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A de-claw disscussion - what would you do?

post #1 of 28
Thread Starter 
Everybody who knows me knows I am cat crazy, and also knows I am pretty passionate about animal rights.
One of the girls who I work with, who is a good friend of mine has a father who is a vet, her father also happened to have saved my cats life, nurtured her back to health over a period of 3 weeks and didn't charge me a penny.

Recently my girlfriend took in two kittens that were abandoned at her dads office. I have gone over and played with them a couple times and they are great. However recently I know they had their spay and neuter procedure. Somehow when we were talking declawing came up (unrelated to her cats) and obviously I stated my views on the subject.

After a couple minutes of awkward silence she said to me, pretty much to warn me for the next time i came over, that her cats were declawed. I almost died in my shoes. She said it wasn't a big deal, and if it hurt them at all her dad wouldn't do it. Also that her cats were scratching everything and it would never stop. I find it really hard when people have cats but don't HAVE cats like I do. She wouldn't have even thought to try a scratching post, soft claws or double sided tape or anything. This is how you 'fix' scratching to most people. ( we don't have to get into this, I know how we all feel)

I honestly didn't know what to say. How can I argue with that? Her dad obviously cares about animals, he literally nursed Kismet back to health when she was at deaths door, took her home from the clinic everynight so he could feed her througout the night. He is obviously an 'old school' vet and clearly hasn't seen enough of the consequences of declawing?! Also, he is a vet and I'm not.

I didn't argue with her at all because a) the deed had already been done and b) I can't say anything bad about her father after what he did for me.

I just don't understand how vets these days support this and are ignorant to what it does and the behavioural options available, I mean it's not like he was even making an money off the surgery or anything. It just breaks my heart that this happens and I wish it was outlawed in Canada
post #2 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by lmunsie View Post
She wouldn't have even thought to try a scratching post, soft claws or double sided tape or anything. This is how you 'fix' scratching to most people. ( we don't have to get into this, I know how we all feel)
Don't forget learning to trim their claws, which is what i do with Charlie being indoors.

Everyone is entitled to their opinion, and you weren't to know her cats were declawed. Just don't talk about it again, try to move on. I know it is to most of us here a horrible procedure. It's been done, just keep doing what you're doing.
post #3 of 28
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dragoriana View Post
Don't forget learning to trim their claws, which is what i do with Charlie being indoors.

Everyone is entitled to their opinion, and you weren't to know her cats were declawed. Just don't talk about it again, try to move on. I know it is to most of us here a horrible procedure. It's been done, just keep doing what you're doing.
thanks. Its not worth losing a friendship over. I just am so frusterated with people not trying. needed to vent to people who understand.....
post #4 of 28
That is a hard one. Too bad it seems normal for so many to declaw without a second thought. I had that option built in when my cat was spayed, I tried to educate them too on the reasons I will not let anyone to remove my cats bones on her feet
post #5 of 28
It is actually built into the LEASE at my apartment complex that if you have cats, you have to have them declawed. I am breaking it. I hate that, people assume that the only way to keep cats from damaging things is to cut their toes. It is so cruel.

My vet did mention it when I scheduled their spay & neuter, but I politely told her that I was not interested and she seemed so relieved. She admitted that she hated doing it, and thought it was cruel too.

I agree that it isn't worth losing a friendship over, but it is so sad.
post #6 of 28
I have a friend who declawed, even after I explained that it would be like a person losing their fingers at the knuckle. (I'm not 100% sure on that fact, but I said it with such conviction that it sounded like I knew what I was talking about.) I don't discuss the issue with her anymore, though I can't stand the thought of it. The resident cat at my vet's office has been declawed, too, which also saddens me. I know her story: a woman brought her in as a kitten and was going to have her put to sleep. The vet didn't have the heart to do it, so he kept her. I don't know why the vet chose to declaw, but probably so she wouldn't scratch anyone (she bites, though). Sorry for getting long but I just don't understand why people declaw. It makes me sick every time I see an ad for a lost cat that has been declawed.
post #7 of 28
My neighbor has a beautiful, black long haired cat. She told me when she first adopted him, (he was a stray) she was going to have him declawed. Then she did some research on the internet and she was appalled. I am happy to say that Shadow is a happy boy with all his claws intact.
post #8 of 28
We can only hope and pray that someday North America will catch up with the rest of the world in recognizing what a barbaric ritual declawing really is.
post #9 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yosemite View Post
We can only hope and pray that someday North America will catch up with the rest of the world in recognizing what a barbaric ritual declawing really is.
I really hope so. When our kitten adopted us we were in the process of buying a house, so I knew declawing wouldn't be required by a landlord. Plus in this area only the really high end super-expensive apartments seem to require declawing. In some of the bigger cities we've lived in, declawing was the norm in a lease.

