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Need help buying Persian kitten

post #1 of 24
Thread Starter 
Anyone have any tips on purchasing Persian kittens? I'm helping a friend (her first cat) purchase a Persian kitten tomorrow. I know a lot about cats, but not specifically about Persians. She also wants to have it declawed, even though I am trying my best to discourage her, but she has leather furniture and is worried about that. What is the earliest you can declaw a cat? And does anyone have any thoughts on declawing (hopefully negative!)? Thanks.
post #2 of 24
Hi and thanks for posting!

While I don't have any advice for you regarding choosing a Persian, here is an excellent thread which contains a LOT of information on declawing. You don't have to "sell" your friend on not doing it, just print out the information on some of the links contained within the thread and give them to her. Something tells me she will change her mind.

Please let us know if we can help,

post #3 of 24
Thread Starter 
Thanks so much for the information. I printed out most of it to show my friend. I hope she changes her mind, otherwise I will be really upset. My parents had one of our cats declawed years ago, and his behavior was exactly as they described. He was a nasty biter and had a lot of litter box problems. I told my friend this, but her cousin has a declawed cat that is "perfectly fine". Somehow I doubt that. Plus that's no excuse for doing the mutilating surgery. The cat can't tell you what it's been through. I'll let you know how it turns out. Thanks again.
post #4 of 24
With Persians you have to make sure they have been bred right. You need to check out the whole cattery. Make sure they dont have genetic problems in their lines. I know they have one, but forgot what it is. Also, if the eyes are VERY watery it is a big problem. Good persian breeders do not have cat with real watery eyes. This is a big problem with persians. Also, if the breeder is willing to let this person declaw, then they are not good breeders. Most reputable breeders make people sign a contract saying it will not be done. Also to make sure you are not buying from a kitty mill or backyard breeder, you want to ask to see all the cats, check out the living conditions and look into the pedigree. If the same name pops up everywhere you are going to have problems. Dirty cages,poor health and lack of general good care will put a red flag up.
post #5 of 24
Thread Starter 
Thanks for your thoughts on Persians. Actually, we didn't see the kittens yet, so the breeder doesn't know she's thinking of declawing. I'm sure the breeder will mention something about it, so my friend is in for a surprise if she thinks it's no big deal. I told her if her furniture is that important, maybe she shouldn't get a cat. But she insists she definitely wants one. She may not have a problem after all with the scratching, but what if she does? One of my cats is so good, she never touches the furniture, just her scratching posts and the rug here and there. But you have to be prepared. Is it true male cats are bigger scratchers (she wants a female)? In my experience, the male cats did the most damage.
post #6 of 24
ALL cats male or female are scratchers. It is weather or not you care enough to take the time to train them. All cats can be trained even the stubborn ones. I have 12 cats and none of them have torn any furniture. A peice of furniture can be replaced but a cats knuckle and claw can't. If she is that for declawing, then she should go to a shelter and find a cat who has already been disfigured. Besides which, if she does not want to take the time to train a cat then I wouldnt think she has the time to care for a persian properly. They need to be brushed and combed every day or the matts are impossible to get out. They also get stuff on the fur on a regular basis when using the litter box that will need to be taken care of.
post #7 of 24
Thread Starter 
She has already been told all of this about Persians, and she insists she has no problem with taking care of it. I just had read once that cats have scent glands in their paw pads and are also leaving their scent when they scratch and male cats are more inclined to leave their "mark". I don't know if it's true, but all the male cats we had were more destructive. My male cat scratches everything CONSTANTLY. I have several scratching posts, pads, etc. One has a carpeted pole and a sisal rope pole, and he won't use it. He prefers the couch! I figure I'll just have to get a new couch eventually. It's not too bad yet. I don't even bother with the Sticky Paws for the couch, since he scratches everywhere and I'd have to cover like every inch! I give up with him.
post #8 of 24
Hi Guys,

I breed persian cats. Just like any other animal, there are good breeders and bad ones!!

The usual check list for health is the same as any other cat; clear eyes, shiny strong coat, firm flesh, happy outgoing temperment

There has been a lot of contraversy over inherent kidney problems. It's called PKD. There is a scan your vet can do for it.

Most breeders will give the purchaser a few days to have the cat inspected by the buyer's vet. If they are not offering this, then I would worry.

