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At the risk of being killed...

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
I have two cats and both were strays that started hanging around our house outside when I was much younger and I didn't know about the effects of declawing until much, much later. My Mom would only let us keep them if they got declawed. I had no idea that declawing is wrong. I was too young. All I knew was that these cats were cute and that was the only way my Mom would let us keep them. Anyway, I still have these cats in my apartment. My first one, Tiger, I've had for about 14 years now. She must be about 17 or 18 now. The other one, Ruby, I've had for about 11 years. She's probably about 12 or 13 now. I'm guessing at their ages.

I will never get a cat declawed again. I feel bad that my two cats got it done.

My question is this: I've been feeding a stray cat for a few weeks now. She's really friendly, really clean. I'm assuming she belongs to somebody. She lets me pick her up. I have no idea how old she is, but I would have to guess maybe somewhere between 3-6 years old. I built her a little house right outside my door and luckily my landlord has a deck above my apartment that prevents the rain from ever touching it. Would it be fair to my two current cats who have no front claws to be joined by a cat with claws? Isn't this extremely dangerous? My cats have no way to defend themselves. Is there any way I can introduce a cat with claws to two cats who don't have any?

This is my first post here and I really enjoy reading all the threads.

I hope I don't get slammed too hard for the declawing.

Thanks for any advice.
post #2 of 9
I have two four-paw declaw cats (done by previous owners). I recently adopted a female cat with claws. She was turned in supposedly for being unfriendly with other female cats. My mother thought I was crazy to even try to get a clawed and a de-clawed cat to live together. Here is what happened: My oldest 4-paw declaw is so timid she doesn't get along with ANY other cats (with or without claws) they ALL wind up attacking her.

Now, my second 4-paw declaw lives in a downstairs apartment with me. I wanted to get a companion for her as she spends alot of time alone. She was previously introduced to my first 4-paw declaw but it didn't work out.

Here is the strange part. After a careful two week introduction, the supposedly UN-friendly, CLAWED cat turned out to be less dominant than her 4paw declaw housemate!! My 4-paw declaw Lily, hissed, chased, and swatted at the cat with claws. The cat with claws showed no aggression whatsoever!! She has not challenged Lily in any way. That isn't to say she is frightened of Lily. In fact, the cat with claws will follow Lily around until Lily gets annoyed and swats at her. She will then beat a retreat until Lily has lost interest and then come out and sleep in Lily's beds and so on. So this new clawed cat has not shown the attitude that the previous person who had her, said she had.

Sorry for the long story. I think it really depends on the stress levels in the home, the personalities of the cats, and the amount of dominant/aggressive tendencies, and how carefully the cats are introduced to each other. As I speak, both cats more or less get along fine. They will sleep on either side of me at night. The only time they fight is over toys or catnip and that amounts to Lily (the 4-paw declaw) chasing the clawed cat under the bed for five minutes or so.
post #3 of 9
It will all depend on how you go about introductions and the temperment of all the cats. Until you try it, you won't know- here is an article that might help with your intros

post #4 of 9
Befor you do take the cat in your home you have fallen in love with , I would take it to the vet to get the cat checkt out . You don't want the new cat bringing any deseas in to your home and give it to your cats . So the vet would be # 1 and then you can do # 2 the intro to your other cats . If you look around you will find great info on how to introduce a new cat to your other cats . Good luck

I also would like to Welcome you here on TCS
post #5 of 9
Thread Starter 
Thanks everyone for the advice. I know the cardinal rule is to have a stray checked by a vet first before introducing it. But I have let her inside a couple of times. She just walked right in and I have a gut instinct that says that she's clean. Her coat is so shiny. Anyway, I've always supervised her with my two cats. She's hissed a couple of times and took a mini-swipe at my older one but didn't come close to connecting. They've eaten together once and it wasn't a problem at all.

I've been reading all the articles on here about introductions. Very good stuff.
post #6 of 9
It really does depend on the cats, and how you deal with introductions.

I had one cat. Indoor-outdoor, spayed female, all claws. When Shasta was 14 years old, a colleague of mine was looking for a new home for her two guys (because of allergies that had developed). Gryphon and Nibs were 6 years old, neutered males, indoor only, front declawed. I looked at the notice, and thought, no, no way, it wouldn't work, not fair to any of them.

As it happened, I mentioned this notice at dinner that night, and my husband wondered aloud if there was a possibility of taking them on a trial basis, in case I was right -- and the current owner taking responsibility for looking for another home for them if it didn't pan out.

Well, that's precisely what happened -- that is, as far as our taking them. The owner decided that, for all the reasons to look elsewhere, she was still more convinced that they'd get the home she was looking for with us -- so accepted that we couldn't guarantee they wouldn't go out, because to do so would unrealistically restrict Shasta; accepted that Shasta might not accept the boys and she'd be back to square one, etc.,etc.

Not only did it work, but they got along really quite well, after the initial negotiations. There was NEVER any fighting -- not once. Nibs occasionally wanted to play when Shasta wasn't interested, and she'd turn on him with a hiss and a token slap, and that would be the end of that.

They're all RB kitties now, but the boys lived into their teens and Shasta to 21, and there was never any more fuss than there is in any household with three kids.

Bottom line: It most certainly CAN work. But it's not something that can be taken for granted.
post #7 of 9
Thread Starter 
My younger cat Ruby is a big black hairy mush cat. She's afraid of her own shadow sometimes. My older calico, Tiger, is more the dominant one. They sleep together on the couch, on my bed. They nestle into each other. It's so funny to see.

My gut says the three of them would get along after the initial squabbles. I just don't want to come home one day to find blood all over.

I think I really have to trust my gut on this one. I haven't even asked my landlord if I can have a third cat yet.
post #8 of 9
You were young when your cats were declawed and you probly didnt know any better. I dont think anyone would flame you for that. It's good that you wont declaw the stray. I would still take her to the vet though. Some cats carry diseases and look perfectly healthy.
post #9 of 9
Originally posted by Sicycat
I would still take her to the vet though. Some cats carry diseases and look perfectly healthy.
I agree.We had a stray cat come to school at the beginning of the year and she was a beautiful kitty and looked perfectly healthy(Looks a lot like Sicy's Prego. )We never really thought to test her because we didn't have any other cats at the time(I know we should have known better)Anyway,one of the girls wanted to test her for feline leukemia so she could get more learning experience on how to do it.Well,the test came up positive.We were all shocked,even the professors.We did end up finding her a home and didn't have to put her down which was such a relief.
Please get the cat tested before you bring her into your home anymore.

I do want to thank you though for taking this kitty in.
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