It makes me sad that 2 of my cats were declawed by previous owners. They watch Lola climb the cat tree like a monkey, and one actually tried to do the same but because he doesn't have front claws he couldn't. It makes me sad that they are missing out on the fun.
post #10 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by zorana_dragonky View Post
My vet did mention it when I scheduled their spay & neuter, but I politely told her that I was not interested and she seemed so relieved. She admitted that she hated doing it, and thought it was cruel too.
Then she should refuse to do the procedure! I think vets grossly underestimate their influence with their clients. Just explaining the alternates and the possible risks isn't enough if in the end the vet agrees to do it. If they flatly refuse, that would be so much more effective at making people question whether they should have it done. And I don't buy the "If I don't do it some other vet will" excuse. That's a cop out.
post #11 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by littleraven7726 View Post
It makes me sad that 2 of my cats were declawed by previous owners. They watch Lola climb the cat tree like a monkey, and one actually tried to do the same but because he doesn't have front claws he couldn't. It makes me sad that they are missing out on the fun.
I've heard others say that cats can still climb tress after being declawed. Is that not true?? Are yours declawed front and back or just front?? Obviously having front claws would make it easier but maybe they can learn to use their back claws to climb up something? I'm asking because I want to know how to respond when someone who wants to declaw claims the cat will still be able to climb after.
post #12 of 28
What....You mean you guys don't like the occasional nail puncturing your face in the middle of the night.? C'mon it makes things interesting, hah! I could never do that to my kitty. It really isn't that big of an ordeal to trim their nails.
post #13 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by mschauer View Post
I've heard others say that cats can still climb tress after being declawed. Is that not true?? Are yours declawed front and back or just front?? Obviously having front claws would make it easier but maybe they can learn to use their back claws to climb up something?
This may help answer questions about climbing.

http://www.sniksnak.com/cathealth/declaw.html

Scroll down the page to the caption about climbing.

I don't think it would be possible to "learn to use their back claws to climb". There would be no way to grip with the front paws to pull up. They would fall over backward trying to use the back paws only. That makes it impossible to go up.

Hope the site helps.
post #14 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by mschauer View Post
I've heard others say that cats can still climb tress after being declawed. Is that not true?? Are yours declawed front and back or just front?? Obviously having front claws would make it easier but maybe they can learn to use their back claws to climb up something? I'm asking because I want to know how to respond when someone who wants to declaw claims the cat will still be able to climb after.
No he tried to climb a rolled area rug. Because of no front claws he fell. He can still play on the cat tree, but he can't hang by his front feet like a monkey the way Lola does. The guys are front-declawed only. My family had a rescued 4-paw declaw when I was a teenager, and that's just unbelievable cruel. The poor cat couldn't even scratch an itch (we used to help him out if he was trying to do that).

I've heard of front declawed cats being mauled trying to climb a tree to get away from something. I've never heard that they could climb trees like a normal cat though.

My DH designed our cat tree with levels, so that if anyone fell they wouldn't fall all the way to the ground and get hurt. We've seen our front-declawed cats lose their balance and fall before. If Lola loses her balance, she just grabs on with a front paw -claws out, the guys don't have that option.
post #15 of 28
I had a neigbor who had her cat declawed, She tried to keep it inside but the kids let it out. One day I watched in horror as it tried to climb a tree to get away from a dog chasing it. I tried to get to the dog but the cat fell and the dog caught it and killed it. Needless to say I get a little wound up if someone mentions declawing to me
post #16 of 28
This is a tough issue for me too, as I had to deal with it 2 summers ago.

I had a stray kitten that I was desprately trying to find a home (I'm living with folks now and 3 cats is my limit). It was either find him a home or take him to the shelter...during kitten season no less.

His only prospect was a couple that I knew loved their previous cat (who had died recently), went to our church, were great folks. BUT they told me up front that if they took him they WOULD be declawing him. I decided that I would rather him go to their home and be declawed rather than go to the shelter and end up who-knows-where. They had the declawing done with his neuter, so at least he was quite young when it happened (so to lessen the trauma). He apparently has had no ill effects from it (they say).

