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Declawing, your thoughts.

post #1 of 34
Thread Starter 

in another thread, the question of declawing has come up, but since this question is bound to be buried in that long thread (and I think that it's a crucial question), I thought I would begin a thread of its own on this subject.

I am totally against declawing and I am including a few links that I posted in the other thread that explain why as well as an extract of a text found in one of these links:


http://community-2.webtv.net/zuzu22/STOPDECLAWCOM/ (Beware, the first image on this site is quite heartbreaking, and there are other sections with photographs that illustrate how cruel declawing is. I have been shocked by these photographs.)

Here are some extracts of this last one:

"Before you make the decision to declaw your cat, there are some important facts you should know. Declawing is not like a manicure. It is serious surgery. Your cat's claw is not a toenail. It is actually closely adhered to the bone. So closely adhered that to remove the claw, the last bone of your the cat's claw has to be removed. Declawing is actually an amputation of the last joint of your cat's "toes". When you envision that, it becomes clear why declawing is not a humane act. It is a painful surgery, with a painful recovery period.
No cat lover would doubt that cats--whose senses are much keener than ours--suffer pain. They may, however, hide it better. Not only are they proud, they instinctively know that they are at risk when in a weakened position, and by nature will attempt to hide it. But make no mistake. This is not a surgery to be taken lightly.

Your cat's body is perfectly designed to give it the grace, agility and beauty that is unique to felines. Its claws are an important part of this design. Amputating the important part of their anatomy that contains the claws drastically alters the conformation of their feet. The cat is also deprived of its primary means of defense, leaving it prey to predators if it ever escapes to the outdoors."

post #2 of 34
NO NO NO!! I totally disagree with declawing a cat. I think it's a form of abuse. I hate that two out of 3 of my kitties are declawed. They have turned sluggish and lazy. The one who is not, is healthy and fit. This is mainly because he is an outdoor cat, and the others are indoor. We are afraid to have them go outside because they cannot defend themselves. See, we got them declawed because my mom was tired of having them rip up the furniture. My dad and I were against it and knew that there were ways around this, since so many cats were not declawed. Well, my mom, I guess, didn't feel like putting in anymore effort to try different ways of correcting this situation, and declawed them when my dad and I were not home. I think declawing kitties is cruel, no matter what the circumstances.
post #3 of 34
Thread Starter 

I am glad that you agree with me. I can't bear the thought that cats still have to suffer this cruelty. And i don't understand how some vets (supposed to care - as in caring) agree to perform these surgeries.

post #4 of 34
I am most definatly against it,but here in australia it is illegal,so we dont have to worry about it. But it worrys me when you hear people say i did it because they were ripping up the furniture or what ever,you ask them if they would cut half their childrens fingers off if they were scribbling on the walls,but of course that is different.
post #5 of 34
The United States is, I believe, the only country that has NOT outlawed declawing. Veterinarians owe it to their clients to fully explain the procedure, including pictures so they can get the full effect of how cruel it is and exactly what they can possibly expect from a cat that's been declawed. I'll bet it would change minds. But the procedure is a real money maker for vets. Some vets will refuse to do it. Others just sluff it off as if it's simply a case of "taking the nail out". It's not, and people need to know this. I am totally against declawing.
post #6 of 34
I have a 5 1/2 month old kitty who loves to scratch everything. He does not listen when reprimanded. I too, am against de-clawing, but my husbnad says we may not have a choice if he doesn't start to behave. Scatching posts only seem to make the problem worse. He tells me that he read there is a new kind of de-clawing where it is done by lazer and not nearly as bad as surgery. Does anybody know anything about this? My vet says her cats are de-clawed and that it is no big dea and not to listen to bleeding hearts about how bad it is. I was really pissed when she told my husband that, because now my husband thinks it's OK. Any suggestions on how I can get my Jinxy to stop so hubby doesn't do anything drastic?? He knows I am very against it, but keeps saying that it is up to Jinxy whether or not he can behave!!

post #7 of 34
I would never declaw a cat. There is no reason, as long as you clip their nails like I do.
post #8 of 34
Thread Starter 

have you tried cutting the tip of his claws (there are special scissors for that) taking care of not cutting the skin that is on the claw?

When I had inside cats only, I used to do that to the three of them and although they still scratched (cats are cats, they are supposed to scratch...) they didn't do much harm to furniture after that.

I really don't know how to make your cat stop scratching completely. Why don't you try sprayimg water on him each time he scratches, maybe after a while he will understand? Oh and one another thing, try posting this question in the behavior forum, I am sure you'll get more answers there: after all, it's a behavior thing, isn't it?

post #9 of 34
there are also those fitted little nail caps that just cover the real nails so that they aren't as sharp. You put them on with a *safe* type of glue and they stay on for a few weeks, then just fall off. This is another way to stop kitties from scratching everything. They've got clear caps too, for all of you who think blue kittie nails are a little strange looking (like I do - haha:LOL: )
post #10 of 34
I am so glad that I live in Australia and it is illegal here. I think the saddest thing about it is that I believe many people don't realise exactly what the procedure entails and the risks and possible psychological damage done to the cat.

