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Declawing alternatives??  

post #1 of 25
Thread Starter 
So, I have my two babies, Sunny and Hobbes, and they have a relatively new sister, a bunny named Maisie. They all three get along fairly well (as cats and rabbits do, surprisingly), but I hesitate in letting Maisie around the kitties much, because they want to all three want to play, and I'm worried about them accidentally clawing her. I want to be able to let Maisie out a lot more, but in the current circumstance, I can't...and have to put the cats away to be sure Maisie doesn't get hurt during play. I can see that the kitties want to be with her, and she's extremely interested in being around them, but I cannot in good conscience let them around together because of her getting accidentally clawed during play.

So, I come to my main dilemma. How to make it so their claws aren't a problem at all, as bunnies are very sensitive, and a small cut could easily turn into an absess.

Here are the options I am aware of so far, and my concerns with each:

Declawing: I have always been against it, but right now it seems the only fail-safe way to make sure their claws won't be a problem.

Soft Paws: Good alternative to declawing, but possibly more expensive in the long run. Not only that, but I would have to check to be sure none of the claws have naturally fallen off and need replacement before letting Maisie out of her cage, and this would stress them.

Trimming claws: As this is a good alternative to both of the above options, I am not completely assured that it would keep their claws from being able to hurt Maisie.

It seems declawing them is the best option at this point. They never go outside, and I am very experienced and SURE they would never get out of the house, so I'm not worried about them getting out and not being able to defend themselves, or some such. They really have no need for their claws in their situation, but have always felt it was a little bit taking away of a cat's major part of BEING a cat.

Is it horrible to declaw a cat? What are your opinions? I'm hoping you guys will understand our situation, but at the same time let me know what you think. Ultimately, I know whatever course we take, we will be able to reassure them and restore anything lost as far as their confidence and such. I find myself, for the first time in my cat-owning life, leaning toward declawing, as in this particular situation, it seems the absolute best option. Our kitties aren't wanting for attention or lacking in being made to feel the fullness of their "catness", if you know what I mean, so I'm not really concerned about it damaging their cat self-esteem, so to speak. I really want all three of my babies to have the time together they so obviously want...but just want to be sure no one will get hurt.

So...fire away. Think about my situation, and let me know what you would do and what you think.

Remember: This is not a decision being made based on a behavioural issue or a convenience issue. I am not having trouble with them clawing any furniture, or some such...I am concerned for our bunny's health. It is also not an issue of them trying to hurt her, it would be something that occurred accidentally during play. Please remember these facts when you choose to reply to my post. Thank you.

Another thing I would like to state, and hope people read before they respond:

I realize that this is a anti-declawing site, and totally agree with you guys about not wanting to declaw a cat. I am merely trying to preserve my rabbit's health.

If I find that I am getting responses that are ONLY indicating my asking about declawing is for convenience, I will delete the post altogether, as I really don't think posters are taking into account the unusual situation here, and are only thinking extremely closed-mindedly about it.

Take a moment...consider the situation...THEN respond.
post #2 of 25
Here is an excellent thread that explains declawing, and offers alternatives.

http://www.thecatsite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=41954

There is another link in the TCS Forum Rules

Quote:
3. This website considers declawing a drastic way to curb cat behavior. A painful ordeal for your kitty we would suggest that declawing never be considered for any behavioral issue. Health issues are entirely different. It is up to you as a responsible pet owner to explore all the different options available instead of declawing. Your cat is dependant on you to make wise choices for her, and not put her into any more stress or discomfort. Please be a responsible pet owner and research this subject thoroughly. Understand that if you are pro-declaw in your posts, you will encounter opposition. Please learn more about alternatives for declawing here in our forums as well as on our website itself. Declaw – More Than Just a Manicure. http://www.thecatsite.com/Care/34/De...-Manicure.html Hopefully those of you with claw-related problems will find solutions by spending time in our Behavior Forum.

I hope these are helpful
post #3 of 25
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by AbbysMom
Here is an excellent thread that explains declawing, and offers alternatives.

http://www.thecatsite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=41954

There is another link in the TCS Forum Rules




I hope these are helpful
One thing I would like to state first and foremost...I am not pro-declawing. This is not a convenience issue, and is not me wanting to deal with a behavioural issue. This IS a health issue...our bunny is our baby and friend just as much as our kitties are...and it's HER health I'm taking into consideration here.

If I'm going to get responses that are going to assume otherwise, I will not hesitate to respond rather crossly, as my post obviously does not contain those reasons for thinking of this.

My even stating that I'm considering it is a very difficult thing for me to do, as I am normally against it (and have been for ten plus years now).

PLEASE TAKE INTO ACCOUNT THAT MY CONSIDERING DECLAWING IS FOR HEALTH ISSUES.

Thank you.

