only request is this, ONLY do the front claws. Leave the back claws for defense. All of the cats we've ever declawed kept their back claws with no problems, and all of them used them at one time or another with either another cat or dog! There is never a good reason to 4 paw declaw.

It is obvious that this is a decision that you have considered thoroughly, and that you have weighed the benefits and cons. Personally I see no good reason to rehome a 7 year old cat, just over declawing. If the soft claws don't work (most people I know have had little success with them and many vets I know scoff at their very idea), declawing does not make you the worst mother ever!

BTW: just so I don't get chastized, I am against declawing, but if someone is going to do it, I hope that they do it after being well informed and having no other options. I can't and won't pass judgement.
post #26 of 69
Have you tried just clipping her claws regularly? It's pretty easy and effective. I personally think if the choice is declaw or rehome, in my opinion you should rehome. Better a new life than maiming her.
post #27 of 69
This doesn't seem like a decision that was well thought out, if alternative options were not chosen.

Definately nail clipping needs to be done - regularly!! I can always time when it's time for nail clippings, the second one of my kitties starts clawing at somthing besides their scratching post, i know it's time ---- MY FAULT --- I forgot.

I have a HUGE, STURDY scratching post and they use it all the time. This is the 2nd one, as the last one was shredded to bits.

I too vote for rehoming her if you are going to declaw her. You think you have problems now, just wait...nearly 10 years ago I declawed one of my cats because I was not educated on the matter and -- get this -- did it because my live in boyfriend absolutely insisted on it. Well, years later, we broke up and the cat's still here, with no claws, she bites, she hisses if the wind blows by, she eliminates inappropriately at times and she spends most of her time hiding in a closet.

So let me ask you, you want to keep her so much because you love her. Who's going to love her when your husband wants to get rid of her because she's biting and pooping around your house??

Don't do it. You'll be sorry and the guilt is always there...

Oh, she's arthritic now in her paws too. Cries if you touch them, will bite if you really try to handle her paws and lets out a cry each time she jumps from something high. My vet told me that the reason she is still pretending to use the scratching post is not because of scent glands, it's because she's trying to relief the stiffness and joint pain. Don't fool yourself, there is no easier surgery or recovery period. They never recover.
post #28 of 69
Declawing is basically evil. It is mutilation. It is basically like cutting off your fingers at the first joint. Does your husband know this? Most vets make people watch a horrible video about declawing before they will even consider doing it. Try finding this video online, renting one, or asking the vet to borrow it and make your husband watch it. It will make you sick and if any person can watch a video on the truth of declawing and still declaw, then they do not need a cat. Just because an animals natural habits are annoying or unfavorable to a person doesn't mean the cat needs ti have its "fingers" chopped off to pay for it. I'm sure your cat would rather go to a new home than have it's claws mutilated and then have to resort to biting and peeing and pooping all over the house.
post #29 of 69
Thread Starter 
I am going to try a few more alternatives. My DH does not share the same love for animals that I do so he does not understand the problems that could arise Thank you for all the advice and alternative suggestions.
post #30 of 69
I have a very feisty male cat who was shredding furniture, drywall, wallpaper, and doors. He was also drawing blood on legs--sometimes out of kitten exhuberance but other times there was an aggressive edge to it which was of concern to me because of all the kids that are in and out of our house. After reading and talking to many people here locally who assured me their cats had no problems I opted to do a front declaw and not a day has gone by when I haven't regretted it.

For starters, instead of spending the three nights at the vet's confined, they called the next day for me to get him in hopes he would do better at home. He was so worked up that they couldn't get near him (as in no additional pain meds or litter) and they were really afraid he was going to hurt himself lunging at the cage every time a staff member came by. He's aggressive at the vets anyway but he must have been absolutely feral because when I got there the vet on staff that day asked if he ever let me hold him. I followed the tech in and saw him rise up and go at it but the moment I called his name he just started mewing and clawing to reach out at me. The vet was standing outside the door watching and just shook his head--said he'd never seen anything like it. Needless to say I was heartbroken, especially since this was an optional surgery. He was desperate for me and tried to get at me through the pet taxi all the way home.

I got him home and got pain meds into him and after he'd wandered around to all his areas, I hunkered down on the sofa next to him because generally whereever I go, he goes. I spent as much of the next three days there as I could knowing he'd stand a better chance of healing. He returned to near normal activity over the next weeks but was very aggressive any time someone stepped near his feet (don't blame him) and cleaned himself obsessively which started right after coming home since his back end was so messy. He was totally bored since he could no longer do many of the things he once did. Even my kids made the comment about how sad he looked. A few weeks later he took a downturn and stopped leaping to heights he had been clearing and finally collapsed going up the stairs one day so we were back to the vet for another very upsetting for him appt for pain/anti-inflammatory meds. It took another month until he was back to being our happy cat again and I think that's when the pain was gone or at least had reached a tolerable level. I was sick, sick, sick about it all.

I don't *think* he's in pain but I will always wonder because his gait isn't the same. He had to learn to walk all differently and lost the very strong grasp he had with his front paws. Watching him adapt was like watching him adapt to a handicap. We're not getting clawed nearly as often but he has found some ways to adapt (including one day leaping up and nailing me on my rear with his hind claws). Ironically one of the reasons I felt was most important--possible aggression towards children--has turned out to be totally unfounded. He's very accepting of them. Adults are another story: he does occasionally hiss at them out of the blue so we either shut him up or supervise constantly.

I've hesitated to share this here knowing how strongly members feel, but thought it was time in hopes this story will sway others from making the same mistake I did.

I will never, ever, ever do this to a cat again.
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