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post #1 of 23
Thread Starter 
Hi all, I'm new to this site. I'm turning to you because I'm facing a bit of a dilemma. I have a 2 1/2 year old cat, Mollie. She's completely an indoors cat. I've had her since she was 4 weeks old and we love each other very much. She even sleeps on my bed with me every nite. the thing is this. She's not very friendly with strangers; she'll hiss at them then if any of them tries to put out their hands to pet her she'll swing at them. If she hits them it usually ends in breaking of the skin and bleeding. She's given me numerous scars on my hands and arms. Sometimes due to playing and sometimes not. She doesnt like to have her nails clipped. The last time I took her to her vet to have her nails clipped they even tried sedating her and she fought it so they were only abled to clip 3 of her paws. They said next time I want her paws clipped they are going to have to put her to sleep in order to do it. It's going to cost $145 if I want her naiils clipped each time. I cannot afford that. But I'm so, so, so against declawing her front paws too, though. Do I have any other alternatives? Gosh, I don't know what to do?!? I asked her vet for a quote on declawing and they said $265-is this around the ball park of how much declawing would cost? It sounds high to me for some reason. Anyways, I've not completely decided on what to do. I've been delaying this decision for a few months now; but the time has come for me to decide. I've even built her a scratching post and sprinkled cat-nip on it too, but she won't use it. She doesn't scratch my furnitures at all; just me and my friends. She's a very smart cat and loving cat towards me, only it seems. Anyone with any words of wisdom for me I'd be forever thankful.

post #2 of 23
There are several things you can do. You can buy a natural wood scratcher, or even an older piece of wooden furniture and make that her scratching place. Even buying a small wooden ladder will work. The natural hard wood will blunt her nails.

You can clip her nails yourself, you truly can. You can't be stressed when you do it, she must be resting, and you take it slow. First you just pick up her paw and hold it lightly in your hand. You don't restrain her, you just rest the paw gently in your palm. Then you move off. You come back later and do her other paw. When she pulls away, don't get mad just leave and then try it again. When she accepts you holding her paw, then you just gently spread her toes. Again, one paw at a time, one day at a time. When she is finally comfortable enough not to pull away that's when you pull out the cat nail trimmers. Keep tasty treats in your pocket. Clip just the tip of the nail, give her a treat- leave. Slow and steady works, not rushing, if you can only do one claw a day, then so be it. Soon she will just let you do what needs to be done without fighting.

I use this system with my feral cats all the time and it always works-
post #3 of 23
Our last cat had the exact same disposition. She loved my mom completely, and was the picture perfect cat with her, but neither me or my friends or the neighbors were able to handle her, even as a little kitten. My mother decided to get her declawed to keep any accidents from happening, and it was the worst thing we could have done. Once she was declawed she started to stalk and attack me and whoever walked in the house. I put up with being randomly attacked for 9 years (until she passed away), and my friends and neighbors refused to enter our home.

The only thing I can suggest is telling people not to touch her as soon as they walk in the door. (Not that most of them will listen, I learned that the hard way. "What do you mean she attacks?" Then they'd try to pick her up, get bit, and I ended up physically pushing them out the door. Love me, respect my demon cat - or else.)

Also, try not to get your hands involved in play time. That will help a lot in cutting down on injuries. And make sure to watch her closely to determine what her signs are. She'll give you warning signs as to when she'll "randomly" attack, and you'll know to get out of the way.

That cat was the most intelligent cat I have ever owned. She was more like a roomie that a cute cuddly pet, but to be honest, I really grew to love her, and the relationship we had. Mom and I figured that the behavioral problems were due to her being a one person only cat, on top of being inbred. She may not have been friendly with others, but every single one of my friends still talk about her with awe in their voice - I kid you not. They don't remember what their SO's pet name is, but they remember Eby.

