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Declawing... Help!

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 
We have decided to get a new little kitty to share our hearts and home with. The only thing is, my parents say it has to be declawed.

I just joined this site and have been reading that a lot of the members are against declawing. I have never been for or against it... but now I guess I am kinda against it, even though our cat Emily of 3 years is declawed and is doing fine.

I don't know what to do. I would really love a new kitty, especially with my loss of Star a couple weeks ago, My heart is emty and I think it would be great to share my heart with a new furbaby.

But is declawing a really bad thing? Like.. is it so bad that I should just skip getting another kitten just so it doesn't have to be declawed? I've begged my parents... but there's no way around it. It's clawless kitty or no kitty.

Please help. Any suggestions would be great.
post #2 of 18
You might try looking around area shelters for cats that have already been declawed.

Or you could casually slip your parents literature on declawing and why it is bad for cats as well as other options like soft-paws. Maybe if they have more information they will change their minds.

Or you could do both. is great and if you use their advanced search feature you can check a box at the bottom to see only declawed pets.

Good luck!!
post #3 of 18
Maybe you could adopt a cat that is already declawed? I got my Henry from the Humane Society, and he had been declawed by his previous owners. I would check at your local shelter, I'm willing to bet there are lots of cats in need of homes who have already been declawed - this way you could have a new kitty, but not have to declaw a cat yourself. Good luck!
post #4 of 18
Hmmm...I always had to declaw my cats before, but now that I'm in my own home with my own furniture at stake....I can finally prove to my mother that a cat with enough clawing material (like cat tress and such) is much less likely to destroy stuff. My two kittens have all their claws and they never touch my couches.
I must say that once I learned that declawing wasn't such the easy and small procedure, I swore never to do that to a cat again. Poor babies.
post #5 of 18
Actually, it is pretty bad. There are some cats that seem to do fine despite having been declawed, but your kitty is only three years old, and complications from declawing may not show up until she's older - and she'd be lucky if that's the case. Cats walk on their toes, and the process of declawing, as you may have read by now, actually removes the end of the toe from the last joint up. This causes cats to walk with a different posture than normal, and it usually results in early onset arthritis. And that's the least of the problems.

Some cats, when declawed, become biters, because they have no other method of defense. Some cats, because of the pain of walking, exhibit problems by not using the litterbox. 85% of cats left at shelters for behavioral problems are cats that have been declawed.

I'm so sorry you lost your kitty Star. My heart goes out to you. For us, the kitties are part of the family, and we're "new" to cats, so our oldest are just three years old. But if anything happened to any of them, I can't imagine how devastated we'd be.

Personally, I'd go without a new kitty rather than bring home a kitty that had to be declawed.

You may not know, but declawing has been banned in 23 countries around the world because it is viewed as animal cruelty - it's been banned in all of Europe, Israel, Slovenia, Japan, Brazil, I think - I don't remember the list, but it's a long one.

In the U.S., even the position of the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) is that declawing should only be considered as an absolute last resort or if medically required for the cat or if the owner has a disease where they could bleed to death if scratched.

This link[/url] will take you to a page where there are many links to articles and official positions on declawing. Why not print a number of them out and give them to your parents? Help educate them as to why declawing is considered inhumane and unacceptable - so unacceptable that it's illegal - in so many countries around the world.

There are so many things that can be done to help kitty scratch on things besides the furniture. There are so many types of scratching devices that can be provided for the cats. The only problem is that the scratching devices need to be placed where kitty likes to scratch - and if that's not OK with your parents, then instead of buying a new kitty and having her declawed, why not call all the shelters in your area and rescue a kitty - despite being older - that has already been declawed?
post #6 of 18
Thread Starter 
Thanks a bunch for your help! I will look for a pre-declawed cat then.

We were looking at about 5 different shelters, and one of them spays/nueters and declaws the cats as soon as they come in. I think thats awesome to do with the spay/nueter thing... but the declaw thing is iffy. But I think if I have to get a declawed cat it will be from there. I just feel bad now, like I'm a cruel animal care-taker for having a kitty thats declawed.

I'll do my best to convince my parents. They don't seem to be budging though. I already talked to them about having to get their toe amputated an stuff. They just keep saying "Look at Emily, she's declawed.. and she turned out fine!"

Parents will be parents.
post #7 of 18
Mine are the same way. Someday you'll move out and you can have all the clawed kitties you want! :-)
post #8 of 18
You shouldn't feel like you're a cruel animal care-taker for having a kitty that's declawed. When we had to board our cats at the vet for a vacation (they have a great boarding facility - they call it "Bed and Breakfast" for kitties, lol!), there's a sheet you fill out for each cat - any medications they're on, any special instructions, etc. And there's a section where you're supposed to put a little check mark in the box if you want to have your cat bathed while you're gone - or if you want to have your cat declawed while your gone. So many vets treat it like it's nothing - and they have the motivation to do so, because they make money on the procedure.

