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Declawed cats...

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
My two cats were declawed as kittens. I was just a kid when we got them and my mom had them declawed. At the time I had no idea what it meant, I just assumed their claws were safely removed in some manner that they wouldn't grow back and it never occurred to me to think otherwise. That's not a good excuse, but it's the only explanation I've got.

Eventually I became closer to my cats and more interested in cats in general and began reading all I could about them when I came across the truth about declawing. It made me feel ill. I can just imagine the dreadful aftermath; sitting in a cage in severe pain and confusion. I know my cats probably don't remember that particular experience the same way a human would recall a memory, but they must in some way... I hate to see them scratching away at our scratching post, it must be like a stairwell to a person in a wheelchair.

I don't really know what my point is here, maybe just venting. Do you think they forgive me? Has my many years of love and cuddling and attention been enough to make them feel content, if nothing else, with their abused paws? Does anyone else have similar "experiences"?
post #2 of 11
Declawing is illegal here so I have no personal experience with it.

I'm sure your cats love you, and you shouldn't feel guilty you had no part in the decision, your parents were perhaps not informed either when it was done.

At least now you have learnt what the operation involves, and won't put another kitty through it.
post #3 of 11
I was in my teens when I rescued Frankie. Because I was living with my parents and they were kind enough to pay her vet expences she was declawed at the same time she was neutered. They did the same thing with their only prior cat as well... which come to think of it might explaine why he bit me for no reason sometimes. Anyway, Frankie is a pretty happy kitty most of the time and I'm pretty sure she doesn't hold a grudge. In fact, it was so long ago and she was so young I doubt she remembers it really. Al she knows is that she has no front claws.

Now, Wickett is only 4 and I never even considered declawing him even though I was basically raised believing it was a safe and standard practice. Although my DH doesn't feel quite as stongly about it as I do I can safely say that we will NEVER declaw a cat of our... but that doesn't mean we won't rescue a previously declawed cat.
post #4 of 11
you're educated now and you won't do it to your future cats which is what's important. truth be told most cats will come out of the surgery 'fine' with no 'permanent' damage. Your two sound fine and if you've given them a good home since then no need to feel bad or feel guilty. I adopted my siamese at 7, he was already declawed. It makes me really sad when he tries to scratch things, but he is otherwise fine, other then he walk/gait is a bit off and I think its from the declaw but it's not hurting him in the longrun, and he will softly 'nip' when he is annoyed, where as my clawed cat has other reactions, I've been told the 'nipping' could be a result of the declaw as well.

Just be an advocate now, speak up and educate friends and family that get kittens and want to declaw them, and give your kitties the best home you can.
post #5 of 11
Of course your kitties love you. And like everyone else has said, it wasn't your fault or your decision, so no worries man! They are healthy, happy and loved, that is what matters now! We got a stray come up to our house a few years ago, he was older and declawed in the front. To me it's like taking the tail off of a whale or teeth out of a tiger. There are better alternatives now, with the caps you put on and things. Keep lovin' yer babies
post #6 of 11
My adopted cats came declawed. They appear to love me and seem very happy and healthy now (they're both approaching 7 years old).

Don't kick yourself or your parents - you (and I) have both learned a lot of declawing and would have other approaches if we ever have new cats. But, I think the key thing is that they have loving homes now. You can't change the past, but we can all work on the future.
post #7 of 11
While, at the time, de-clawing is devastating to a cat (just like a leg amputation), after they've healed and adjusted to the disability they usually do just fine (just like a leg amputation!). Animals live in the moment and don't hold grudges for past mistakes. As they age they may have a bit more arthritis than a clawed cat, but if they healed properly there shouldn't be any more issues than that. Just so you know better now!
post #8 of 11
I went thru the same thing with my first cat Mitten (parents insisted he be declawed as an adult cat when we got him). I didn't know much about it either and no one really explained what they do. IMO if the vet's told the truth of how its really done, people would think twice!

Anyway I cried when we got him home. His feet were bandaged tight and he could not walk. I had to carry him up and down the steps to the litter pan.

Mitten was one of the few lucky cats that was not affected psychologically by declawing. I told him how sorry I was to ever do that after finding out the truth behind declawing.

Mitten was a special cat and very close to me - he forgave me. But I vowed that I would NEVER ever do that to any cat again!
post #9 of 11
Thanks to Willowy I will never declaw another cat EVER! Although Ginger is declawed, she's 9yrs old now & I know she doesn't remember it, thank god but she won't let anyone touch her feet so it makes me feel bad even though it was sooo long ago
post #10 of 11
Cats are very forgiving creatures, so don't beat yourself up about it. As a previous poster said, you've educated yourself on the truth about declawing and you'll not make that mistake again. I'm sure your cats love you because you're educating yourself and you're feeding them! (Food, it's all about the food!!)
post #11 of 11
And don't feel bad when you see your cats pawing at the scratching post. That behavior isn't just for sharpening claws; it's primal instinct related to marking territory. Your cats are enjoying themselves when they do it.

Particularly since they were declawed as kittens, they probably don't remember any other way.
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