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Apartments forcing Declawing (grrrr)

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
Sorry for the long post. Skip toward the middle for my question...the rest is background.

So about 8 months ago, I found 6 kittens who were starving. Never saw a mommy, and they were in a bad place (college campus). I decided that I should save them before the university decided to "get rid" of them. Plus, they were only being fed cow milk at the time (according to someone that saw them around).

They were so malnourished, but I nursed them to health. I gave four of them away to good homes in pairs. I still see two of them, and they are doing great. I was NOT going to keep any. They shed. They aren't cheap. They scratch furniture. Etc. But they were also sooooo cute. Two cats seem easier to care for than one, so I kept the runt and another one. They are still perfect, BUT...

It is not easy to find nice apartments that allow cats. I'm in one now, but they require the cats to be declawed (and the cats are NOT). I just pretended not to see that part of the lease. The only damage was caused when one was locked in a room (a draft from an open window blew the door closed). Otherwise, no big deal. I was in an apartment managed by the same company before, and the cats had gotten to the carpet in one spot. So they have to "know" the cats have claws. Basically, I am breaking my lease but I'm hoping it to not be an issue. I am a good tenant overall.

Has anyone else dealt with this? I am against declawing, but what right does the apartment have? I'm going to pay for any damage. Moving isn't really an option because the policy is so common in my town. I looked at 6 apartments that allowed pets, and ALL of them have a front-declaw policy. Has anyone found this to be negotiable? I paid a cat deposit, plus I pay monthly rent for the cats. I mean, there is NO WAY the cats could ever do that much damage.

Overall questions:

Does my apartment have a right to come into my apartment and physically CHECK my cats' claws?

Do complexes ever negotiate on this declaw policy?

And finally, can an animal be related as a service animal for stress-related "stuff" and would that supercede a declaw policy? I HAD a serious illness that makes stress something I should avoid, and the cats help with stress.

It just angers me so much that apartments would force me to declaw. And I feel stuck. If they DO say something to me, I can declaw the cats (not an option), get rid of them (only to a no-kill shelter, and none have vacancies) or break my lease and move--BUT TO WHERE? I want to keep the cats and their claws without being evicted. I would rather get rid of the cats than declaw them, but getting rid of them is nearly impossible to me. It is so insane that this is even an issue. Any suggestions?
post #2 of 6
Does my apartment have a right to come into my apartment and physically CHECK my cats' claws?

Yes, if it is in the lease, they certainly could use it as a reason to ask you to leave. It'd probably only happen if one of these cats scratched someone.

And finally, can an animal be related as a service animal for stress-related "stuff" and would that supercede a declaw policy? I HAD a serious illness that makes stress something I should avoid, and the cats help with stress.

Got a note from a shrink?

Basically...make sure your cats are neutered and kept indoors. Like a lot of things, if it is out of sight and inaudible, it stays out of mind. If a landlord wants to evict you bad enough, they can always find something to do it. If you pay your rent on time and stay quiet, they won't hassle you too much.

My current lease says: All pets must be under 20 lbs. S/N only. Any pets taken outside must be kept in carriers or on leash. $100 additional deposit per pet.

(I just saw the $100 thing -- the property manager has seen Nano and didn't ask for the $100 so I guess she doesn't care. Of course I am an above average tenant who doesn't cause problems, so maybe it is not a big deal in my case.)

But an apartment complex can do whatever they want -- they can make it senior citizens only, they can make it no children, no pets, etc.
post #3 of 6
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the quick reply. Cats shouldn't scratch anyone, and they stay inside. But, yeah, I have broken my lease in other ways such as keeping my car in the same spot for over 24 hours. They have no real "reason" to evict me, just lots of legal mumbo-jumbo if they choose to do so. I think that this is a corporate policy, but the local management probably will never try to enforce it. I think it would be too much of a headache for them.

The service animal part was a semi-joke. I had cancer. I'm in remission, so reduced stress is extra helpful. But I would not really want to use the cancer card.

They are S/N, quiet, and basically non-destructive except for one couch. I didn't discipline them enough, but now I have an antique couch!

I look forward to reading other replies, but I think that there will not really be an issue.
post #4 of 6
Last summer I was looking to move and when I found an apt in a good neighborhood that accepted cats I was happy when I asked about the cats she said they had to be declawed, needless to say I didn't take the apt and am trying to move out of the state this summer. I think this may depend on what state you are in. I am from NYC and never had a problem with having animals . I always had a dog or 2 cats around. I moved to Louisiana and discovered how unfriendly a state they are towards animals. We have the 20lb limit in most apts and they don't ask for $100 deposit they ask $300 per pet. Plus some ask for $20 per pet more a month in rent. I am trying to move out of state, but I think Louisiana is extreme in its requirements when it comes to pets. I would never , never declaw my pet instead I would investigate another apt . If they ask if the cat is declawed say yes, maybe you can forge a letter from a vet? . Good luck with this. Cheryl
post #5 of 6
I wouldn't worry too much. I mean, you are living in it, your cats aren't declawed, but nobody knows. Nobody is bothering you about having to declaw them. So, just leave it alone. For instance, I am only allowed one cat, but I have two.
post #6 of 6
to be honest i wouldnt mention it to the. they are very unlikely to notice and if your a good tenant to even care.

dont make problems for yourself, dont let them know.

if they want to come in your apartment for any reason they will have to give you 24hrs notice unless itsd an emergency eg your house is on fire. in which time you can hide the cats!

if they do find out why not use soft paws/claws instead of de-clawing?
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