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cats declawed on front: back claws as defense?

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
Somebody told me that when they decided to have their cat declawed on front, they asked their vet how she would be able to defend herself, and they assured her that cats that are declawed on front will defend themselves with their back claws? I honestly think that is a story concocted by vets to encourage people to declaw. I just can't see a cat using his back legs to properly defend himself or catch food if the need arises. What do you think?
post #2 of 13
That is not true.
They will bite and end up getting hurt.
My aunt made that mistake in the 1980's because she listened to a stupid vet.
Her cat got hurt very bad because of being declawed.
She fell and had nothing to grap on with and had a huge hole in her side.
I hate that people think declawng is ok when it is not.
post #3 of 13
Certainly a cat who is declawed on the front paws is quite able to catch food...my parent's cat (declawed when they got him) catches chipmunks without a problem. He may catch other animals, but that's the one he brings home. He does get into fights...and does get injured..usually scratches on his face and ears.

My sister's cat only has one front leg, and has his claws on that leg. He also catches small animals.

As for a cat who is declawed in the front and using his back claws for defense....maybe only if he had the other cat in a headlock...

I don't know if Vets are honest about what they say sometimes...we know that they are not well versed in feline nutrition....yet most talk like they are....which leads me to not believe other things they say. Do your own research and use common sense...that always works for me.
post #4 of 13
Declawed cats resort to their teeth to defend themselves. Their back claws wouldn't help them much in a cat fight. The vet is uninformed and making a lame sales pitch.
post #5 of 13
My Twitch is front declawed - and has spun around to nail another cat with her back claws (she also has no teeth). That said, she has a nasty gash on her face from that fight - and he remained unscathed. It's not due to her lack of skills - but due to her lack of front claws. It took too long to spin around, she exposed herself - and had I not been there - she would have probably been severely injured.
post #6 of 13
The only time a cat uses back claws for defense is when they are already in the very vulnerable position of being pinned on their back.
If they are pinned on their back, they are already losing the fight.
post #7 of 13
I don't know why US vets continue to defend and even in some cases recommend declawing, here in the UK it is outlawed by the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons as animal cruelty - any vet performing a non-clinical (ie. not for essential health reasons for the cat) declaw will be struck off and could potentially end up in jail.

A cat needs all its claws. A regular manicure to keep claws short is not difficult or time consuming.
post #8 of 13
The only place for a declawed kitty is inside the house . Maggie was already declawed when I adopted her and she is never allowed outside. She never seems to want to either. When the door opens she runs away from it. Maggie can get pretty fiesty and once in a great while will play with my huge dog and can take her down in a second...she's a tiny cat! But I wouldn't want her to tangle with another cat. IMO, vets telling you that about declawing is a farce!
post #9 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by mews2much View Post
That is not true.
They will bite and end up getting hurt.
My aunt made that mistake in the 1980's because she listened to a stupid vet.
Her cat got hurt very bad because of being declawed.
She fell and had nothing to grap on with and had a huge hole in her side.
I hate that people think declawng is ok when it is not.
That is SO scary!! Poor kitty. I'm so glad I didn't listen when my boyfriend's mom was trying to convince me to declaw Jake because otherwise the furniture is doomed
post #10 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by Epona View Post
I don't know why US vets continue to defend and even in some cases recommend declawing, here in the UK it is outlawed by the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons as animal cruelty - any vet performing a non-clinical (ie. not for essential health reasons for the cat) declaw will be struck off and could potentially end up in jail.

A cat needs all its claws. A regular manicure to keep claws short is not difficult or time consuming.
Yes, it's illegal in many places including my native country- Bulgaria. My vet performs the procedure, but when he saw that I had soft paws on Jake he commended me and said it's a very good alternative to declawing.
post #11 of 13
Bastet has all 4 paws declawed.. being hairless, she's not an outdoor kitty anyways. I did not declaw her, she came to me that way. Apparantly she has a habit of using legs as a scratching post, which is why the original owners declawed her.

I will admit, I do kind of like the claw-less paws.. its easier to do grooming and medications on a declawed cat!

The wood-work in my house is ruined from my other 2 girls.. Bo doesnt offer to put his claws into anything but his cardboard scratch pad.
post #12 of 13
Most vets who perform declaw surgeries will refuse to remove the rear claws from a cat because it needs them to be able to gain enough traction in the ground to be able to run away. That's the only thing I could imagine she'd be referring to.

A cat without its front claws is still basically defenseless, and should never be allowed outside. A vet who would claim a cat could use its rear claws for defense is either irresponsible or just doesn't have a clue. As Arlyn mentioned, the only scenario where a cat would use its back claws for defense would be if it was pinned, which is already too late.
post #13 of 13
My aunt had a declawed cat.. when he would hit, he'd use a sideways motion with his paw and would smack with the bony part of his paw.

Not as effective as a claw, but you certainly felt it!
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