I was sad that they chose to do that, but I know that most people in this area think declaw first and don't ask questions later (just give the cat up if it has litter box issues or starts biting, etc.). My vet does do declaws, but she does not suggest it, unless the clients say something like "I'll take him to the pound unless we can stop the scratching by declawing him"., etc. The sad thing is that many people in this area still think of animals as disposable and would take the cat to the shelter or dump them outside if they did not get them declawed.

I think that until declawing gets more exposure as to actually what the operation IS and what effects it can have, the american public won't change their minds. Most old school vets still do the operation without comment or reccommend it, but hopefully as the newer generation comes in they will at least stop reccommending it and/or make a point to tell people exactly what is involved. It would also help if they were informed, so they could give their clients other options instead of declawing (I don't think they're required to take behavior courses, etc in school...how would they know what non-operational methods owners can use instead of declawing?).

To me, the policy on declawing seems similar to the vet's lack of knowledge (as a whole) on nutrition, etc. My vet didn't even know there were grain free dry foods I think sometimes their courses are 10 years behind on some subjects... When their instructor covers declawing they probably tell them "this is what you do if your client is going to get rid of a cat because it is scratching...better to do it young so there is less trauma, so reccommend it when they get them spayed".

Art
post #17 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by artgecko View Post
This is a tough issue for me too, as I had to deal with it 2 summers ago.

I had a stray kitten that I was desprately trying to find a home (I'm living with folks now and 3 cats is my limit). It was either find him a home or take him to the shelter...during kitten season no less.

His only prospect was a couple that I knew loved their previous cat (who had died recently), went to our church, were great folks. BUT they told me up front that if they took him they WOULD be declawing him. I decided that I would rather him go to their home and be declawed rather than go to the shelter and end up who-knows-where. They had the declawing done with his neuter, so at least he was quite young when it happened (so to lessen the trauma). He apparently has had no ill effects from it (they say).

I was sad that they chose to do that, but I know that most people in this area think declaw first and don't ask questions later (just give the cat up if it has litter box issues or starts biting, etc.). My vet does do declaws, but she does not suggest it, unless the clients say something like "I'll take him to the pound unless we can stop the scratching by declawing him"., etc. The sad thing is that many people in this area still think of animals as disposable and would take the cat to the shelter or dump them outside if they did not get them declawed.

I think that until declawing gets more exposure as to actually what the operation IS and what effects it can have, the american public won't change their minds. Most old school vets still do the operation without comment or reccommend it, but hopefully as the newer generation comes in they will at least stop reccommending it and/or make a point to tell people exactly what is involved. It would also help if they were informed, so they could give their clients other options instead of declawing (I don't think they're required to take behavior courses, etc in school...how would they know what non-operational methods owners can use instead of declawing?).

To me, the policy on declawing seems similar to the vet's lack of knowledge (as a whole) on nutrition, etc. My vet didn't even know there were grain free dry foods I think sometimes their courses are 10 years behind on some subjects... When their instructor covers declawing they probably tell them "this is what you do if your client is going to get rid of a cat because it is scratching...better to do it young so there is less trauma, so reccommend it when they get them spayed".

Art
Art, I am afraid you are right on target with this post. We can only hope that as vets get more knowledgeable they will start refusing to do de-claws to the point where it will become law that they are illegal.
post #18 of 28
I am in a situation where it's necessary, but ANY other time I would never ever ever put a cat through de-clawing. EVER.

I am beyond heartbroken to be honest. My eldest cat is 11 years old, she's the bright light of my life (aside from my stinky husband). Through these 11 years I have gladly kept up with clipping her nails, making sure they were trimmed back. This year is different, her nails are growing at an alarming rate and the quick is also growing abnormally. When we moved into our new home it had only been about 2 months since her last trimming. I took a look at her nails and they had started to grow into her pads. TWO MONTHS D: I trimmed them as best I could but because of the quick and the strange thickness of her nails that was made very difficult.

I took her into the vet today and we discussed some other health issues of hers, but I brought up her nails. He and I are similar in the thinking that de-clawing is a terrible thing to do to a cat, and he usually would never recommend it. But in her case it's a medical issue and it's causing her pain.

I cannot even tell you how ill I feel at the idea that this needs to be done and I fear what it will do to her mentally. I feel like crying.
post #19 of 28
I remember when I got Cleopatra in July, I actually asked the shelter about when it would be best to declaw a cat. (I was thinking of doing it eventually, not then).

