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De-clawing alternatives at my wits end :(

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
Hello, I was wondering, I know most of you here hate the idea of declawing, so I'm asking advice what on earth can I do?

My cats an outdoor cat, so I know declawing isn't really an option. He constantly, and I mean constantly every time hes near any member of my family, "war dances" that's like using his claws to fluff us up!

Hes quite old so I doubt I can train him not to do this, but it really hurts, so much so we can hardly cuddle with him any more because he tears chunks out of us. I frequently have blood dripping down my legs and arms from where he uses his claws on us. He doesn't do it to be spiteful, he does it most when hes happy, but we're all at our wits end.

I'm fed up of shouting at him or telling him off or scaring him for something he finds so natural. It upsets me to tell him off, but I'm also fed up of having to go through pain to cuddle my cat I just don't know what to do!!

Ive thought about them cat claw cap type things, but have decided that he cant have them because a) he's an outdoor cat, and b) he wont let us near his claws to do a thing like that!! I wouldn't have a hand left!! lol

Any ideas or suggestions, I don't want to have to make him an indoor cat, he'd hate it, and be so very very upset but I don't have any more ideas.
post #2 of 16
If he is outside, he needs his claws. I would just leave him be, and not try and pick him up or pet him. Just let him be an outside cat and hope he beats the odds and stays alive a long time.
post #3 of 16
Thread Starter 
He's 13 yrs old now, and a toughy, he's a lot more at home outdoors than indoors, I think its to do with his father being a stray steet cat. And do you realize what your asking me to do by not picking him up or petting him?? I couldnt do that to him not now. Its only been the past 6 months or so that his clawing has gotten really bad. Is there nothing I can do?
post #4 of 16
Is it possible for you to clip the sharp points from the ends of his claws. You may have to be sneaky about it and wait until he's all relaxed and settled in your lap and do as many as you can at a time, or you may just want to take the "bull by the horn", have someone hold him wrapped in a towel and quickly get it done.

Bijou is a kneader on my face before bedtime and if I didn't keep his claws trimmed I would like I'd run into a slasher every day.
post #5 of 16
I would say to clip those claws regularly. Normally, I would suggest SoftPaws, but unless he's an indoor cat, I doubt the SoftPaws would really help, especially if he gets in a fight with another animal or gets trapped or hurt.
post #6 of 16
Thread Starter 
Thank you Any good websites or advice you can give me on how to trim my cats claws? And what I should use to trim them. I don't understand how they could of grown so much lol, hes probably got bored of his scratching post, and he's debarked the trees in my garden, and done a damn good job of scratching his way through into my shed!! lol Hes stripped it of all the waterproof wood stain lol does the clipping stop the pain of it?

Thank you again for the advice
post #7 of 16
i'd pay the money and get a groomer to do it. many do home services. get one that is used to cats.
post #8 of 16
Originally Posted by maverick_kitten
i'd pay the money and get a groomer to do it. many do home services. get one that is used to cats.
my girls gfo to the groomer
post #9 of 16
If your cat is scratching you when you try to cuddle with him, it is his way of telling you that although you like this cuddling, he does not. It is entirely possible that your cat is ill- he is getting up in age and they do have problems as they get older (just like people do). I have three barn cats and I would never pick them up and cuddle them if they were slashing me and "war dancing" with me when I did. If they suddenly started that behavior, I would take them to the vet to be sure they are okay, and if they checked out healthwise okay, I would back away from them and let them have the space they are telling me they want. Your cat programs you through their behavior, it is up to you to be receptive to their needs and leave your needs behind to achieve harmony. Being an outside cat, he should be blunting his nails plenty on the trees and rocks he plays on and scratches on. None of my barn cats have ever had to go to the groomers or the vets to be trimmed, nor have I every trimmed their nails with any regularity.

