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Clawed and de-clawed cats in the home

post #1 of 23
Thread Starter 
Greetings. First off, I'll be straight with you. I de-clawed. Twice. Rossi was the first in my home, already de-clawed, and I was informed by others that I should have any other cats in the home de-clawed, to maintain a 'balance of power'. I had Bayliss and Sasha de-clawed. Prissi arrived in my life already a four-paw de-claw.

I want to be able to say that if I had it to do all over again, I wouldn't; but the fact is, I don't know how much credibility to pay this 'balance of power' theory, that the cats with the claws will rule the roost and dominate/potentially injure those that don't.

Can someone help with some evidence that mixing clawed and de-clawed is a safe and smart move? Thanks!
post #2 of 23
I don't buy that theory...I mean if the cats fight and don't get along then it's a problem but if they get along then there is no need to de-claw the others to maintain a balance of power....My boyfriend had one cat that was declawed 15 years ago and then a 4 year old cat with claws and it was fine...They didn't fight. The cats who are declawed do not realize it and they still act as if they have claws...So it's a disadvantage to them but it's not a psychological one. If they get in a fight they will not be as successful but they don't realize why that is.
post #3 of 23
Both of my cats are declawed. All of our cats growing up were always declawed and I never knew better. When I got Spooky in 2007 I was still living with my parents and they wanted him declawed too. Knowing more about the procedure by then I resisted but when he (accidentally!) clawed me into 12 stitches and a major infection they decided it was declaw or he had to go so I had it done when he was neutered. A few months later when I got Mulder as a buddy for Spooky I was no longer living with my parents but my vet also recommended Mulder be declawed because Spooky already was and they would be living together. I don't think either of them realizes they don't have claws - they still try to use them and even try to 'scratch' on their scratching post.

My concern mixing clawed and declawed cats would be from an injury standpoint and not a dominance one. I have not had experience with a clawed cat being more dominant than a declawed cat. Even though all of our cats growing up were always declawed, new arrivals were usually with us for a couple months before their neuter/declaw surgeries were done. I think dominance is more about the cat than whether or not they had their claws. My declawed cats have never acted any different in playing or fighting than the clawed ones I’ve known. I have seen some minor injuries to the declawed cats from playing with clawed ones (scratches mainly around the nose/face) but I don’t know if those sort of things are common in homes with all clawed cats or if they were only experienced because the declawed cat having lived around other declawed cats didn’t know how to react to one with claws?
post #4 of 23
I don't buy the balance of power theory at all.

My two older girls, Katie (15) and Gracie (9), were front declawed when they were young because of my own ignorance. My two younger cats, Peter and Claire (4-year-old litter mates) are not declawed (I'll never have another cat declawed; there's absolutely no reason to). My cats get along pretty well, but there are pretty regular, brief skirmishes. The fact that two have claws and two don't has never been an issue. Katie and Gracie definitely have the power in the house. If the younger two start getting on their nerves, they don't hesitate to let them know with a hiss or a swat. Pete and Claire are then pretty quick to back down, and I've never seen them use their claws against the older two.
post #5 of 23
I too didn't know much about declawing when I adopted Dharma, who came front-declawed (adult adoptee). When I wanted a second, the shelter did say I might look at the declawed cats, just in case there were issues during integration - I didn't want tiny little Dharma getting scratched up by anyone.

I ended up with Dante, also an adult, and all four declawed. I've got to say that while Dharma did chase him around a lot at the beginning, I never saw any scratching going on with her rear claws, nor did anyone bite anyone else to my knowledge. Now they co-exist pretty darn well, and take turns chasing each other. I really don't know if I'd go out of my way to bring in a clawed cat when the resident is declawed, especially if there were declawed adoptees around.
post #6 of 23
Personally I don't buy into that theory either. All of mine have their claws and I don't ever see them using their front claws on each other. Biting and the back claws is another story though

De-clawing has for the most part always been and always will be something that is done for the owner, not the cat. I know there are some instances where for health reasons it's done for the cat but for "hierarchy" issues, that seems like stretching it.
post #7 of 23
Let me tell you this - my Twitch has no front claws, no teeth, and is deaf as a stone. She rules the house with an iron (clawless) paw! She launches an attack - everyone else ducks. All my other cats are fully clawed. There haven't been any more injuries to Twitch because the other cats have claws - it all works out.
post #8 of 23
I have never got any of my cats declawed. However, I did adopt a cat from the shelter who is declawed in the front. I don't think my cats with the claws have a clue that she is declawed.
post #9 of 23
I've known people that adopted declawed cats and have clawed ones in the same house. If you keep the nails trimmed and do normal slow introductions, you should be fine.

Most cats really don't fight with claws out and if they are defensive, they use their back claws more.
post #10 of 23
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by GoldenKitty45 View Post
Most cats really don't fight with claws out and if they are defensive, they use their back claws more.
Watching this sort of thing is what's really made me question the "need" for de-clawing to maintain harmony. I've seen my Bayliss antagonize Rossi to the point of Rossi putting him in a headlock and doing the "disemboweling" thing to the point where, if he wanted to, he could have taken Bayliss' head off. But he doesn't. Even in an irritated state, he doesn't seem to want to deploy them.
post #11 of 23
Shasta was an only cat for 14 years, had all her claws. Then a colleague was looking to rehome her two declawed 6-year-old guys. I assumed that it would be a no-go and lamented that over the dinner table one night. My husband suggested that we could give it a try, on the condition that J would be responsible for rehoming the boys if it didn't work out. So we did.

