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helping my declawed outdoor cat..

post #1 of 24
Thread Starter 
Hello,

I am currently the human of a 3 year old declawed cat. He showed up in my home at just over a year (despite 2 dogs) and since no one claimed him decided to stay. Somehow he can still catch birds and mice with no claws, but he's far from feral. Recently we moved to a new place. Very similar in the amount of green space around but more cats. And the dogs stayed behind, not something he seems to mind.

Since moving he has had to stake new territory, and has been having run ins with some of the locals. I have been secretly watching him from the window socializing and making friends, but there is this one black persian who he keeps on getting into it with. The persian has claws and my cat now has a nasty gash across his nose. I know he can hold his own but is there anything I can do to help? I'm not going to force him to become an indoor cat (much to by girlfriends dismay) but am growing concerned that he's an easy target. I wish there was some way to reverse the amputation. Has anyone had any luck with prosthetics? Maybe something diamond tipped made out of reinforced titanium?

Thanks.
post #2 of 24
The best thing would be to keep your declawed kitty indoors... the next thing would be build a enclosure so kitty can go out and get sun and air but no predators can reach him.. have you taken him to the vet for the gash??
post #3 of 24
Hmm, I don't think there's a huge market for diamond tipped prosthetic claws, but not a bad idea Hopefully over time, all the cats will get along better. If you can't make him become an indoor cat, maybe just let him out when there's someone around to watch him in case something happens. It's awful to declaw cats, even more so a baby kitten. Maybe adopt a best friend for him, and the new cat with claws can defend him. Better just keep him in most of the time.
post #4 of 24
He will not be able to defend himself all of the time and in fact could get hurt. Very hurt. A cat enclosure is the best idea if you are opposed to keeping him indoors. Cats can die from cat fights. From infected wounds or getting infected by a sick cat.
Indoors is the safest thing but an enclosure is the next thing you can do.
post #5 of 24
Having no #1 defense mechanism your boy will always get the bad end in a fight. But it is admirable he retains that pride I love in cats. Protect him from useless injuries by building an enclosure for his enjoyment of the outdoors.
post #6 of 24
I would also like to suggest building an enclosure to keep him safe. Here are all the reasons why, in one terrific article:

http://www.littlebigcat.com/index.ph...oorsoroutdoors
post #7 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by sharky View Post
The best thing would be to keep your declawed kitty indoors... the next thing would be build a enclosure so kitty can go out and get sun and air but no predators can reach him.. have you taken him to the vet for the gash??
What confuses me is that you seem more willing to subject your can to more surgery before you'd make him indoor only.
post #8 of 24
You can get pre-built cat enclosures if you don't want to build it yourself. I think some have bought enclosed dog runs to use for a cat enclosure. Many options on the internet. There are enclosures made for apartments as well.

Our vet (not sure what other vets suggest) recommends declawed cats never be let outside because of the dangers already mentioned that cannot be avoided. I hope you find a solution to keep him safe. Good luck.
post #9 of 24
Being outdoors is very dangerous for a declawed cat, they can't climb a tree or defend themselves. Even a cat with claws will end up beat up eventually by other animals roaming outside.

Can you train him to go out on a harness and leash? I used to do that, and my cats enjoyed that. At the time we had the smallest apartment we've ever had but a nice backyard. I still prefer Lupine harnesses.
http://www.lupinepet.com/cat/cats.php
You can use a dog tie-out, which allows them to roam the yard a little more while still being secure. Just make sure you are supervising the whole time (in case of roaming dogs/cats or other animals). My mother in law's previous cat went outside on his harness and leash daily for 18 yrs. If we didn't have so many dogs roaming off leash and raccoons around here, I would think about doing that again for my own cats since we have a yard.
post #10 of 24
Since he's been an outdoor cat, has he went to the vet recently? Because he has been getting into fights you need to make sure he's up to date on all of his shots. And if he's due, it's a perfect time to take him and let the vet clean his nose up too. Also have him checked for fleas and ear mites.

It's not that hard to make him indoor only. Sure, he'll complain at first but you can ply him with treats, wet food, toys, and cozy sleeping spots. If he enjoys socializing, consider adopting another cat (if you can afford another one), but you need to be certain he's healthy first.