I have read so much about declawing because I was so shocked when I found out that they remove the whole knuckle of each toe.

My cats (past, present and future) are so important to me as individual personalities. They are worth the time, money and effort it takes to train them. To physically injure a loving devoted member of your family for the sake of material possesions is not the behaviour of an animal lover. Would those same people, in a house fire rescue the beloved leather lounge, instead of their pets?

The most offensive thing about declawing is the fact that the vets still do it! Vets should be required to take a similar oath as doctors - DO NO HARM! I understand that there are many vets who do refuse to declaw cats, thi$ $hould $end alarm bell$ about the motive of vet$ who do choo$e to do it.

Jacquie, rather than reprimanding Jinxy for scratching, try a loud UH-OH or HAH! and then pick him up (everytime) place him on the scratching post. If he so much as tweaks one claw on the thing, give him a treat. It might help to have more than one scratching post, in a few different places. The more consistent you are, the easier it will be for him to learn. I am sure that many of those anti-declawing sites have detailed advice on how to train your cat and/or how to protect your furniture.
post #11 of 34
We tried several different types of scratching posts for Danielle. A sisal, and a carpeted one. she showed no interest.

Then I got a horizontal corragated cardboard one. She went right for it!! We got several, and put them around the apartment.

Only occasionally do I see her trying to scratch the doorway, I say "NO", she stops and goes to the cardboard one.

Try different types of materials.
post #12 of 34
I've just finished writing an extensive article about how to get a cat to use the scratching post. It includes lots of alternative to declawing. I hope to get it online by tomorow.
post #13 of 34
One of my cats would scratch the door frame as well (never scratched the furniture, thank goodness). I put some double-sided tape on the door frame and then after a week I removed one strip of tape at a time (so he wouldn't realize I was removing it). He never scratched the frame again...even after moving to a new house!
post #14 of 34
thanks anne! I'll have to take a look at it - sometimes nothin' tries to scratch the carpet. He acts like he's going to stretch then keeps pulling the carpet up with his nails thinking my family and I won't know what he's doing ("uh-huh, sure nothin' - you are smarter than us." ) We bought him a scratching post before, but he wasn't interested. We even tried putting catnip on it! Your article will probably help a lot
post #15 of 34
There's the link:

I'd love to get feedback here.
post #16 of 34
Absolutely NO declawing - no matter which way the old fashioned or the new laser technique - declawing is still declawing!
post #17 of 34
Jinxy shows no real interest in scratching posts either. Or he would scratch it, but also scratch the carpet as well. As for clipping his nails, that would be fine, but have you ever tried to clip a Persian's nails. It is virtually impossible as the fur is everywhere!!! Much easier on my tabby. Where can I get a horizontal cardboard one, or did you make it yourself. He only scatches the carpet. He loves to be squirted with water, and yelling at him does nothing. He's a little devil!!! I'll keep trying, but believe me, my husband is the nicest guy and absolutely loves animals, but still does not believe it is that bad to de-claw, especially if we do it by lazer!

post #18 of 34
Thread Starter 

have you seen Anne's article?

Maybe you could try the nailcaps? or try to find some noise that Jinxy hates? For example, one of my cats hates the sound of plastic bags and gets really scared. Try to find a noise that he hates when he scratches...

post #19 of 34
yeah - they've got all kinds of sizes for nail caps, too - and they're very safe. Even different colors (the last page on this post shows them) I'm not sure if petsmart.com has them, but I know http://drfostersmith.com do - just go to the "cat" section and type in "nail caps" under the search, it should bring them up
post #20 of 34
I must say, when I visited thew declawing site mentioned in the first thread and saw those pics, I was ill. How horrible for those poor cats!!! My kitties have all their claws and always will have. My Loco has scratched the back of my couch up a bit, but since I got him a sisal scratching post, he never uses anything else. He's even teaching his 'little sister' Missy to use the post! I think its a good idea to try the cardboard horizontal scratching pads if your kitty shows no interest in the upright posts, my oldest kitty Onyx will only scratch on horizontal surfaces. I'm considering circulating some of these pictures of the declawing surgery in my area so people won't do it. Luckily in my area, its not a common thing that pet owner's do.
post #21 of 34
Thread Starter 
Originally posted by Melissa
I must say, when I visited thew declawing site mentioned in the first thread and saw those pics, I was ill.
Melissa, I did feel sick too that's why I posted these links, I think that people should see and understand exactly what declawing is... My 3 kitties have all their nails and occasionnally they may scratch furniture but that's the way cats are... Most of the time they scratch the post i maide for them: the trunk of a pine tree with a sisal cord around it. And I even built a little platform on top of the post. They love it!