I am sorry to be the one who disagrees, but, I do not have troubles with cats being properly declawed. Please don't flame me. I am not advocating all cats be declawed. Obviously you cannot declaw animals that are being kept for show purposes. It's just that I know of several households where the husband or wife really gets upset at the cat clawing. If declawing that cat allows it to be a welcome additon to the household, than I understand the owners doing it. I would rather have someone declaw one of my cats than lock it up in a cage or room so it can't hurt anything. This is just my opinion. I know there is good argument against declawing, but I have seen too many cats treated badly because they may cause damage to the household.
post #9 of 24
Everyone has the right to express an opinion. We try not to flame here, so you have no worries there. However the flip side on declawing to keep the cat from getting punished or thrown into a room is that usually if the cat starts to pee outside the box or starts to bite because of the loss of claws, then the cat either gets thrown outside to try and defend itself, gets put into a shelter or even euthanized. There are lots of pro's and cons to the issue. I weighed very carefully before I took a stand. The con's seem to outweigh the pro's in my oppinion. In my contracts I forbit any of my cats be declawed. If they find it a problem I will take the cat back at any age.
post #10 of 24
Ironically, most of my kittens go to breeders so there is little to worry about. Some of my pet homes have come back for second kittens and they haven't felt the need to declaw.

As with any breeder, some buyers do not keep in touch so I cannot tell if any of my kittens have been declawed. No one has complained to me about bad litter box habits. I know of more unspayed females and unneutered males that have rotten toilet habits than household pets have.

Thank you for being accepting of different opinions. I have learnt over the years that everyone's situation can be different.
post #11 of 24
First, I'd like to say Hi Harriett and thanks for your opinions. We are all reasonable people here, and as such, can certainly discuss even a controversial subject like declawing with compassion and tolerance.

As for the issue of declawing itself, I can see where declawing would be preferable in a situation where the choices were that or euthanasia. I can even see where declawing *might* be preferable to the cat being tossed outside to fend for itself. And yes, I can honestly say that I can see where declawing might be preferable to being isolated to one area of the home where damage could be controlled. Truthfully, I can see where declawing might be preferable to many circumstances.

But, the argument can and should be made that declawing is a DRASTIC measure to take, and one that should not be taken unless and until all other options have been exhausted. It is not merely a cosmetic option to employ by virtue of the fact that it is legal in the US and performed widely by many vets. If behavior modification techniques are not successful, or drug therapy isn't the answer, or whatever other methods employed have failed, then and only then is declawing an option to look into.

There is a large number of people who still believe that declawing a cat is a sort of given. Until recently, my very own sister-in-law was one of them. I'll never forget the time she told me that her kitty was going in for her "spay/declaw" surgery. I was alarmed that she had chosen to do this as I knew she wanted her cat to be indoor/outdoor. (Which was bad enough, but I felt I had to choose my battles here) So, I asked her if she had really given the appropriate thought to this...her response blew me away..."Oh, you mean I have a choice? I don't automatically have to declaw her?" It was just accepted as "something I should do". 8-O

But, as the Internet has opened many people's awareness and offered a resource for them to learn more about the ways others care for their animals, and more vets and vet professionals are spreading the word to their clients, more pet owners are beginning to see that mutilation "just because" - is NOT the only option anymore.

However, the vehement anti-declawing contingent will continue to spout their compelling reasons not to declaw, and then those who aren't tolerant of being told what to do will come back with their arguement on "rights". Then, there are the rest of us, like you and like me too, who will continue to try and educate as well as prompt people to make their own decisions. It isn't up to us one way or the other to talk people out of doing something. That is not our job. We can only present the data, and hope they will make good decisions based on knowing ALL the facts, both good and bad.

This is what I have tried to do since Midnightbride asked for information on declawing and mentioned that she sincerely hoped her friend would not do it. This is all I can do. This is really all any of us can do.

Again, thanks sincerely for your views.
post #12 of 24
Thanks Gayef. You are a good educator.

I know this is a very serious subject, but I am laughing because you mention that some people don't even know they have options!! WOW

I have to tell you this slightly off colour story that is happeneing to a girlfriend of mine!

As you have stated, the times are changing and people are trying not to be too invasive in what they do to their animals. My girlfriend just had a little boy. They want to have him circumsized. They are not Jewish. They have to get written permission from the chief of staff at the hospital to have this done. Boy, have the times changed.

The real joke of this is that my friend is a doctor. When her patients used to ask if they should have their sons circumsized, she told them not to. When the poor kids were 5 years old, most of them needed to be done!! She now wants her son done and can't get permission!!!