You are talking about how you are fearful of his claws as well you should be. Get your cat to the vet to be sure he is healthy and if he is, then just give him the courtesy of leaving him be in his senior years. He will come to you once you start ignoring him, and he won't be prepared for war when he does either.
post #10 of 16
Thread Starter 
I dont particually go around picking him up and things he jumps on us and then "war dances" while purring and drooling, as though hes trying to make up more comfy to sleep on, when hes comfy he will stop, hes done this all his life but recently its starting to hurt! lol
Maybe hes not scrathing enough when he goes out, I see him do it, but maybe he just enjoys hearing us go "ow" hahaha.
post #11 of 16
I assume by `war dance' you mean that he kneads you? (We call it `making biscuits' around here... )

That's what it sounds like considering you say he's purring and drooling, too. This is a natural cat behaviour and you'll never be able to get him to stop. I would go with what others here have suggested and take him to a groomer to have his claws trimmed.

Just like some dogs have a high prey drive, and some cats like to howl more than others, he obviously has a high `scratch' drive (lol) - especially after what you have described about the outdoors around your house!

It's very difficult to trim a cat's claws if you've never done it before and he's never had them trimmed before. I would definitely take him to the vet, as Hissy suggested, because he's getting old and it sounds like its time for a check-up, and while you're there, the vet can trim his claws and give you some advice on how to keep scratch-free!

He sounds like a sweetie, by the way
post #12 of 16
If he's clawing at you when you pick him up or touch him he might be in pain, particularly if this has just started recently. Considering his age it might be worth getting a vet check just to make sure he's OK. But if he seems comfortable and happy and is just "kneading" you with his claws, then that's quite natural. Although your description of his war dancing doesn't sound like kneading to me, but maybe I misunderstood!
post #13 of 16
Our cat is an inside cat and I trim his claws weekly. He's very laid back so its really easy for me to take my time and everything. Inside cats seem to be more "tame".

Of course I don't trim the claws to keep me safe, I do it for my dog because my cat wrestles hard with our German Shepherd (all in good fun) and has caused her to bleed before.. She of course, doesn't care, but I'd rather the dog not bleed. They get sooo into it..

I agree with taking your cat to the vet, getting him checked out, and trying to trim the claws, although since he's outdoors, you may not want to even do that. For your cats protection. It's probably best to leave him alone, or try to train him to live happily indoors (which IS possible).

post #14 of 16
I agree...take him to the vet...just to make sure everythingis OK with him.
Seems odd that he would just now start getting so rough. He may have joint pain and being handled hurts him.....I know I can`t stand a rough hand shake or having little kids walk on my feet since I have gotten older. It hurts and I feel a bit like putting my claws out too.
post #15 of 16
I know exactly what you mean, and "trying to fluff you up" is a good description. My Mom's cat used to do that on me. It's just kneeding, but instead of gentle pushing and extension of claws like most cats do, it is pushing, digging in, and pulling. OUCH! He probably doesn't know better, because he's used to using his claws a lot outside. I sympathize with not wanting him to do it, but not wanting to make him stop because he loves it. It also feels good, minus the claws. Like a little kitty massage!

You could try to trim his nails, but I think it would probably just be a disaster and traumatize both of you. I think I would just try to always have a blanket or throw on hand to put under him, that is thick enough to keep his claws from reaching you.

for claws.
post #16 of 16
Let me back up a little bit... are you really, really sure he needs to continue to stay outside? At his age, he probably has arthritis, and cold weather undoubtedly makes it even more painful for him. He's bound to be slower and more vulnerable than he once was... it's harder for him to outrun aggressors, harder to climb to safety, maybe even harder to hear approaching danger in the first place.

For these reasons, I would NEVER trim his claws as long as he's going outdoors. He needs all his defenses, and even they won't be enough as he grows older. If he stays outdoors, he will not likely have a peaceful passing.

Maybe you should begin to gradually reduce his access to the outdoors and see if he accepts it. Maybe when he indicates that he's ready to go out, you might use some warm kitty-safe milk or treats to bribe him to stay inside awhile longer.

Also, if you install a nice padded shelf in a window or two so he can SEE outside without having to GO out, that might make the indoors more enjoyable for him. I've even seen kitty shelves that are heated! How could he resist? :-)

And if you're able to make him an indoor kitty, you can then trim his claws well or use Soft Paws... if you still need to. It's possible that some of his apparent agitation is due to some close calls or ongoing hostilities he's encountered outdoors, and that becoming an indoor-only kitty would allow him to calm down.

Good luck!
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