post #22 of 34
My dad helped me build a small cat tree for my kitties and it includes a length of pine tree wrapped in sisal rope too. My cats love it!!! So much better than resorting to declawing. And you know, I think I'd rather sacrifice the most beautiful and expensive furniture than do that to my babies. They shouldn't pay that kind of price just for being themselves..people ought to realize that cats don't think like people and shouldn't be punished for natural behavior in such a painful way as declawing. Thats my opinion anyways.
post #23 of 34
I didn't look at the pics - I've seen soooo many cruelty pics, it really only takes one. And pain is pain - you know that the animal is in pain and that it doesn't have to go through it! so why do it? Just so you can think you "saved" your furniture? Sorry, but my furniture is not as important as keeping all the toes on my kitties.
post #24 of 34

I bought a horizontal cardboard scratching pad for my cat here in Hong Kong, so it should also be available in the States. It is like a bunch of pieces of cardboard stuck together so that all the rough edges are lined up, if that makes any sense. It took a while for my cat Ebony to get used to it, but I finally put it next to his food and water dishes. Now when he goes for a drink or snack he also has a scratch. You can also just try a regular cardboard box with something heavy inside. Ebony just loves to climb up on these and scatch.

My cat still does scratch a bit on the furniture but less than before. If you have anything you really don't want damaged, try keeping that room inaccessible to the cat.

post #25 of 34
Thanks Regina. I will look for a cardboard post. I think that when it comes down to it, my husband would not even have the heart to declaw Jinxy. I think I can control him, but we just bought a new house and my husband is nervous with all of the new furniture at the moment. I'll do my part and keep trying to find a scatch post that will work. The problem is that with our last cat, we clipped his nails with no problem, bur since Jinxy is a Persian, his paws are sooo furry that it is extremely hard to clip his claws. I'll figure it out though! Argggh!! Thanks again.

post #26 of 34
What's the new laser technique? Is it a tendonectomy?

By the ay, we ordered SoftPaws for Gus, but the size chart is off, so we have to send them back for a larger size. I even compared the soft Paw itself to their size chart and there was quite a difference. So if anyone orders these, they may want to go with the next size up.
post #27 of 34
how come vets dont tell you or try to stop you from declawing your kitties? We had our two kitties declawed when I was 6 years old, i thought they just cut thier nails off and it was simple surgery. Not untill just a few weeks ago did i realize how horrible it really is. My mom had no idea eitehr, i dont blame my mom for the decision, we jsut asked the vet about it and he was like ok we can do that, gave us no alternatives. They hurt for the week but then were fine and lived long wonderful lives We did it mostly not because of furniture or anything but my mom and i are really severely allergic to the little guys and take medicine so we can have them. My mom even used to take shots untill the severity of her alleriges diminished over the years of having them, though there are lots of sneeizing days if we snuggle our faces into them too much when they havent recently been brushed I'd have 3 shots a day forever if it was between having my kitties or getting rid of em. Luckily my allergies have subsided to. If they scratched us, even just a little one it would incredibly puff up and itch for a long time. But this isnt about allergies, this is to why vets dont tell you! Its like getting a boob job and them FORGETTING to warn you that you wont be able to move for 2 weeks. Even now if you brought it up to some vets its just looked at as pulling a tooth. I dont understand.
post #28 of 34
Hi JaquieFaith,

Congratulations on the new house!

Just a suggestion, if the nails are hard to trim then perhaps you could take him to a groomer once and watch how they do it? Even if you don't want to pay for regular grooming, you could see how it's done and then try to follow the same procedure.

Is your cat Jinxy named after the one in the movie Meet the Parents? If so, do you plan to have him trained by an ex-CIA operative?

post #29 of 34
You guessed it Regina, Jinxy was named after the Meet the Parents cat. He looks like him (but way cuter!!!) and me and my husband really get a kick out of that movie. As for being trained by a CIA operative, I'll get back to you...

That is a pretty good idea about taking him to a groomer to see how it is done. I'll think about that because he is so furry and we bathe him about once a month and it takes forever and a day to dry him. So a groomer is probably not a bad idea in general and they can take care of it all. I'll talk with my husband about that one tonight!!! I guess I didn't really think of it becasue we had had a kitty for so many years who recently died and he never needed a groomer.

In the meantime, if anyone has any ideas about how you clip a Persian's claws, I would love to hear it!!! Thanks.

post #30 of 34
It's easiest if you get them wet first
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