I guess the answer is just as you say Gaye, weight all the options and try to fix the problem without surgery first.
post #13 of 24
Thread Starter 
Thanks for all the responses. I gave my friend the info. from the declawing website, but she didn't look at it while I was there. I'm also going to make another friend read it who is always saying she should have declawed her cat. We did look at the Persian kittens, but the breeder did not bring up the subject of declawing yet. They all had clear eyes, pleasant personalities, and were nice and plump and healthy looking. On the subject of declawing again, my parents had a cat declawed once, and everything they say about it is true. The cat was a nasty biter and would hardly ever use the litter box! He would always go right next to it. My sister had purchased his brother and he was even worse. He would pee on the couches and beds even. My sister ended up putting him to sleep when he was about 7. I couldn't have done that myself, but they had tried everything to remedy the problem and nothing worked. My parents' cat always seemed to be miserable his whole life. You can't say for certain it was the declawing, but it sure sounds like it. Has anyone ever tried the Soft Paws I think it's called - the little caps that go over the nails? Maybe my friend might try these if they really stay on and don't bother the cat too much. I think they even have kitten sizes. If anyone has tried these, please let me know.
post #14 of 24
I have been off the site for awhile and was really surprised that a breeder would allow declawing - especially when you have put your heart and soul into a breeding - to allow someone to maim one of your cats startles me! I would never allow one of my kittens - purebred or domestic to go to someone who advocates declawng, no matter how "good" the home appears. I even have my adopters sign my contract and notarize it! All the breeders I work with have a standard contract that states the animal may not be declawed. If furniture is that important to someone, they probably should not have a cat. It seems a bit selfish to sever tendons, ligaments and bone in order to preserve a piece of furniture. A living creature vs furniture - hmmm.

There is a new book out - entitled The Terrible Truth about Declawing: What your veterinarian never told you - it is being sent to me to review for the paper I write for. I have seen an outline and anyone who reads it would not declaw and if they had declawed, they would feel guilty for the rest of their lives. If a veterinary school like Tufts refuses to perform the procedure - there must be good reason.

We are one of the only countries that have not outlawed declawing. If you lived in Australia, most of Europe and even in certain South American countries, you would not be allowed to declaw your cat. It is considered inhumane. Only here in the US where our vets make too much money - but there is a coalition to pass a law that will prohibit both declawing and tendonectomy of cats - then we won't have this controversy anymore.

I have tried my best to keep this post low key and non flaming - its very hard when I spend a lot of my time writing newspaper columns and doing behavioral training with people who have declawed their cats and now have biters and litterbox problems - not to mention arthritis and other medical problems once the cat gets older. I will apologize if I have offended anyone, only because I do not want to upset Anne - but I do not apologize for my words.
post #15 of 24
Rene, you would be surprized by the conditions some breeders keep their cats in, just to say they never declaw!!

I have been to many dog and cat breeders's homes. Some of these people are very famous for their stock. I was disgusted at the poor level of concern some of them had for their animals.

People who stand on soapboxes and preach how wonderful they are to animals, make me nervous. I've seen the conitions some of them keep their animals in!!
post #16 of 24
Dear Rene,

As a breeder, I do not advocate declawing. In fact, I discourage it vehemently. In my contract, I expressly forbid declawing. I require that the owner even thinking along these lines contact me, so that I may advise them on alternatives, and will work closely with them on behavior modification techniques. I will also work closely with their vet to assist in a treatment plan with medications. If all else fails, the cat is returned to my home, with no exceptions. I am a member in good standing of a breed preservation organization, and as such, agreed to uphold their code of ethics which specifically prohibits me from allowing any of my kittens to be declawed.

However, as an individual possessing a personal opinion, I guess the best way to make my point is to say that I agree with Harriet that things are not always so black and white.

Another breeder I know had an experience some time back with an owner who loves the cat that was placed with her very dearly, yet the damage was getting bad. She tried everything, no matter how stupid it seemed. After nearly a year of working closely with the breeder as well as an animal behavior specialist, and both drug therapy and behavior modification techniques, the situation did not improve. This lady was totally heartbroken. The breeder offered to re-home the cat in a multi-cat household, but this lady really didn't want to give the cat up. The breeder explained to her all the reasons against declawing, and why we all feel the way we do about it - and the owner readily agreed that it was ghastly. But it came down to this - the owner loved this cat, otherwise cared for her in all the appropriate ways, and while the breeder offered NUMEROUS times to take back the kitten and replace her with another, ultimately, she chose to let the owner declaw. In her defense, I think she felt she had exhausted every other option open and available to her in order to prevent even more of a behavioral issue for the kitten (frequent changes to environment, food and litter routines, unfamiliar cats, etc.) as well as the owner's heartbreak. As an aside, the cat is doing fine, with no ill-effects. She is now a healthy and happy 4 year old and is a total mushbucket with her owner.