Shasta was pretty PO'd with me for a while, but there was never, ever a claw/declaw incident in the 7 years they shared the house. Nibs tried hard to play with her -- he'd chase her, and all that happened when she wasn't interested was she'd slam on the brakes and swear at him. Then he'd wander off with an "Oh, well..." And Shasta would never admit it publicly, but they did groom each other -- I caught them in the act occasionally, to her embarrassment .

So, no, I don't buy into that balance of power thing, either.
post #12 of 23
I have 11 cats. 3 declawed and 9 clawed. I have no issues with my cats fighting with their claws. Yes, we do have skirmishes in the house.

I will tell you that 2 of my declaws are serious biters and for the most part no one messes with the biters. Trouble would soon as bite one of the other cats then look at them. So everyone normally gives her a wide circle anyway. Simon has always played using teeth and he will fight with his teeth as well. This behavior is a result of my ignorance in getting them de-clawed.

Max is my Grandpa, he rules with a soft glove. Everyone listens to him, his word is the law. He is front de-clawed and has raised all 9 clawed cats that came into this house. Every once in a blue moon someone will try to take him on and they never come out on top. No one is hurt and he always ends up giving them a bath as he holds them down.

I see no problems with have de-clawed and clawed together as long as everyone gets along. We do keep our clawed kitties nails clipped.
post #13 of 23
All of my cats have their claws except for Bastet.. she was already declawed when she got here.

I dont see any issues with it.. I know plenty of other people who have aquired a cat that was already declawed and it did just fine being mixed in a household with cats who had their claws.
post #14 of 23
My Zane is more than capable of defending himself from other cats with his teeth and rear claws. When Father had him in a semirural area, he was an indoor-outdoor cat and took no nonsense from other cats in the neighborhood.
post #15 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Keycube View Post
Can someone help with some evidence that mixing clawed and de-clawed is a safe and smart move? Thanks!
well, i have anecdotal evidence.
my household has 2 declawed [1 by me, 1 came that way] & 3 clawed cats. the only one i've ever seen a scratch on is one of the clawed ones.

while the top cat is a clawed one, i think that's purrsonality, not claws.
post #16 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by GoldenKitty45 View Post
Most cats really don't fight with claws out and if they are defensive, they use their back claws more.
OK, I'm not crazy on that one then. I once overheard a vet tech explaining why they didn't typically declaw the back paws on cats. She said that the front paws are usually just a warning, but they actually fight with their back paws. So, if a front declawed cat got out, they would still have some line of defense.
post #17 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by zoeysmom View Post
OK, I'm not crazy on that one then. I once overheard a vet tech explaining why they didn't typically declaw the back paws on cats. She said that the front paws are usually just a warning, but they actually fight with their back paws. So, if a front declawed cat got out, they would still have some line of defense.
Think of the difference between boxing and karate.
post #18 of 23
Thread Starter 
This has been quite an eye-opener, and I regret not doing some more extensive research sooner. I suppose all I can do now is just be thankful there were no long-term complications with any of my babies' procedures, and make provisions for more scratching posts if/when another baby falls into my lap.
post #19 of 23
2 of my cats were declawed by previous owners (Stimpy & Nabu), Lola arrived on our doorstep with all of hers so she kept them. Had my others still had their claws, they would have kept them. Honestly, when I got my other cats I was more concerned that they were fixed already. Anyway, Lola wrestles with the guys pretty rough but she doesn't use her front claws. She learned early that the guys don't use theirs so in turn she doesn't. We keep her front claws clipped regularly but she's good with the guys. The guys get some good slaps in though--they may be declawed, but they can still rattle her brain with a good whack to the head. The guys I think are jealous that they can't climb the cat fort like Spider Man the way she does. Nabu tried and fell.

When I was a kid we had a 4-paw declawed cat that ruled the house over our fully clawed cat.

My husband was worried Lola would hurt the guys when we first got her, so we used Soft Paws while she learned some kitty etiquette. We were also worried she would destroy the berber carpet in our last apartment. Now we have hardwood floors so I don't have to worry.
post #20 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Keycube View Post
This has been quite an eye-opener, and I regret not doing some more extensive research sooner. I suppose all I can do now is just be thankful there were no long-term complications with any of my babies' procedures, and make provisions for more scratching posts if/when another baby falls into my lap.
you should get some, anyway - both of my declaws love the scratching posts & pads. Chip is extremely fond of the cardboard kind!
post #21 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by white cat lover View Post
Let me tell you this - my Twitch has no front claws, no teeth, and is deaf as a stone. She rules the house with an iron (clawless) paw! She launches an attack - everyone else ducks. All my other cats are fully clawed. There haven't been any more injuries to Twitch because the other cats have claws - it all works out.


Nat I love this description of Twitch
post #22 of 23
I have three cats, one of which came to me already front-declawed. She is a Persian so she has a typical docile, dippy personality so she is the lowest in the pecking order, but her being declawed has no impact on this whatsoever. The other two cats, a Siamese and an incredibly BAD DSH do not pick on her or anything like that, they actually live a very peaceful existence.
post #23 of 23
I have 10 cats, and only 1 of them is de-clawed. He is the low cat in the pecking order, but I suspect this is more because he's new, and doesn't have anything to do with his claw status. He's tough, though, and doesn't put up with any nonsense.

I think vets like to tell people they "need" to de-claw all cats in the house in order to make more money....de-claws are PURE PROFIT and you can't expect them not to jump on a golden opportunity like that.
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