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Polydactyl problems

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
My sister owns this lovely little boy who is a polydactyl. I don't know how many of you have owned these, but for those of you that have no idea what I'm talking about, they're cats that have extra toes. They're also called Hemingway cats, or "hey look this cat has extra toes!"

Well, he has two extra toes growing off his "thumb," which I think is the norm, but they point towards the rest of his paw. I have an image, but it's fairly large, so I'm just going to provide a link instead of taking up your computer screens :P
http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y34...7/IMG_0023.jpg
If this link doesn't work (it may be protected) I'll just have to resize it to post.

Anyways, on to my point, I get so side tracked. Her vet told her that as he gets older, the claws may dig into his paw. At the moment, she clips his nails very often just to make sure the nails don't grow too long and dig into his paw. She had planned on getting him declawed, until I explained the process to her. I am very against declawing cats. However, she IS still thinking about getting those two digits on both front paws declawed so that they don't dig into his paw because I don't think she wants to clip them his entire life.

Does anyone have some advice about this little guys situation? I know it's so inhumane, but would declawing even be a good idea (I'm almost slapping myself for saying that) just to make sure his nails don't hurt his paw? I almost want to move home and clip his claws myself, but there has to be some sort of solution here. Any help would be appreciated!
post #2 of 13
I would just keep them clipped. Shouldn't be a problem.
post #3 of 13
IMO I don't see what the problem is if she's clipping the other nails anyway. Its just a few extra to deal with and keep an eye on. Yes its very possible those nails will get thick and harder to cut.

If I had a poly cat, I'd just add the extra nails to my clipping time
post #4 of 13
I agree that the best option would be to continue to trim those nails and keep a close eye on them. If they become problamatic THEN think about a declaw for JUST those two toes.

That said I do think having just those extra toes done will be much less traumatic and problematic for the cat since they don't walk on those toes.
post #5 of 13
As long as they are clipped regularly, there shouldn't be a problem. It's not that hard to clip extra nails so I wouldn't think that it would require declawing? I trim my cats nails a lot, especially the kittens because they like to climb on people... It's not a big hardship.

I'm curious, though, does he have a claw in between the "thumb" and the paw? We have a polydactyl kitten in the house, she has 6 toes on the front feet with a "thumb" like that, and hidden in between the thumb and the rest of the paw is her dewclaw. I keep reminding myself that it's there when I'm clipping her nails because you can't see it normally so it would be easy to overlook.
post #6 of 13
My Molly was a polydactyl stray cat and the claws you are referring to had started to grow into her paw pads when she showed up. She had a noticeable limp. We brought her to the vet who clipped them and we just always made a point of keeping them clipped and never had a problem.
post #7 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by twstychik View Post
I agree that the best option would be to continue to trim those nails and keep a close eye on them. If they become problamatic THEN think about a declaw for JUST those two toes.

That said I do think having just those extra toes done will be much less traumatic and problematic for the cat since they don't walk on those toes.
Exactly what I was going to say.
Until it's obvious they're becoming a problem there shouldn't be any issue with just clipping them, and if they do eventually begin to curl in and cause health issues that's when declawing should be the solution.

I am anti declaw as well and clip my kitties nails regularly. They do get thicker over time, but in the end it's not as traumatizing as having their fingers snipped off at the first joint. One cat of mine takes nail clipping as being a relaxing part of the day, he loves it!
post #8 of 13
Thread Starter 
Thanks guys! I don't see a problem with just clipping them either. But my sis can be a little... well, less than able to go the extra mile? Nothing against her, she loves her kittens like every other mom. I guess I just wanted a little backing from cat people to convince her to keep on clipping, especially from other polydactyl owners.

His claws are in between the thumb and paw. He's only 7 months old, I think, and walks bow legged, which is actually sort of adorable because he gets embarrassed after the first few steps and tries to hop instead of walking with this look that says he's just so proud of himself.

Thanks for the support
post #9 of 13
Have your sis read this thread
post #10 of 13
Unless the claw starts to grow into the surrounding pads I wouldn't worry I would simply clip the claws to a reasonable length.

He's a unique cat... don't take that away.
post #11 of 13
Clipping should keep it under control just fine! I love poly pets! idk, they're just neat! Some dog breeds actually genetically have double dew claws on their back feet! I've encountered a few and it's pretty cool
post #12 of 13
My cat Spaz has 7 toes on each front paw and 5 on the back. He is currently 5 and 1/2 years old and I have NEVER had them grow into his paw pad. If they start to look long, I just trim them.
post #13 of 13
my cat has an extra digit on his front left paw. someone told me it's good luck. my vet told me that i had to be careful with it, and clip it down every two weeks. his clinic offers declawing services, but he did not bring it up. he saw that i had softpaws on the other claws and was impressed by them. it takes about three minutes for me to clip my cat's claws. i would much rather take three minutes out of my day every two or three weeks, then spend years cleaning waste from the rug and bed b/c my declawed cat experiences pain while trying to use the litter box. there's no reason to declaw that cat. the vet had no reason to recommend it. tell her it's good luck!!!
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