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Clipping kittie's back nails

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
I have planned on clipping my kitties nails when I get him in a few weeks. My neighbor was telling me that her cat is front declawed but still put a hole in a leather chair -- she took him to the vet and told him to declaw the back claws and he did.

Anyhow, last night my cousin told me her cat is also front declawed but still has made a mess of scratches on their leather chair.

My husband has a brand new leather chair we call "the throne". What is the best way to protect it? (without a four claw declaw!). Will a cat sit through getting his rear claws clipped? I was thinking if I could somehow make the chair off limits from the start (maybe put bubble wrap on it?) maybe I could train the kitten to NEVER even jump on it??? That is the one and only piece of furniture in the whole house that worries me just because it was very expensive and is brand new.

On a side note -- I am wondering if declawing is a regional thing -- I know most on this forum are very against it but where I live (SE Michigan) I don't know a single person (out of at least 7 cat owners) whose cat is NOT declawed. I think it just the norm here (please dont' give me to links to anti-declaw sites -- I already know all about it). I am just commenting on it.
post #2 of 8
Cats can still scratch with their back claws. When they jump off something they will often dig their back claws in prior to take off (I have the scars on my thighs to prove it!). A cat that has had it's front paws declawed, in particular, will probably use the back claws for holding on as there's nothing in front to do the job. You can clip the back claws but it's harder than doing the front (unless you have a very compliant cat) and will probably take 2 people. As well as clipping his claws, you could try those double sided sticky strips (sticky paws?) on the chair - I've heard they are quite good.

As to declawing being a regional thing - I don't know, possibly. It's illegal where I am and I'll admit I was shocked to come on here and discover how common it seems to be in the US. I guess it's something that people do because their parents did it to the family cat, their friends do it etc. If everyone does it then people just continue to do it without thinking about exactly what they're doing.
post #3 of 8
I trim front and back and have been doing so since I got her at 8 weeks. I had to burrito her ina towel at first and she acted as though I was killing her. Now she just wriggles a little and we get through it all in 30 seconds.

She hasn't damaged anything other than chewing corners off maps and such. She has horizontal and vertical scratchers all over the place and she uses them regularly.

I think with proper training, positive reinforcement and consistency you can teach your kitten to be very well behaved.
post #4 of 8
Lilly doesn't love to get her nails trimmed, but if I can do it while she's napping, she's pretty compliant. If not, I wrap her in a towel, as suggested above.

Leo, our new kitten, is great about nail clipping... I hope he stays so laid back about it!

It helps if you handle their paws & "extract" their nails every day- even if you're not clipping. This helps them adjust to you touching their paws & getting at their nails.
post #5 of 8
When I got Remy in December my breeder told me to brush him every day whether he needed it or not. AND play with his feet so he would not be shocked when I clipped his nails every other week. Well now he is a big boy at 16 lbs and he is docile as can be when he gets his nails trimmed but it takes two of us. One to cuddle him and the other to clip the nails. He has never tried to get away or scratch. He doesnt scratch at the furniture. He uses the trees we have through out the house. Also, I used boundry on our speakers...and he never touchs them. He is on our leather couch all the time and has never scratched it once. I live in SE michigan too...none of my cat friends have their cats declawed..but i know what you mean....lots of people do it ..and ..the vets are very nonchalant about it.
post #6 of 8
Its really sad when people value furniture over live animals. Cats nails (all 4) can be trimmed to prevent any damage. I've raised several litters of kittens and have had many adult cats and NONE of the furniture looks like there is a cat in the house.

Those people obviously are too lazy to learn how to trim nails. They would rather sacrifice their cats nails. Do they even realize its like cutting off a finger joint? What happens when the cat has no claws at all and out of frustration starts biting at things or chewing holes? Will they decide "take the teeth out" too?
post #7 of 8
I highly recommend getting a scratching post for your kitten and teaching him/her how to use it. I have 2 scratching posts and both are strategically placed next to doorways. Whenever my kitten would scratch an object I didn't want her to scratch, I would say a firm "no" and take her gently over to the scratching post. I, myself, would then say with encouragement and enthusiasm "scratch here" as I rubbed my nails on the scratching post. When she mimicked my behavior, I rewarded her with positive praise.

Trimming nails is also good. And if you have the patience, you can try Soft Claws/Paws which are rubber nail caps.
post #8 of 8
I love soft claws... I got them for a different reason, but they work for so many other things... like preventing the clawing of screens, that extra little jab when they try to jump on your lap. They are $20usd for 4 sets...and need re-done in about 6 weeks. It took me a total of 2 hrs to get them all on her, clipping the nails 1st and application of the caps. She kept getting ansy after I'd get 1 on, so I'd give her 5-10 mins to run around before attempting the next 1. But we made a girls night out of it. My daughter got her nails painted, I painted mine, then we did LuckyGirl's nails. They work for the furniture, for rough play, also for my silk comforter...she never did it on purpose, but occasionally they would catch on the silk... now we have no problems!
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