Skimble mentioned dog runs - and some have used those, as you can make the enclosure as large as you want just by adding more panels.
post #11 of 24
It's normal for there to be fights (and some scratches, particularly on the nose) when a new cat enters a territory and they're trying to work out dominance. In my experience it can take about a year until they're all at peace with each other.

While it's not the best idea for a declawed cat to be out there, I think cats often have more capacity than they're given credit for. Some cats (even clawed ones) prefer to use their teeth as a weapon. It sounds like your cat is all right and they're getting along reasonably well.

I'd just keep a close eye on things to see how it goes. And like others said, take him to the vet for tests and shots. I'd also have him spend the nights indoors, and only go out during the day.
post #12 of 24
You should definitely have him checked by the vet. Being in fights with stray cats outside puts him at very high risk for Felv and FIV. He should be vaccinated if he is going to continue being outdoors, but even the vaccine is not foolproof. He really should be kept inside for his own protection.
post #13 of 24
My Aunt was stupid and declawed her Cat. She was outside sometimes and she fell. She had nothing to grab on to and ended up hurt very bad. She had a hole in her side and needed surgery. Out Door Cats need all their Shots too. There are so many things they can get from being outside. I do not believe in letting them out.
post #14 of 24
Please bring him indoors. I volunteer with the local humane society....the sheer number of severly maimed declawed cats people let outdoors could break your heart. Even moreso because many are euthanized because their injuries are so severe.

If you won't bring him indoors, take him to the local no-kill shelter where they can find him an indoor home.
post #15 of 24
I don't agree that bringing him to a shelter is a good option. This is an adult cat who, if not feral, has been an outdoor cat for some time, and now has found someone to care for him and give him a home. He's far happier and better off with the owner than trapped in a cage, waiting for an owner who may never come.
post #16 of 24
There is no reversal of declawing! And for your cat's safety you really should keep him inside. But since you insist you don't want to do that, then you have two other choices:

1. Train him to a leash/harness and sit outside with him under supervision.

2. Build/buy a cat enclosure where he can sit outside but be protected from other animals.

You are risking further injuries or death cause he cannot really defend himself very well.

My first cat, Mitten, was declawed and he did catch birds/rabbits/squirrels without claws (I don't know how), but he stayed in the backyard and didn't go far. He was pretty much supervised when outside.
post #17 of 24
emmylou, he'd still be declawed & without his primary means of defense when he is being attacked by other cats & injured. IMO, a shelter stuck in a cage is better than continually being attacked without being able to defend oneself.
post #18 of 24
As the owner describes him, this cat isn't defenseless. He's catching birds and mice, and all he's received in fights with other cat is one scratch. My cat is a biter and almost never uses his claws... so it's not accurate to characterize this cat as having no defenses. Many cats can and do protect themselves with their teeth and back claws, in addition to posturing, hissing and growling.

I don't think stuck in a cage is a fate better than freedom, from the perspective of any cat. It sounds like this cat is quite happy now, and has someone who cares for him and is watching to make sure that he's doing all right.
post #19 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by emmylou View Post
As the owner describes him, this cat isn't defenseless. He's catching birds and mice, and all he's received in fights with other cat is one scratch. My cat is a biter and almost never uses his claws... so it's not accurate to characterize this cat as having no defenses. Many cats can and do protect themselves with their teeth and back claws, in addition to posturing, hissing and growling.
Except if it's a dog or some other large creature or unfriendly human, kitty can't climb a tree. Teeth and back claws are no defense against a dog, or even a very large cat (the 15-20 pounders). Cases of declawed cats attacked by dogs are pretty gruesome and don't end well for the kitty. I've also seen what wild animals, like raccoons, can do to a declawed cat. It's not pretty.

Quote:
I don't think stuck in a cage is a fate better than freedom, from the perspective of any cat. It sounds like this cat is quite happy now, and has someone who cares for him and is watching to make sure that he's doing all right.
I don't think kitty likes being attacked and injured by cats/other animals and wildlife either. Neither of those 2 options (one being in a shelter cage, the other being roaming unsupervised) are very good.