I respect the fact that you also try to educate, we need all the help we can get - but I guess I tend not to see things in such an "either it is right or else it is wrong" sort of way. There are times when I think that declawing is preferable. I think it is preferable to euthanasia, and I think it is preferable to the cat being thrown outside to fend for itself. And while I will continue to uphold the code of ethics of my breeder's organization, I will also continue to hold that as my own personal opinion. Others, of course, are also entitled to theirs.

Respectfully submitted,

Gaye Flagg
post #17 of 24
Harriet, I have been to Rene's home many times, as has Sandie, Ken and Michele. We can all attest that you can look at her abyssinians (which she breeds), her show cats, domestics and rescues, all of who are in wonderful condition with their claws intact.

We have also been to many of the breeders homes that Rene is talking about and find their cats also in excellent condition. It is only when the breeders DON'T invite you into their home or cattery that a bell should go off in your head.

Rene may stand on a soapbox, but she deserves to.

Gayef, regarding your post, although I understand where you are coming from, you seem to be on the fence on the issue.

Our rescue organization is left to pick up the pieces when owners, who have declawed their cats, soon find out that their actions have caused litterbox problems and simply throw the cat outside regardless. We have many cases of starving cats who were not able to fight their way to the food against the quad cats, cats that have absesses because they couldn't defend themselves against clawed cats, and dead cats who couldn't climb trees when being atacked by dogs and coyotes.

So I guess we as rescuers have learned to see things as either black or white.
post #18 of 24

Not at all am I sitting on the fence with this issue. As I mentioned in my post, the Breeder's Code of Ethics I agreed to uphold expressly forbids me from allowing my cats to be declawed. And so that IS my stand on the matter. I won't be declawing, nor will I allow my kitten buyers to be doing any declawing.

I guess this is where you could say I was fence sitting *grin*, but no matter what people actually choose to do, (and for now in this country, declawing remains a choice - not one of the pleasant ones, most assuredly, but a choice nonetheless) I still think that they are entitled to hold personal opinions that may not be in keeping with the status quo. For instance, there are people who disagree that seat belts should be mandatory for all drivers as well as passengers in a vehicle. But, since the laws in my state currently require strict adherance to the seat belt laws, they use them. While this may not be the best example, it fits the situation. Another example would be people who believe wholeheartedly that there is nothing wrong with using marijuana and that it should be legal, but choose not to use it because it isn't socially or morally acceptable.

It is the same for the declawing issue. In my oh-but-so-very-humble opinion, to blanketly state that declawing is NEVER preferable even when the choice is that or death is like saying that murder is preferable to being tortured. And I just don't happen to believe it is. I would much rather be a cat without claws living inside the residence of a family who will love and provide for me until I am very old than be a dead cat. While there are those who would say it is preferable, there are also those who will say it isn't and here we've started the never-ending circle of agree to disagree yet again.

I've worked in Rescue, and continue to support my local humane society on a regular basis, so, I know the mentality of the people involved. I also work with abused and neglected cats - so I also know what "clean-up" is required there too. But, as someone who would much rather see a cat in a happy PERMANENT home without claws than a cat huddling in the litter box in the back of a shelter wall cage, or even worse yet, waiting it's turn in the E room, I can't afford the luxury of that "either it is totally right or else it is totally wrong" way of thinking any more. I found that it worked against my goals of actually placing the cats I needed to home while working in that venue.

And again, I think it bears saying that not all cats will respond unfavorably to it. There are a large number of cats who get along just fine afterwards without lasting behavioral effects. While I do not know for certain how these two groups of cats balance out, I feel safe in assuming that the numbers are close, my guess would be in the equal 50/50 range.

Donna, I admire your resolve on the issue, and I truly do respect the fact that you are entitled to have your own opinions. But, for me - I will continue to go along much as I have before now, upholding my Code of Ethics without fail, but thinking that such issues in the world today are not so easily defined as merely "right" or "wrong". Call me a hypocrite if that's how you see it, you would only be exercising your right to have an opinion - just as I have here. *smile*

My continued best to you and yours,

post #19 of 24
If I have caused people to believe they have to take sides, I appologize. I truly believe in freedom of speech and choice.

I did not mean that Rene was guilty of neglect with her animals. My intentions were to point out that some people talk one story and do something else. It has been my misfortune to see behind the scenes at a number of kennels and catteries because I am an Animal Health Tech and have accompanied the vet on his rounds.

I have always enjoyed Rene's posts as informative.