And to answer your question on the cost of declawing, that sounds about right, if not a little too cheap, for it to be a good declawing. To have it done the right way by a skilled vet is going to cost around 300 to 400 dollars, at least in the area where I live.
post #4 of 23
Thread Starter 
Thanks for your great suggestions and stories. Trust me, I've tried trimming her nails myself. I'd be lucky if she gives in to me with one paw, little less all four. The funny thing is at night before going to sleep she'll be laying on her side of my bed and I'll come in to say goodnight to her and she'll be laying there with all four legs neatly stretched out one on top of the other; then i'll lean over to kiss her head goodnite and move down to kiss all four of her paws (not legs) and she'll let me kiss it without any comotions; so i'll kiss it several times just to see what happens; nothing really, she just sits there and allows me to kiss them. But when I put my hand out so she can rest her paw on it (in order to cut) she won't do it. Anytime I try to touch her paws/legs with anything other than my gestures to kiss them, she won't let me. It's like she knows what's going on. I even thought it was her vet at one time trying to make money off of me by saying they have to put her to sleep in order to cut her nails; that I took her to different facilities and, oh my, it's not my vet. She even got one girl so scared the girl cried and just about had a nervous breakdown. Tried another vet clinic, sure enough, it was Mollie's doing, again. You know her vet has report cards for how the cat's behavior was during the visit on that day? Well, Mollie's always gotten "a bad seed" on her report card. lol I mean, I know I didn't raise any bad seed, ya know? It gets a bit discouraging at times. But what can I do? Oh, does anyone know what "holist" means? I've seen ads for a holist vet clinic. What is that? A practice of some sort or a believe of some sort in their practice? Similar to the human's homeopathy or of the like?
thanks again guys/gals. asianeyes67
post #5 of 23
Holistic vets use homeopathy. It might be worth a shot to try one, to see if they have better ideas than regular vets.

Yeah, I know what you mean about taking an unfriendly cat to the vet. We took her in right before she passed away, and she put a terrible fight with the two vet techs, bit the vet, and urinated all over the table. They actually had no problems with us bringing her in for overnight obervation the next day, though. It might take a while, but there are vets who are comfortable working with ferals and other "problem" cats.

I was just having a conversation at the shelter with a few of the ladies who have been there for years. We were talking about how they used to rescue and rehabilitate ferals, and it came up in the discussion about how some cats who have been raised from birth around humans will still act "feral" even though their parents were typical friendly house cats. No clue as to why, though.
post #6 of 23
The reason the price for the declaw may be so expensive could be the age of the cat. Our clinic will not declaw a cat over a year old.

Is it possible to play with her and tire her out, then clip the toenails while she is sleeping. Does she like any sort of treats, if so reward her when you get a toenail done, if that works build it up till she only gets a treat when you finish a paw.
post #7 of 23
Rosie doesn't take too kindly to my friends young son and has hissed at him if he goes near her.

If Mollie scratches your friends then tell them to stop putting their hands out to her.

Sometimes if i stroke Rosie, after a while her tail will start to move up and down and thats when i know she's had enough otherwise she'll take a snack at me or whacks me with her paw.

Some cats are love bugs like my other cat Sophie, but then others want to be (like Rosie) but on their terms.
post #8 of 23
Spirit has issues with being pointed at and will attack. We had house guests that were terrified of her (and they had 3 cats of their own), and that is the way she likes it. Spirit at 5 weeks old would spit at us, even though she was raised in a house with a family, she just likes to be a bad ass.
post #9 of 23
Originally Posted by asianeyes67
I asked her vet for a quote on declawing and they said $265-is this around the ball park of how much declawing would cost? It sounds high to me for some reason. Anyways, I've not completely decided on what to do.
Please, please, please don't get her "declawed" "Declawing" is a deceptive term. They don't just remove the nails, they remove the first joint of each toe as well-- in other words, they cut off part of the foot. Your cat would have to learn to walk again because her balance would be extremely thrown off. Plus she would endure weeks of agonizing pain.
post #10 of 23
Originally Posted by wodesorel
it came up in the discussion about how some cats who have been raised from birth around humans will still act "feral" even though their parents were typical friendly house cats. No clue as to why, though.
because bottle fed babies are spoilt. they have never learnt the meaning of 'no' nor frustration. a mother cat will nurse and play on her terms, a human 'mother' will pander to the kittens every whim because they are desperate to help the cute baby.

