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De-claw what is the big deal? - Page 2

post #31 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by mschauer View Post
This simply isn't true. Some cats will bite (not "play bite") for little or no obvious reason. Some claim that cats that have been declawed are more likely to do so. I can't say I know this for a fact.
well, i have some anecdotal info on the above: i have [currently] 5 cats, & have had 3 in the past who have since gone to the Bridge. of those 8, 4 have been declawed [either by me or a previous owner]. of those 4, 2 have been/are biters. so that's 50%. of those 2, 1 was raised by me from kittenhood, & 1 was adopted as an adult - so the 2 non-biters [also raised by me from kittenhood] had the same 'upbringing' or training as 1 of the biters. i think Pixel definitely shows a difference in her walking/standing [she's a declaw] & she has a regrown claw. Medley [angel cat] was a biter & had a regrown claw that had to be removed. none of my declaws have had any major issues w/litterbox avoidance except when ill [like UTI, etc.]
my current biter has 2 types of bites. he's a 'love biter' & an 'anger/defense' biter. there's a definite difference betwen the 2.
post #32 of 57
I have 4 cats with claws and none of them scratch on anything but their scratching posts. When I got the first kitten, I went to Petsmart and bought one of those 5 ft scratching post/furniture. It is the best $150.00 investment I ever made! In fact we bought one and made one. Your kitten will love it. Mine don't want to scratch on anything else. Good luck and enjoy your new kitten.
post #33 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by newcat19 View Post
Wow tons of info!

Everyone can relax, I clearly won't be declawing my cat.
It sounds like there's some other alternatives, that are easy
and have no risk.

There's not much I can do at the moment for it. He's still alittle
new to my house and probably wouldn't let me hold his paws, or
sit still for more than 20 seconds (he's an active little guy).

I was just wondering about my options & the pro's & cons of each.

I'm a big internet guy, meaning when I have ?'s, I go to forums & find
answers. Being my 1st cat, you can expect a few more ?'s from me
in the future. This will hopefully be in the best interest of my cat.

Thank-you

I consider the people on this forum my extended family. We will be happy to welcome you to our family and answer any questions you may have
post #34 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by newcat19 View Post
Wow tons of info!

Everyone can relax, I clearly won't be declawing my cat.
It sounds like there's some other alternatives, that are easy
and have no risk.


I assume you have done research at other sites? Can you share with us what arguments the "other side" uses? What seems to you to do the most persuasive argument in support of declawing? I'd like to know in the spirit of "know your enemy".
post #35 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by newcat19 View Post
Wow tons of info!

Everyone can relax, I clearly won't be declawing my cat.
It sounds like there's some other alternatives, that are easy
and have no risk.

There's not much I can do at the moment for it. He's still alittle
new to my house and probably wouldn't let me hold his paws, or
sit still for more than 20 seconds (he's an active little guy).

I was just wondering about my options & the pro's & cons of each.

I'm a big internet guy, meaning when I have ?'s, I go to forums & find
answers. Being my 1st cat, you can expect a few more ?'s from me
in the future. This will hopefully be in the best interest of my cat.

Thank-you
Sorry, but plar got the hackles on my neck up. I appreciate everyone's right to their own opinion. But like you, I would hope that people form those opinions based on the facts, and plar was simply providing incorrect information.

As to what to actually do?

Here's how we handled it. When our first kitty was sleeping (he was a feral rescue), we'd touch a paw, push one claw out. Of course he'd wake up right away, but we kept at it (good thing cats sleep so frequently!). We got to the point where he didn't freak about our touching his paws. Then we got the clippers ready. We'd get ONE CLAW before he'd wake up. (And we had treats waiting). So we'd do it one claw at a time - and though we made several attempts, really we basically got one claw a day. So we just did it that way. We clipped one claw every day and just kept rotating. Of course it got to the point where we could do two or three. For us, it was actually about a year before we could just put him on our lap and clip them all. But the other kitties took only a few months.

Also, another really handy tip is knowing that cats love to stretch and scratch when they wake up - so placing scratchers next to where they sleep REALLY helps. And if you want to invest in cat condos or trees that have some sisal on them, they are fabulous. !!! They attract our cats like magnets.

And feel free to ask away! That's what we're here for!