Some people rant about showing cats because they have to stay in their little cages all day. Every one has an opinion on cruelty. A number of dog breeds still call for ears to be cropped and tails docked. There will always be issues that people disagree on.

My instincts tell me that most of the people that post here, truly do care for their animals. We may keep them differently, but we take care of their physical and mental needs.

What makes me crazy are cats kept in cages. It would be very easy for me to say that if you have to keep your animals caged all the time, you have too many of them. I know that most catteries do confine their animals either in tiny rooms or cages, but that is their choice.

I prefer to have my cats as members of the household, but I am not passing any laws against cages!!

I think all of us learn quite a bit from each other and we are lucky to have so many knowledgable people on this site.
post #20 of 24
I was at a cat show a while back and there was a beautiful, shy, year old calico munchkin being shown. Rene was showing her for her friend who was the breeder. I felt so bad for this little girl because she was shy and scared and it was her first cat show. Come to find out, she had spent her entire life in a cage. To say that she did not show well at all was putting it mildly. I asked Rene if I could take her home and foster her to get her used to other cats and people. She said okay. Well, let me tell you the difference in this cat was two fold. She's been with me for 6 months and has had free rein of my place with my cats. She loves me and is so happy to be out of a cage and around other cats. I've stopped showing her because she hated it. Everytime I went to put her in a carrier to go to a cat show, it was a real hassle. I finally gave up. She is happy just being a regular old house kitty. And so am I.
post #21 of 24
I don't cage any of my cats and I agree - I hate it when cats are caged their whole lives - cats need to be free. I have to cage my foster cats and I always feel bad - but I know that it is temporary until they go to their new homes, and since their alternative was death, a month in a cage isn't such a bad thing. Some of the cats I have gotten from breeders that cage have never overcome their skittishness - others that were never caged are big in your face mushes. Sometimes it is harder to place the beautiful purebred cats who have spent years in a cage -

My cats are my family - including my whole Abby male Merlot - and none of them have ever been caged unless they were ill or due to deliver. Of course the kittens and moms need to be caged for their own safety (unless you are lucky enough to have a room just for a mom and her kittens like Sandie does), until they are old enough to be free, find litter, etc. There certainly are times when you must cage your cats if you are going to breed and when kittens are due, but all in all it is best to raise them along side your pets if at all possible. It makes for really well socialized adults and kittens.

But you also have to be careful your cats don't indiscriminately breed too - I assume that Harriet, you have only one whole male (like I do). because it certainly could be a disaster to have whole females and males running free in the home and not knowing what kind of breeding program you are on?
post #22 of 24
Hi, this will give everyone something to chat about for a while!!!

I do have two whole males and four girls running free as household pets!! Now before you think I breed indiscriminately, one male is homozygous for a dominant colour.

My main tom is the love of my life. If I need a new bloodline, I bring a tom in as a kitten. Everyone here accepts kittens without an issue. When the new male is old enough to breed and the girls are cycling, I send my foundation male to my girlfriend's house for a month. He knows and loves her too. I know this all sounds crazy, but the two males are the best of friends. They are the ones that sit on the couch together GROOMING EACH OTHER!!!

Usually, I keep a female kitten from the new male and then when she is ready, breed her back to my foundation male. The second tom usually gets placed in my other friend's home who is also a persian breeder, to be used there.

Yes, I do put the queen with their litter in a bedroom for the first few weeks. But, here is where some of you will gasp!!!, I let the queen deliver with the colony.

When I first began raising cats, 15 years ago, I had siamese. I was told by everyone, including my vet, NEVER let the tom near the queens that are about to kitten out! The toms will hurt the kittens!!

I came home one day to find a queen delivering a few days earlier than expected. The tom was standing at her front end licking her forehead as though he was coaching and comforting her. It was the most amazing site. From that day on, I have never separated the girls when they are going to give birth. Now, I usually find an experienced queen standing by helping and the tom watching over. When the birthing is all over, then I set the queen up in a safe place for a few weeks.

I know you all think this sounds crazy and I do not recommend you turn you toms out with your kittening queens if that's not what you usually do. But around here, that's the way it works best.

Only once did I ever see the tom actually lick a kitten, but he seems to be the head coach.

Weird but true!!
post #23 of 24
I am surprised at your post - not letting my kittens be with the colony has nothing to do with my male - it has to do with well viruses being too easily passed on to unsuspecting kittens. I keep my kittens separated so that they stay healthy until they are about 10 weeks old - whether my kittens or rescues. But everyone has a different way of doing things -
post #24 of 24
I have a completely closed cattery. None of my cats get shown from my house so there is little chance of kittens getting anything they couldn't get from their own mother.
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