I am very glad they talked me out of it. They told me exactly what it does, and about the behavioral problems it could create. I had no idea before that. As someone mentioned above, hopefully, the knowlede will spread, and more and more people will realize what declawing does to cats.

to CatHaus - at least you really are doing it for her sake than for your furniture's sake....
post #20 of 28
I had a cat that had a problem like that and she would not let me trim her nails. I took her in every 2-3 weeks or when needed and the vet cut them, he didn't charge me as they just took her back and did it. After a while they started growing closer to natural and it wasn't so bad when she went. Is that an option? Or sedating her and having the vet cut them back then have him keep it up? It would be heartbreaking to have to do that, for both of you.
Good Luck
post #21 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by twokatz View Post
I had a cat that had a problem like that and she would not let me trim her nails. I took her in every 2-3 weeks or when needed and the vet cut them, he didn't charge me as they just took her back and did it. After a while they started growing closer to natural and it wasn't so bad when she went. Is that an option? Or sedating her and having the vet cut them back then have him keep it up? It would be heartbreaking to have to do that, for both of you.
Good Luck

I asked him about it and he felt that it'd be best for her to de-claw but did bring up cutting the nails farther back but due to the growth rate and the way they curve it wouldn't be long before they go back to curling under again. It's the way her nails are curling under that's causing the problem, and even if they cut them far back (cutting the quick, OUCH) it will only curl in worse.
post #22 of 28
Yeah that is what Tabbies nails did. I always knew when they needed trimming cause she would walk different. One thing about it after her nails got cut she quit do daredevil stunts for awhile

Good luck
post #23 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by twokatz View Post
Yeah that is what Tabbies nails did. I always knew when they needed trimming cause she would walk different. One thing about it after her nails got cut she quit do daredevil stunts for awhile

Good luck
Hah, yeah. I imagine she will get pretty frustrated. Her jumping skills have never been the best, but recently her age is starting to creep up on her. My husband and I will be building a ramp and some kitty stairs up to our bed so she can get up and get down without breaking herself.

Surgery won't be till January, but I've been looking into other sources of pain killers (like the fentanyl patch) that give out doses for up to 4 days rather than stressing her out more with pill popping.
post #24 of 28
When I have had to use pain meds after surgery I have used a liquid called bupronex (spelling?). You only have to use a very tiny amount so it is not hard to give. I have used the Fentanyl patch on my dog when she had stomach cancer and she had to be shaved. We also had to get a lubricant spray to get the patch off, they really stick and it hurts when you have to change it.
post #25 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by twokatz View Post
When I have had to use pain meds after surgery I have used a liquid called bupronex (spelling?). You only have to use a very tiny amount so it is not hard to give. I have used the Fentanyl patch on my dog when she had stomach cancer and she had to be shaved. We also had to get a lubricant spray to get the patch off, they really stick and it hurts when you have to change it.
I thought about that, the patch sticking to the skin :/ I'll ask about the liquid pain killer and see. Thanks!
post #26 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by CatHaus View Post
I am in a situation where it's necessary, but ANY other time I would never ever ever put a cat through de-clawing. EVER.

I am beyond heartbroken to be honest. My eldest cat is 11 years old, she's the bright light of my life (aside from my stinky husband). Through these 11 years I have gladly kept up with clipping her nails, making sure they were trimmed back. This year is different, her nails are growing at an alarming rate and the quick is also growing abnormally. When we moved into our new home it had only been about 2 months since her last trimming. I took a look at her nails and they had started to grow into her pads. TWO MONTHS D: I trimmed them as best I could but because of the quick and the strange thickness of her nails that was made very difficult.

I took her into the vet today and we discussed some other health issues of hers, but I brought up her nails. He and I are similar in the thinking that de-clawing is a terrible thing to do to a cat, and he usually would never recommend it. But in her case it's a medical issue and it's causing her pain.

I cannot even tell you how ill I feel at the idea that this needs to be done and I fear what it will do to her mentally. I feel like crying.
Sweetie, you should be trimming her nails once to twice a week! Please try that first before taking such a drastic and permanent step! And perhaps a second opinion is in order?!?!?
post #27 of 28
Arrghh..

I have a friend that has 2 cats, declawed!! I told her repeatedly how bad it hurts and tried to convince her not to do it and all she can say was "well it does not hurt them, they will be fine" and "i always have my cats declawed and they have survived" and the last but NOT least phrase she uses "they will destroy me leather couch"

I just guess people will never understand!!!
post #28 of 28
My vet will do declawing but she tries to help the owner with other option first... She has one client who was going to declaw her cat (their other cats already were declawed I think) but she convinced the owner to use Soft Claws instead.
I just saw my first declawing surgery recently...
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