Laurie
post #36 of 57
I am glad you wont be declawing ... I spent almost 19 yrs with a cat who was front declawed ( lost the argument at age 11 to my mom) ... the cat had great litter habits but she bite and drew blood on a regular basis
post #37 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by mschauer View Post
I think this is likely true. Why would the cat feel pain during a declaw and not during other sugeries? If the anesthesia is administered properly the cat shouldn't feel anything during the procedure.
It isn't. There are many factors that play in to the equation, most importantly whether or not the subject has been properly sedated, however; the brain still processes and experiences trauma and pain, both physical and psychological, while under anesthesia.
post #38 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by newcat19 View Post
Wow tons of info!

Everyone can relax, I clearly won't be declawing my cat.
It sounds like there's some other alternatives, that are easy
and have no risk.

There's not much I can do at the moment for it. He's still alittle
new to my house and probably wouldn't let me hold his paws, or
sit still for more than 20 seconds (he's an active little guy).

I was just wondering about my options & the pro's & cons of each.

I'm a big internet guy, meaning when I have ?'s, I go to forums & find
answers. Being my 1st cat, you can expect a few more ?'s from me
in the future. This will hopefully be in the best interest of my cat.

Thank-you
YAAAAAAYYYY!!!!!!!!

God Bless You Newcat, God Bless You! Your kitty is very fortunate to have you as his cat daddy

So what did you name him, what are you feeding him, and what are you using for litter??? Curious cat minds want to know!
post #39 of 57
I am glad you have seen there are better alternatives to declawing and are willing to put in the time and energy to researching those and putting them into practice. Thats great! Cheers!

I am sure your cat thanks you.

I know he just wants to run around but he has to learn he is not the boss all the time and you WILL BE clipping those nails! Take small steps. When he is napping see if you can do even just ONE nail. Touch his feet while he naps too. Get him used to the fact that you have the privilege of touching him wherever you darn well please. Everyday hold him and touch him, on his feet, bumm (i know, but it will come in handy later), ears, eyes, nose. Be gentle but firm. He'll get it in time.
post #40 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by newcat19 View Post
OK, let me just say I've had my new kitten for about 8 days.
I've never owned a cat before.

This was a wild cat, and his claws are razor's at the moment.
His paws get stuck in my shirt when he's on my lap.

I've read some posts on here where people feel passionately against
de-clawing cats. In the wild, cats would need sharp claws to catch prey,
and climb trees to escape predators. In my house he has no use for them.

I'm not sure of the procedure for de-clawing or getting a cat spayed or
neutered. But why is de-clawing so terrible and a sex operation is not?
Is de-clawing extremely painful for the cats, while get a cat spayed is not?

Is there anything I can do to help him dull his claws a bit? He has a scratch
post which he uses, but he still scratches everything else.

Let me say I haven't done anything to my kitten yet & will only do so when
I'm informed properly about his & my best interest.

Thanks for any advice
It IS a big deal!
How would you like YOUR nails taken out??
Clip the nails instead!
post #41 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by Judi View Post
It IS a big deal!
How would you like YOUR nails taken out??
Clip the nails instead!
Judi, the nails aren't taken out. If you read LDG's post above it will give you more information as well.
post #42 of 57
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mschauer View Post


I assume you have done research at other sites? Can you share with us what arguments the "other side" uses? What seems to you to do the most persuasive argument in support of declawing? I'd like to know in the spirit of "know your enemy".
I never did research elsewhere. I just read all the posts in this thread.
My dad recently had shoulder sugery, & he's having a painful recovery. But
it occured to me that my dad injured his shoulder & was already having alot
of pain, so the surgery was done to alleviate the pain. Although a recovery
process is often painful and can be somewhat lengthy.

So if surgery is such a painful process, why subject any animal to it unless
its absolutely necessary. My cat's paws are fine at the moment. So why risk
getting a surgery, if it ain't broke don't fix it.
post #43 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yosemite View Post
Judi, the nails aren't taken out. If you read LDG's post above it will give you more information as well.
Actually, I forgot to include the part that the declaw procedure doesn't just "remove" the nails:

Quote:
Declawing, which is rightly described as “de-toeing†when the same procedure is done to chickens, is the amputation of each front toe at the first joint (hind foot declaws are not commonly done but would be equivalent). This is necessary because, unlike a fingernail, the claw actually grows from the first toe bone. The procedure is so excruciatingly painful that it was once used as a technique of torture, and even today is the primary test of the effectiveness of pain medications. Recovery takes a few weeks, but even after the surgical wounds have healed, there are other long-term physical and psychological effects.
You can link to the site this is quoted from for more info.