P.S. I read the article you provided, and it has nothing to do with the situation I described. Please take that into consideration when you reply to my post. Thank you.
post #4 of 25
I think if you used soft paws that would be fine and then when they all get used to playing together and you can see exactly how the cats try to play with the bunny, then make the decision. They may play differently with the bunny then they do with each other. I would try the soft paws way first as it is the least painful. If you declawed then right off the bat, then realized the cats are actually really gentile with playing with the bunny, you would feel awful for jumping the gun and putting them through a horrible ordeal for nothing.

Plus, a rabbit has claws too, they do the kick their back legs thing while playing just like cats do too I assume since that is why it is called a rabbit kick when cats do it. You wouldn't declaw the rabbit too would you? They both have teeth and they both have claws. I'd say they are pretty even for play. If they already get along great too I wouldn't worry too much.
post #5 of 25
Declawed cats are left with only two means of defense - their back claws and their teeth. Teeth are what cause abscesses even in cats. A declawed cat will use teeth as a means of self defense and Pasteurella bacteria, which most cats carry in their mouths, is very pathogenic. And being clawed with back claws is a rotten experience. I speak from experience on that one.

Bottom line is that declawing is the amputation of all of their toes. It is extremely, extremely painful orthopedic surgery. It is illegal in many countries because it is considered an inhumane procedure. Even vets who will perform declaws often will not even consider the procedure on cats over a year old because a fully mature cat will have an even more painful and complicated recovery.

It's not a cosmetic procedure. The trauma cats feel because of it is physical pain, plain and simple.

I have many friends who have both cats and rabbits. None of the cats are declawed and it has never been a problem.

It's reasonable to be hesitant to allow Maisie to interact with the cats but subjecting the cats to extremely painful surgery as an alternative. If Maisie is lonely, why not consider adopting a buddy for her?

Soft Paws would be a fine alternative. "Possibly more expensive in the long run" is definitely not reason enough to discount it - besides, declawing is so expensive that it may not be more expensive at all. It is definitely less stressful on the cats to have their Soft Paws replaced than to have their toes amputated!
post #6 of 25
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jen
I think if you used soft paws that would be fine and then when they all get used to playing together and you can see exactly how the cats try to play with the bunny, then make the decision. They may play differently with the bunny then they do with each other. I would try the soft paws way first as it is the least painful. If you declawed then right off the bat, then realized the cats are actually really gentile with playing with the bunny, you would feel awful for jumping the gun and putting them through a horrible ordeal for nothing.

Plus, a rabbit has claws too, they do the kick their back legs thing while playing just like cats do too I assume since that is why it is called a rabbit kick when cats do it. You wouldn't declaw the rabbit too would you? They both have teeth and they both have claws. I'd say they are pretty even for play. If they already get along great too I wouldn't worry too much.
True...it is called a bunny kick for that reason. But a rabbit's claws aren't DESIGNED to maim and cut things open. They are merely for digging. They only bite when they need to defend themselves. So, it ISN'T an even playing field.

Yes, they get along great...but when the kitties (as they're just under 2yrs) get excited, they won't particularly think about playing gentle. I know my kitties...and thus why I worry.
post #7 of 25
I don't think I'd really worry all that much.
My oldest shared an apartment with my dwarf bunny.
The bunny played just as hard and just as rough as the cat.
If the cat got too rough, the bunny would simply bite her, which would end the playing for a few hours while they did their seperate things.

Only the cat ever seemed to get any scratches.

I know I've seen wild rabbits completely eviscerate feral cats who got too close to their young.
post #8 of 25
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by semiferal
Declawed cats are left with only two means of defense - their back claws and their teeth. Teeth are what cause abscesses even in cats. A declawed cat will use teeth as a means of self defense and Pasteurella bacteria, which most cats carry in their mouths, is very pathogenic. And being clawed with back claws is a rotten experience. I speak from experience on that one.

Bottom line is that declawing is the amputation of all of their toes.
It is extremely, extremely painful orthopedic surgery. It is illegal in many countries because it is considered an inhumane procedure. Even vets who will perform declaws often will not even consider the procedure on cats over a year old because a fully mature cat will have an even more painful and complicated recovery.

It's not a cosmetic procedure.
The trauma cats feel because of it is physical pain, plain and simple.

I have many friends who have both cats and rabbits. None of the cats are declawed and it has never been a problem.

It's reasonable to be hesitant to allow Maisie to interact with the cats but subjecting the cats to extremely painful surgery as an alternative. If Maisie is lonely, why not consider adopting a buddy for her?

Soft Paws would be a fine alternative. "Possibly more expensive in the long run" is definitely not reason enough to discount it - besides, declawing is so expensive that it may not be more expensive at all. It is definitely less stressful on the cats to have their Soft Paws replaced than to have their toes amputated!
Ok..this is taking it a bit far.