Cat mother wont give in to demands kitten learns frustration and how to deal with it. it learns you cant have everything on your terms, you have to play nice and compromise.

thats my theory any way!
post #11 of 23
How about just trying to clip on claw each day and thats it. Eventually she will let you do 2 a day and then 3 a day, etc...until you can do them all at once.
post #12 of 23
Thread Starter 
Hi again guys, go here and look what Mollie did to me just last nite while I was brushing her. Somehow she got weirded out while i was brushing her and pawed at me & one of nail got caught in my skin (i knew not to jerk or make any sort of gesture that would aggrevate her more) so she started freaking out and grapped my hand with her other paw and than proceeded to bite me and then started kicking my hand with her 2 hind legs. When we are playing she's pretty good when she hurts me in someway and I say ouwee, ouwee several times she eases off but I was just brushing her like I normally do last night and I guess she got a wild her up her butt and started on her tantrum. lol GOOD NEWS IS. Even after all these marks and scars/wounds I've decided NOT to have her declawed. The more I think about having her declawed the more my heart ached. I look at it as not an option. I'll start wearing gloves or do something, but I bought this condo so she could have room to jump (I have a 30 foot wall from the entrance walking up 16 steps leading into the living quarter) and she just loves to jump and run up and down the stairs and jump on the kitchen cabinets. Someone suggested play with her until she gets tired; I'm afraid I'll be the one pooped out before she is. lol Hey, does anyone know if she's at too old of an age for me to get another cat so she can have a companion? Thanks again all for your inputs. Asianeyes67
post #13 of 23
Ouch. Have you tried a laser pointer those are wonderful and all you have to do is sit down while she chases it.
post #14 of 23
In the time that you've had her, has she ever lived with another cat?

I only ask because since she's aggressive with humans, there's a good chance she'll be aggressive with other cats. As an adoption councilor, I wouldn't recommend getting another cat. However, I have heard some of the ladies who have been at the shelter for years suggest that in situations like this, an option would be to find a large dominate male. It does sound like she needs to be shown that she isn't the boss. The problem is that if she's never lived with another cat, or if she and the new cat don't like each other, you'll have some serious problems on your hands. Just some things to think about.
post #15 of 23
I haven't any useful advice for you (unlike the others), just to let you know that there are some other cats like this in the world, and I doubt it's anything personal against you!
I had a cat once who got mad if she was being made a fuss of, & the person got up to go away. I looked over my shoulder at her once, as I was getting up, she lashed out and split my upper lip with her claw.
I also knew a large cat that terrorised his family - he always got the best chair, they pandered to his every whim, and he once chased a local 'hard' dog (an Alsatian) right along their road. The dog's owners came round to complain that their dog was traumatised.

Best of luck!

post #16 of 23
Thread Starter 
No, she's never lived with any other cats. Gosh, Mollie had a vet appointment today for her follow up-luke shot and an exam. Knowing that she's gonna be a bit much to handle I called her vet last nite & asked if she could prescribe me something to give Mollie to calm her down b4 her appnt today; she did. Gave them to Mollie an hour b4 her appnt and it didn't do a thing to her. I told the vet if Mollie was tammed enough to go ahead and give her a shampoo and nail trim. Later in the afternoon got a call from the vet saying Mollie was way, way aggressive that she wasn't even able to do an exam and just gave her the shot. She said if I wanted Mollie to have a shampoo and nail trim and the exam that she would have to put Mollie completely under; that would've been $160 or so. OMG, I don't even spend that much on me for anything that I really want. What to do, what to do. Mollie is angry at me, I think. She hasn't come out of her thrown (lol) since she's been back. So, it looks like another cat is probably not the best solution. How about a dog? Anyone know? Thanks, asianeyes67
post #17 of 23
I had a little black cat for 15 years named Nancy. She didn't have a real "owner" until we took her in at age 5. She was a little gangster of cat. No one could touch Nancy without her approval. And NO ONE absolutely NO ONE could touch her paws ever. I thought all cats were like that. We told everyone not to touch Nancy unless she touched you first...and we warned about her paws. Sometimes people got scratched because they didn't listen. I kept antibacterial ointment around and offered them some. It never happened more than once.

Nancy did not play. No toys interested her and we never considered playing with her with our hands because of her back off attitude. Of course, she had the option of going outside, catching mice, climbing trees, etc.

She also hated other cats in her house or yard and until she was 7 years old would fight at the drop of a hat. At 7 she started losing some of fights and after that she stayed indoors. She still never played. No scampering about, nothing like that. Life was serious business for Nancy. For exercise she would dash madly about the apartment for 10 minutes once in a while. We'd get out of her way until she was done.

Nancy would sleep next to me, but only as long as I didn't touch her. We had her for two years before she purred.

But you know what? We loved Nancy because she had so much spirit. And she got more mellow with age. And her claws were never clipped.