The problem is that cats walk on their toes - their "ankle" is about 1/3 the way up their leg! So "declawing," which is a misnomer, forces the cat to walk on partially amputated toes. This is why it is particularly horrific.

Laurie
post #44 of 57
I can speak from expeirence...please don't de-claw!

When I was a child (some 20 and a bit years ago now) we got our first cat and not knowing any better we had her front paws de-clawed. What a horrible mistake! She developed a terrible infection post surgery in 2 of her toes which had to be amputated and the recovery process was slow and painful. Yes it did curve her ability to scratch us but she quickly learned that her teeth did just as good of a job My mother remains to this day angry that she didn't get the proper information before deciding to have the surgery done.

You've come to the right place to get the information you need
post #45 of 57
I was glad to see your response that you are educating yourself about the pro's and con's of declawing. I think that being open minded about the education you get from us and other sites is important. Growing up I had always had declawed cats. When I moved out at 25 I took our family cat with me. She was 4 paw declawed because when I was young it seemed that almost everyone with indoor cats declawed them. When I began working with a shelter and spending time on this site I realized that is not the case. I now have 4 cats and all of them have all their claws. I can no longer imagine having a cat without claws. I guess now I know the truth and I know that it is not necessary to have a declawed cat. So again good for you for doing your research.
post #46 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by newcat19 View Post
OK, let me just say I've had my new kitten for about 8 days.
I've never owned a cat before.

This was a wild cat, and his claws are razor's at the moment.
His paws get stuck in my shirt when he's on my lap.

I've read some posts on here where people feel passionately against
de-clawing cats. In the wild, cats would need sharp claws to catch prey,
and climb trees to escape predators. In my house he has no use for them.

Is there anything I can do to help him dull his claws a bit? He has a scratch
post which he uses, but he still scratches everything else.
Glad you asked, you must really care about your cat to be researching and asking a question on a cat site. He does still use have use for his claws, even if he isn't hunting, they use them in other ways that are healthy and important for a cat. And you can clip them or put soft paws claw covers on him if you don't like them sharp. Also you can redirect his clawing to approved posts, buy a huge cat tree, he will like that. And some like the paper ones to claw on too.
Declawing actually cuts a bone. It is very painful. And confusing for the cat.
Say your cat should escape, that takes away all his defenses, making him defenseless against real threats.

I think I missed it, but what is the name of your kitty?
post #47 of 57
Like some of you who already posted, I have seen countless people who come to the adoption events I work at, rueing the day they decided to declaw.

They have their declawed cat with them in the carrier. They show us their cat's paws permanently ruined from a botched procedure. They are crying and sobbing and asking what to do now. Their cats cannot use a litter box without severe pain. Their cats cannot walk. Their cats are in constant pain. Or they are now timid and "different".

Many of these people beg us to take the cat, offer money. They say it is beyond their ability to help the cat. And also what they are not saying- THAT THEY NO LONGER WANT TO TAKE RESPONSIBILITY FOR WHAT THEY PERSONALLY DID TO A PERFECTLY HEALTHY ANIMAL.

I say to anyone who is thinking of declawing- Can you live with the possibility of a botched procedure, a personality change, a behavior change, a crippled cat? Can you look at your cat limping, in pain, timid, every day, knowing that you are responsible? Can you clean pee from everywhere but the litterbox every day?

One of my permanent kitties is a foster girl who was returned by someone who did a declaw, and then could not live with the fact that her declawed kitty immediately became a pee cat. So she is mine.