First of all, declawing is NOT an amputation of a cat's toes. I have known (not owned) plenty of cats that were declawed...they fully had their toes. That's a complete exaggeration, and completely unnecessary.

Second, I realize it's not a cosmetic procedure. Did you read my post at all? If you did, you would realize that I know it would be difficult for them, and that it's not something I take lightly. It's also not something I've ever thought of or considered. I think that should be taken into account.

Lastly, we aren't able to buy and provide for another animal, and bunnies are more difficult to bond than cats are...so it's not an option at all.

Again, I would appreciate my post actually being READ and taken into consideration a little before a response is made.

Thank you.

P.S. Do not treat me like I'm an ignorant cat owner that is just out to declaw for convenience, or some such. I have had over TWENTY cats in the last fifteen years, and have NEVER considered this before. So, I would appreciate at least a little respect in responses. Thank you.

P.P.S. There are two procedures for declawing, as the following article suggests:
http://www.marvistavet.com/html/body...ernatives.html
post #9 of 25
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Arlyn
I don't think I'd really worry all that much.
My oldest shared an apartment with my dwarf bunny.
The bunny played just as hard and just as rough as the cat.
If the cat got too rough, the bunny would simply bite her, which would end the playing for a few hours while they did their seperate things.

Only the cat ever seemed to get any scratches.

I know I've seen wild rabbits completely eviscerate feral cats who got too close to their young.
So I shouldn't worry? I mean, it's not like they'd have unsupervised 24/7 play...it would only be maybe for a few hours during the day, and with me and my husband sitting and supervising the whole time.

Also, how big was your bunny?
post #10 of 25
This is one of those things that you have to decide for yourself, but IMO I wouldn't be too concerned. My kitties had a pet bunny and they never put a mark on him,nor he on them. They would chase each other,wrestle,and roll on the ground. My neighbors were amazed that cats and bunnies good be such good friends.They even snuggled up and took naps together!
post #11 of 25
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by taterbug
This is one of those things that you have to decide for yourself, but IMO I wouldn't be too concerned. My kitties had a pet bunny and they never put a mark on him,nor he on them. They would chase each other,wrestle,and roll on the ground. My neighbors were amazed that cats and bunnies good be such good friends.They even snuggled up and took naps together!
Awww...how cute...snuggling together. How big was your bunny?
post #12 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by maherwoman
So I shouldn't worry? I mean, it's not like they'd have unsupervised 24/7 play...it would only be maybe for a few hours during the day, and with me and my husband sitting and supervising the whole time.

Yeah, I really don't think you should be overly concerned.
Cautious, sure, always cautious with any cross species interaction, but bunnies can get amazingly rough in their play and defense.

Any cat with half a brain will only anger a bunny once
post #13 of 25
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Arlyn
Yeah, I really don't think you should be overly concerned.
Cautious, sure, always cautious with any cross species interaction, but bunnies can get amazingly rough in their play and defense.

Any cat with half a brain will only anger a bunny once
Wow...so you had a DWARF bunny with cats, and had no probs? I was concerned mostly because Maisie is only a few months old, and maybe half the size of our male kitty Hobbes. So...size DOESN'T matter in this??
post #14 of 25
Buttons was 3 pounds fully grown.

No, size isn't an issue.
You might get some soft paws at first, while they learn each other's limits, but after that, supervised fun time.
post #15 of 25
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Arlyn
Buttons was 3 pounds fully grown.

No, size isn't an issue.
You might get some soft paws at first, while they learn each other's limits, but after that, supervised fun time.
Ok, cool. Thank you so much. I really didn't want to take my babies in and do something so harsh. I want to be able to trust the three of them in their playing, and watch them having fun. I don't want poor Maisie to be stuck in her cage, and always looking for her kitty friends when she comes out, like she does. Poor babes.

Thanks so much for your help!!
post #16 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by maherwoman
Awww...how cute...snuggling together. How big was your bunny?
He was about 2 months old when we got him.It was the sweetest thing to see them together! He would follow the cats around in the yard,and then come in the house when they did! It was AWESOME!
post #17 of 25
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by taterbug
He was about 2 months old when we got him.It was the sweetest thing to see them together! He would follow the cats around in the yard,and then come in the house when they did! It was AWESOME!
Ok, cool. Thank you so much for your help. I was so worried that I was ONLY going to get responses that were angry and not taking the time to really read about the situation.

I really don't want to declaw my babies. I just want all three of them to be happy and healthy, and not have any risk.

Thanks again!
post #18 of 25
If your cats are rambunctious(sp?) asd mine,they will eventually learn to let it out of the cage!
post #19 of 25
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by taterbug
If your cats are rambunctious(sp?) asd mine,they will eventually learn to let it out of the cage!
Oh man...I think Sunny's already been trying that. I caught her inside the gate I built around the cage this morning, and had been hearing her messing around with the clasp we have holding Maisie's cage door closed. LOL!!