There's a huge battle going on out in California. Several townships/counties have banned declawing, and they were trying to make it statewide. But the vet associations are fighting back like mad. It looks like they may end up with a law to "educate and wait" - where an educational video and materials must be provided to people before they decide to have their cat declawed. This would be a great thing, because right now vets just don't tell you - and many of them do it without thinking about it, because they haven't read any of the studies done on it, and don't know themselves the many problems associated with it.

You're not alone - there are many people here who had their kitty declawed before they even knew to think it was something that could hurt their cat permanently.
post #9 of 18
Yes...when I read about the similarities to having our toes cut I just went white and never looked back on my decision. Unfortunatly, my Drusilla, who's about 5 years old has been declawed out of ignorance, so there's nothing I can do about it. But I still went to see her where she was asleep and kissed her front paws and told her I was so sorry, that I wouldn't let that happen to a cat of mine ever again. I know she don't understand, but at least I told her.;P I'm very sentimental with my cats!
post #10 of 18
Declawing is EVIL.
Call it what it is: toe amputation.

I lived with a scratcher - she came that way at age 2 - and could never be trained NOT to scratch. We compromised: We shut her out of the good furniture rooms - unless we were with her. We also put on those plastic wraps around the claws - so all clawing did NO damage.

Get a rescue cat that has been previously declawed; insist on it, and insist on NOT taking your new cats' claws.

I got a new cat 2 mns ago, age 1 year. She liked scratching when she arrived, but I put bitter end on the furniture and got her a cat condo that has many pleasing posts on it to scratch. She has no desire for the couch at all as a result.
post #11 of 18
Your not bad for having your pet declawed. You really didnt have any choice. But I am not one for declawing. I am actuallyt very very against it. My furniture pays, i dont care. Just like kids. Someday when your on your own you can choose. I do agree getting an already declawed kitty is a good idea.
post #12 of 18
Thread Starter 
Ok I've talked it over with mom. I told her about the caps... she said no. I told her about getting an older cat... she said no. I suggested we just not get a cat... and she said no too. She said it's better to have 2 cats, since Emily is getting lonely. And god only knows why it has to be a kitten. She's closed the subject... what's said is law.

I don't know what I can do.
post #13 of 18
I am so happy to hear you are getting a new kitten and again, I am so sorry about Star.

Some info. on declawing:
What is declawing?
Declawing is the amputation of each front toe at the first joint (hind foot declaw surgery is not commonly performed on house cats, but is quite common in lions, tigers, and other big cats). This is equivalent to a person losing the entire tip of every finger at the first knuckle. The surgery is so predictably painful that it is used to test the effectiveness of pain medications. Initial recovery takes a few weeks, but even after the surgical wounds have healed, there are often other long-term physical and psychological effects.

Link on more info. declawing:
post #14 of 18
Thread Starter 
Leesali, thanks.

But I KNOW what declawing is. I KNOW what it does to the cat. I KNOW it's cruel and wrong. But I can't do jack squat about it because I'm 14 and my parents won't hear it.

I feel terrible.
post #15 of 18
Did you give her any websites to read? Sometimes parents need to hear things from sources beside their children before they listen to them. It is sad that your parents are being so stubborn and close minded about this. I'm sorry.

You might be able to find a younger cat (1 or 2 years) that has been declawed. A kitten might actually be too much for Emily if she is older, she might not like it very much. There are lots of kittens that need homes though, so you can comfort yourself by knowing that you're saving an animal from a miserable life on the street or worse.
post #16 of 18
If your mum said no to an already declawed cat then i would knock the idea on the head of getting a new kitten and putting the poor thing through any unnecessary pain

I personally don't think she's reasoning with you on this?!
post #17 of 18
Do you know your vet's point of view on declawing? I know my vet. thinks it is horrible and inhumane. Possibly, your vet. could explain the procedure and ramifications to your parents? Just an idea. You are definitely in a tough position. Sorry.
post #18 of 18
Thread Starter 
I printed out a bunch of website pages for my mom, she read a couple words then got real agrivated.. and was like "I already told you...".

She seemed pretty mad, I guess I pushed her too far.

My vet told us with emily that the procedure was painful and recovery would be slow, but then she said afterwards everything would be fine. I didn't know it could cause long-term problems. And my mom won't hear it. I feel horrible. I don't know what to do. I hate being a kid.

I know when I move out and get my own house there will be NO declawed cats.

And ma said it HAD to be a kitten because even though Em is 3 she's still playful. I would ask my dad for help but he doesn't even want to get another cat, and already had it in for my last two (not really, but he never really cared for them).

I just don't want to feel the guilt like it's on me that mom's gonna declaw another cat. But it seems that way. Especially since she said its gonna be MY cat.


Thanks foryour help. I fear there may be no way out of this.

"I personally don't think she's reasoning with you on this?!"

That would be my thoughts too rosiemac.

Thanks everyone.
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