I love her so much, but I also wonder what she would have been like if someone had not wanted to protect their furniture at her expense.
post #48 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by mschauer View Post
*My* reasons for being opposed to declawing have nothing to do with the possibility of an adverse outcome. My family has always had cats and I distinctly remember when I was a child hearing my mother say that she was opposed to declawing because cats just have too much fun with their claws. I now realize that that would have been about the time that declawing was introduced in the US. And, being the obedient child I was, I carried that attitude with me into adulthood and have never considered for an instant declawing any of my cats. As a result I have a lifetime (I'm 50 now) of observing cats and I can tell you I totally agree with my mother. Cats just have too dang much fun with their claws. That is reason enough for me to be opposed to it. My cats have done some damage to my property (and to me) over the years but I just consider that part of living with a cat. If I couldn't put up with it, rather than surgically altering the cat to fit my needs, I just wouldn't have cats.
I agree with you. I'm not dismissing the potential problems a cat can have following a declaw, but even if it could be proved that no declawed cat ever had physical or behavioural problems as a consequence of the procedure, I would still oppose it. Cats scratch. It's what they do. They didn't ask to be domesticated. We have chosen to invite them into our homes. I don't feel it's right to curb an essential behaviour such as scratching. Like you say, they have so much fun with their claws Whatever we do to and for our cats (eg keeping indoors, neutering), there should always be some benefit to the cat.

I'm so glad that I live in a country where this is not up for discussion. It just isn't allowed.
post #49 of 57
When I was a child, we had our family cat declawed. She was never the same. Walked slow like an old lady, would often hold her paw in the air while sitting...she just looked in pain and we all felt really bad for causing it for her, to the point that the 5 or so cats we've had after her have remained with their claws. Just get a clipper, trim them often, get a scratching post and discipline kitten when he/she starts clawing furniture. Never had a problem.
post #50 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by Simkie View Post
Of COURSE the body can feel pain while under general anesthesia! Go ask an anesthestologist about how the blood pressure and heart rate reacts during surgery. It is quite apparent when the person (or cat) is in pain. It's even important to TREAT surgical pain during surgery, to avoid complications from the increased heart rate and raised blood pressure.
I second this, I'm not a doc but I'm a nurse where sometimes we have to do emergency surgeries on the unit. BP/HR definitely go up if we don't have adequate pain control during the surgery, which is otherwise hard to gauge because the patient is kept paralyzed so they won't move!
post #51 of 57
I, too, am appalled by poster Plar's comments and can only think they must be due to ignorance rather than callousness or worse. Thanks to the many other posters for setting the record straight. Cats are sentient (feeling) beings with central nervous systems; they are if anything more sensitive than humans to pain, and declawing most definitely is disfigurement and cruelty and should be illegal, period.

As to the issue to sterility, yes, many humans, being aware of the fact that we as a species have overpopulated this planet and polluted it and killed off other species to the point that we are all on the very real brink of annihilation, have opted for sterilization. I am one.
post #52 of 57
I've made my views on declawing very clear on this website. I didn't even know such a procedure existed until I joined here. I don't know if it's illegal in the UK but I do know that it isn't done at the veterinary practice I use. It is a monstrous procedure and those who are not convinced should ask themselves how well they'd respond to having their own fingernails pulled.

As to clipping, I'm not convinced about this either. My vet won't clip except in the rare case of it being a health issue for the cat. I once asked him if Thingy's claws were getting too long for her comfort and he said simply that she was a cat that spent a substantial part of her day outdoors and she needed her claws. Their length would be controlled by use. If someone has a cat that never goes out and the claws are very long, then there may be a case for human intervention but not otherwise.

I've seen these "soft paw" things advertised and I really don't see how they would work. Thingy cleans her paws and claws regularly, even rasping at her claws with her teeth. For that she needs bare claws.

I guess I'm lucky because she doesn't go in for clawing the furniture much at all. When I took her on, she was a very nervous and sick cat but over three years she has become extremely relaxed with her body up to "fighting weight" and her medical condition under control. She has become much more trusting of and affectionate towards humans and her odd moments of petulance are controllable with suitable rebukes, which she takes in her stride. I put her well-being and balanced behaviour down to my respecting her as an animal, giving her space and refusing to sentimentalise or anthropomorphise her in any way (I do hold one-sided conversations with her but I do that with the furniture as well - it doesn't mean I'm daft enough to think she actually understands me).
post #53 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by megra View Post
I've made my views on declawing very clear on this website. I didn't even know such a procedure existed until I joined here. I don't know if it's illegal in the UK but I do know that it isn't done at the veterinary practice I use. It is a monstrous procedure and those who are not convinced should ask themselves how well they'd respond to having their own fingernails pulled.