And here I thought Sunny was being stubborn!! Now that I stop and think about it...I think that's what she was really doing!! Oh man!! She is really intelligent, so I wouldn't be surprised if that's what she was doing!!
post #20 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by maherwoman
Ok..this is taking it a bit far.

First of all, declawing is NOT an amputation of a cat's toes. I have known (not owned) plenty of cats that were declawed...they fully had their toes. That's a complete exaggeration, and completely unnecessary.
Declawing absolutely is the amputation of all toes at the first knuckle. For a full description of the procedure, go here: http://www.cvm.uiuc.edu/sxclub/Onych...%20patient.pdf

This is a document designed for vets that describes exactly how the procedure is done. You will clearly see that it involves severing the toes at the joint, cutting the tendons, ligaments, and joint capsule. It is exactly the same as if someone amputated your fingers at the first knuckle.

I work in the veterinary field. I do know what the surgery is all about.
post #21 of 25
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by semiferal
Declawing absolutely is the amputation of all toes at the first knuckle. For a full description of the procedure, go here: http://www.cvm.uiuc.edu/sxclub/Onych...%20patient.pdf

This is a document designed for vets that describes exactly how the procedure is done. You will clearly see that it involves severing the toes at the joint, cutting the tendons, ligaments, and joint capsule. It is exactly the same as if someone amputated your fingers at the first knuckle.

I work in the veterinary field. I do know what the surgery is all about.
Ok...yes that is ONE way to do the procedure. It does not, however, as you stated, cut off their toes. The article that I found that describes two different procedures: http://www.marvistavet.com/html/body...ernatives.html

One procedure is the one you mention, and the other cuts THROUGH the bone (as opposed to cutting off the last/tip joint of the toe, as the procedure you name does).

But I would like to point out, you said it cuts off their TOES, not a JOINT or part of a bone in their toes. As you stated, "Bottom line is that declawing is the amputation of all of their toes." This is what I'm disputing.
post #22 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by maherwoman
Ok...yes that is ONE way to do the procedure. It does not, however, as you stated, cut off their toes. The article that I found that describes two different procedures: http://www.marvistavet.com/html/body...ernatives.html

One procedure is the one you mention, and the other cuts THROUGH the bone (as opposed to cutting off the last/tip joint of the toe, as the procedure you name does).

But I would like to point out, you said it cuts off their TOES, not a JOINT or part of a bone in their toes. As you stated, "Bottom line is that declawing is the amputation of all of their toes." This is what I'm disputing.
Isn't "toe" vs. "part of the toe" splitting hairs just a bit? Bottom line is that it's an amputation, and it's just as painful to have part of your toe cut off as it is to have the whole toe cut off. If you've ever broken a bone or torn a tendon, you know how painful that is. Now multiply that by eight.
post #23 of 25
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by semiferal
Isn't "toe" vs. "part of the toe" splitting hairs just a bit? Bottom line is that it's an amputation, and it's just as painful to have part of your toe cut off as it is to have the whole toe cut off.
Ok, I agree that it would be just as painful. I was merely trying to point out that you exaggerated in your statement, and that if you're going to present something as fact, you should present the actual FACT in your statement.

As I've stated, I don't want to do this to my babies. As I've also stated, in now talking to the other two ladies that replied that have had cats and bunnies, I don't think I'll have to do much of anything. It sounds like all three of them will be just fine.

At any rate, thank you for your concern...but I don't think you really read my post to begin with. I think you saw what I was saying about considering it, and jumped right in with your opinion, which I'd like to state that I actually agree with. I do NOT, however, agree with stating an exaggeration of a fact as something factual.

Bottom line...sorry if I've offended you. I'm a rather blunt person, and really don't put up with exaggeration and scare tactics well. I think life is too short, and full of so much more that we have to deal with at any given time, to fill it with exaggeration, or anything akin. I've known people that exaggerated a lot...and eventually no one believed what they said, because it's basically a lie.

Again, I'm am really sorry if this offends you...but like I said, I don't agree with exaggerating anything, so I WILL state my opinion on it. It is really something I do not take lightly in the slightest.

P.S. How is it "splitting hairs" when you're comparing removing one joint (or part of it) to removing all three??
post #24 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by maherwoman

P.S. How is it "splitting hairs" when you're comparing removing one joint (or part of it) to removing all three??
Because, as I said, it is amputation no matter what. It is extremely painful no matter what.

If someone told you that they'd lost a finger in an accident, would you accuse them of exaggerating because they still had part of their finger left? It's really just as big a deal no matter what!

And if you were the cat, would it make you feel better to know that they're only cutting off part of your toe as opposed to the whole thing? I doubt it.
post #25 of 25
The original question posted has been answered and I am now locking this thread. Further discussion of the declawing procedure woudl not be productive at this point.
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