I guess I'm saying you gotta love your cat for who she is. She's high-strung, high-spirited, nervous, grumpy and bossy. She can also be tender sweet and loving. Tell your friends hands off and don't play with her in ways that allow her to bite you. If she's short haired don't brush her unless she really likes it most of the time and you want to. Compromise. If she's not clawing your furniture don't worry about her claws.

That's my advice straight out.
post #18 of 23
I forgot something. When you do take Mollie to the vet stay with her. Let them do the exam, the shots, etc. while you're there with her so you can help control her.

Also some vets are better with biters than others. Mine had a little nylon muzzle that he put on one of my foster cats so he could draw blood. Try different vets.

Something funny about my Nancy. When she was seven we took her to the vet for an abcess and she bit him. He wrote BITES in big red letters on her chart. When she was 18 and had lost most of her teeth it looked really funny to us.
post #19 of 23
She's not to old to get another companion. However they will have an adjestment period. There are alot of threads one introducing a new cat into the household.
post #20 of 23
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the going with her and staying with the vet advice. I will try that next time. I think it should work out nicely. Anyone know if having a dog would be an okay addition instead of a cat companion for Mollie? I just posted new pictures of Mollie so if you're interested go to my msn site (earlier posts) and give her a glance. She's a sight for sore eyes. Thanks again all.
post #21 of 23
I definitely agree that this is typical behavior for cats who were raised as only cats from such a young age. A 4-week-old kitten who does not have other cats to interact with is socially deprived and this manifests iteself through bad behavior in adulthood, because the kitten never learns boundaries. Think back to when she was a kitten. I'd bet a lot of money that you tolerated a lot of scratching and biting behavior from her back then because she was so little and it didn't hurt at all and she was just playing. I'm not saying you are a bad mom. Practically everybody does this with tiny kittens. It takes a lot of self-discipline to begin disciplining such a tiny kitten to know that hands are not for biting. The problem is that what's cute when they're teeny-tiny is decidedly un-cute when they're grown up! But they can't understand that, of course.

One thing the vet could try doing is netting her. They can pull one leg out at a time this way.

I've always had good luck ambushing my cats while they sleep. I often can't get more than one claw done at a time, but I get all their toes done over the course of a day or so.

Please do not declaw her. The procedure is absolutely identical to what it would be if they amputated your fingers at the first knuckle. This is likely to cause more problems than it solves, because when she attacks she is going to use her teeth and back claws, and these cause far worse injuries than front claws.
post #22 of 23
Thread Starter 
ok guys, i've found the perfect solution to declawing. it's called softpaws, and it's inexpensive. Has anyone gotten this done for their cats/kittens before? Please share your experience if you have. tx
post #23 of 23
Originally Posted by asianeyes67
ok guys, i've found the perfect solution to declawing. it's called softpaws, and it's inexpensive. Has anyone gotten this done for their cats/kittens before? Please share your experience if you have. tx
CJ is very tickleish and does not like his paws touched. It is futile to try to trim his nails. So I, like you, had to find an option. I use/d softpaws. If you dont know what they are they are little plastic caps that go on the nails made out of the same material that the little plastic nosepeices on glasses are made of. They come with glue that doesnt dry until contact. In theory they are wonderful.

They have many pros and cons. If you can get them on they are great. I have found getting them on can often be as hard as trimming the nails. They stay on for a while, at least 2-3 weeks less often than trimming the nails. The problem that I had is that I would have to put on while cj sleeps. You have to extend the nail and slip it on and hold it on for about 5 seconds until the glue adheres or it will just get pulled off. Then I distract him (cause he has woken up by now) by playing to let the glue dry some more. Give him a treat and you are done for now. If you happen to get hair in it he will try to chew it off (cause it starts to pull the hair as the nail grows out). most landlords will accept this instead of declawing(mine does) and I start putting them on about a week before they come and inspect fire alarms and change filters. When the caps come off their nails are very long and sharp. They come off when the nail sheds the outer layers of the nail.

Bottome line they are about 17 dollars for 40, and they are great, but can be hard to get on. They also stay on longer and better if you can trim the nails before you put them on. Be sure to put a good amount of glue on them and try hard not to get hair in them. They do chew on them at first but after about 10 minutes they just ignore them (assuming little or no hair is in them). Oh yeah! Try to get them in color if you can, it makes it so much easier to see when they come off...... They have them at both petsmart and petco in clear.

I hope I have given you some helpful information.
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