As to clipping, I'm not convinced about this either. My vet won't clip except in the rare case of it being a health issue for the cat. I once asked him if Thingy's claws were getting too long for her comfort and he said simply that she was a cat that spent a substantial part of her day outdoors and she needed her claws. Their length would be controlled by use. If someone has a cat that never goes out and the claws are very long, then there may be a case for human intervention but not otherwise.

I've seen these "soft paw" things advertised and I really don't see how they would work. Thingy cleans her paws and claws regularly, even rasping at her claws with her teeth. For that she needs bare claws.

I guess I'm lucky because she doesn't go in for clawing the furniture much at all. When I took her on, she was a very nervous and sick cat but over three years she has become extremely relaxed with her body up to "fighting weight" and her medical condition under control. She has become much more trusting of and affectionate towards humans and her odd moments of petulance are controllable with suitable rebukes, which she takes in her stride. I put her well-being and balanced behaviour down to my respecting her as an animal, giving her space and refusing to sentimentalise or anthropomorphise her in any way (I do hold one-sided conversations with her but I do that with the furniture as well - it doesn't mean I'm daft enough to think she actually understands me).

I believe declawing is outlawed in England (you folks are smarter than we are in NA). By the way, they don't "pull out" the claws - they cut off the whole first section of the toe much like cutting off each of our fingers to the first joint.

Here in NA we tend to keep our cats as indoor only so clipping their nails is usually necessary. Bijou and Mika get their nails clipped about every 10 days. They are so accustomed to it that it's no big deal. In fact I don't even have to hold Bijou to do it, just lift his paw and clip. Mika, well, that's another story - she definitely needs to be firmly held but she gets a treat immediately after and she's a pushover for treats.

Many folks here have used the soft paws and they work fine for them. I personally do not like them and wouldn't use them but that really is just my personal feeling. Others here that use them love them. They are also good if you have someone in your home whose health could be compromised by a cat scratch.

As for understanding you, I think you might be surprised at how much they do understand.
post #54 of 57
I trim Kit's claws because if I don't they get long and she sticks to the carpet. She sounds like Velcro and I know it's time for a trim.

I've used the Soft Paws but stopped when one wouldn't release from Friday's claw and started to grow into his pad. The vet had to remove it and told me that frequently happened with them. I'm lucky too as we don't often have cause to complain about scratching.
post #55 of 57
My sister's cat was declawed 2 years ago, at the same time that he was neutered. She was lead to believe that the two procedures went together by a "you want fries with that?" vet. When she booked the apt. for his neuter she was asked "You want a declaw with that?" Being ill informed, and trusting her vet, Binou was declawed. Why? Because she thought that he HAD to be. That being said, thank you for taking the time to research, and making an informed decision, regardless of what that decision is. Congrats on your new kitten btw!
post #56 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by megra View Post
I don't know if it's illegal in the UK
It is. It wasn't actually illegal until recently (just not done) but it was made illegal in the 2006 animal welfare act - it comes under the category of "mutilation".

Quote:
Originally Posted by megra View Post
As to clipping, I'm not convinced about this either. My vet won't clip except in the rare case of it being a health issue for the cat. I once asked him if Thingy's claws were getting too long for her comfort and he said simply that she was a cat that spent a substantial part of her day outdoors and she needed her claws. Their length would be controlled by use. If someone has a cat that never goes out and the claws are very long, then there may be a case for human intervention but not otherwise.
I don't agree with you about clipping. Clipping doesn't impair a cat's ability to scratch or be a cat in any way, and is essential for indoor cats. When they get long and sharp, I find they get caught on soft furnishings (eg sofa throw) and that can be distressing for the cat when they can't free it easily. I trim the claws regularly, but I only trim off the tips. It's completely painless and they have plenty of claw left!
post #57 of 57
I agree that it's good of you to have asked - but there's another concern. You said, you've never had a cat before, have no experience with cats or kittens - but you took in a feral kitten. I just hope you are prepared. It's wonderful (in theory) to adopt a feral animal - but had you started with a kitten that was socialized, raised around people - you'd have had a head-start. With a feral cat there may be many more issues that arise. I wish you the best of luck - but also hope you aren't too frustrated if the cat doesn't settle quickly.

We placed a brilliant kitten (a really special guy) with an older couple - who for a year kept calling and asking what they should do about his biting - kitten loved the guy's toes. I finally realized the only thing for the man to do was to wear shoes.

Kittens do what kittens do.
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