Also, in many towns/cities/counties there are leash laws for cats. The OP may want to check into that for their area. Where I live there is a leash law and mandatory licensing of cats.
post #20 of 24
Thread Starter 
Thanks for all the responses!

Our local pound is packed full of homeless cats. Most of them are kept 3 days unclaimed before they are put down. I can see your concern for my "kitty" but the idea of him being euthinised cause I refuse to trap him indoors is almost insulting. "Kitty" is not a word often used to describe him. "furry terror with a bad attitude" might be more apt. This is not a declwared kitty who snuck out and is new to all the dangers of outdoors, this is a cat who was living outdoors and decided to move in. The only dog in the area is about the size of a rat - my money is on the cat. Most of the dangers being mentioned are dangers that a clawed cat will face too. The main advantage they have is a quick swipe attack and an easier time climbing. I'd consider him very "steet smart" or whatever the cat equivalent is. He also dosn't usually go very far so if there is a fight I'm outside in a zip, Usually greeted with the look reserved for when I walk in on him taking a poo. Sort of a "what are you doing here? plz close the door on ur way out".

I take him to the vet regularly and he is up to date on shots. The nasty gash may have been a bit exaggerated. I treated it with polysporin and love. If I had a patient come to my office with a similar cut they'd likely get a lecture on hypochondria and how it taxes the healthcare system.. anyway..

An enclosure is unfortunately out of the question but I will look into the harness. We often walk together outside (he used to follow on dog walks) so I don't think it'd be too bad for him.

Most of the documentation I've been reading says that cats go through this sort of thing when in a new area. Hopefully he and the persian will grow to tolerate each other over time, but until then I'm going to be very careful to monitor him if I do let him out.

Thanks again for all the input - I'll update if anything interesting happens.
post #21 of 24
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by twstychik View Post
What confuses me is that you seem more willing to subject your can to more surgery before you'd make him indoor only.
WHAT!? When did I subject him to surgery?? and when did I say anything about MORE? Most prosthetic devices these days attach to the missing limb..

What confuses me is how people can post on threads they didn't read and can pass judgment on people they don't even know.

Declawing is a horrible thing. Its mutilation. If I had every finger amputated at the 3rd joint (human equivalent) I'd loose my lively hood and would be having a hell of a time composing this response. I have seen prosthetics work wonders in humans and other animals.
post #22 of 24
Yes, if a cat is attacked by a dog, I don't think having four clawed paws or two makes much difference. Of course that's assuming packs of wild dogs are roaming this neighborhood.

I wonder whether my cat could even climb a tree. I've never seen him try, and I wouldn't lay bets on it. Different animals have different capacities.
post #23 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Drew345 View Post
WHAT!? When did I subject him to surgery?? and when did I say anything about MORE? Most prosthetic devices these days attach to the missing limb..

What confuses me is how people can post on threads they didn't read and can pass judgment on people they don't even know.

Declawing is a horrible thing. Its mutilation. If I had every finger amputated at the 3rd joint (human equivalent) I'd loose my lively hood and would be having a hell of a time composing this response. I have seen prosthetics work wonders in humans and other animals.
I never said the YOU subjected him to the declaw.

I did read the post and in case your unsure, the general idea of a message board is to get and give ones opinion... and yes, typically these people are strangers. I was not passing judgment and I'm sorry if you took it that way.

Apparently I wasn't thinking clearly when I read prosthetic or was confused because I didn't see how such a small prosthetic could exist or work. A cat's claws are such a delicate and small part and anything attached to the paw to replicate them would likely be awkward and cumbersome.

With that... I'm out... and I sincerely hope that things calm down in the kitty neighborhood.
post #24 of 24
You have to understand that many of us deal with people who mutilate cats regularly then dump them in shelters. Go search the forums for my username & "Bea".....the ultimate horror story on declawing.

I can't tell you how many cats that are declawed that have come in as strays, because they are unable to defend themselves, severly injured or deathly skinny. It sucks to sit there as they die, the look of terror in their eyes, & you can't explain or understand why their owner tossed them outside. (I'm assuming that's how you got this kitty, someone got tired of him & "tossed him aside". )
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