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Declawing cats - Page 2

post #21 of 47
If you prefer not to declaw, another solution is to replace your screen door(s) for a different style - it might cost more though.

There are screen/storm doors where the screen is higher up. There's no way your cat would be able to reach it, unless there was a shelf or piece of furniture nearby.

The screen is in a window in the top half of the door, and it opens from the top-down. My parents had to get one because their dog was jumping up on their screen door from outside, wripping the screen.
post #22 of 47
I know I'll get flamed for this here, but I'll post it anyways. I am not 100% against declawing cats.

Right now I have 1 cat who goes outside. No way I'd do that to her.

But back when I was living at my parents, we were on a super busy highway. Cats would not go outside there, and I got a kitty declawed, otherwise my mom would not have let me have her. (Yes I knew what the surgery involved). I got it done when she was VERY young. She adapted right away and the healing was speedy, was much easier on her than the spaying. Mom's first reason was the furniture but also, there was a lot of little ones visiting my parents house at the time (my niece, customers of her home business, and children of cousins) and mom did not worry about the cat scratching kids. You know, when they visit a lot, but still not quite enough for the cat to really get used to kids... Or the kids to learn how to behave around kitty as a matter of fact. It worked out fine, and I have no regret in getting that cat declawed. When my mom gave it out for adoption after my father passed away, the clawlessness is also what made another family decide to adopt her rather than another cat.

My mom also had it done to another young adult cat, front paws only. She did fine, but really I believe that cat should have kept her claws. She was going outside occasionally and she took longer to adapt.

That said, in you case, I would not do it. Not to a 3 year old cat who is used to have them. He is also so determined to go outside, that you don't know, he might manage to escape and need them.
post #23 of 47
Declawing will not stop him from ripping up your screens or trying to find a way out. Then once he gets out he is defenseless because he no longer has claws to protect himself. Really the worst cat to declaw is the one that is try to escape.
post #24 of 47
Probably get flamed here too, but here goes. I am not against declawing in all circumstances. I have worked in the veterinary industry for the past 10+ years. The vet hospital I work at does laser declaw with good pain relief (including a fentanyl patch). 99% of the time the cats are standing and walking with no pain upon coming out of the anesthesia. Occasionally we do have swelling which we treat with an injection of an NSAID. I have seen declawing done with and without laser and would only personally have it done with - huge difference. However, my two cats are not declawed because they are not unacceptably destructive.

Also, it is not really equivelent to removing the last joint of your digits. Cat anatomy is not the same as human anatomy and there is no really accurate comparison that you can make. That's as close as you can come, but it isn't entirely accurate.

I agree that there are other solutions that would be better in this circumstance, but I don't think it's as horrible as many here seem to think it is.
post #25 of 47
My cats HATE the smell of oranges. They RUN away when I'm eating one. We put it everywhere we don't want them to go! I'm with you about keeping cats inside. One of my cats is declawed (she was when I adopted her) and she does fine. However, my husband's cat died during the surgery, so I couldn't risk it. Really, try something citrus smelling. (Or just hold out an orange to your cat next time you are eating one- you'll see!)
post #26 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by womenswisdom View Post
Probably get flamed here too, but here goes. I am not against declawing in all circumstances. I have worked in the veterinary industry for the past 10+ years. The vet hospital I work at does laser declaw with good pain relief (including a fentanyl patch). 99% of the time the cats are standing and walking with no pain upon coming out of the anesthesia. Occasionally we do have swelling which we treat with an injection of an NSAID. I have seen declawing done with and without laser and would only personally have it done with - huge difference. However, my two cats are not declawed because they are not unacceptably destructive.

Also, it is not really equivelent to removing the last joint of your digits. Cat anatomy is not the same as human anatomy and there is no really accurate comparison that you can make. That's as close as you can come, but it isn't entirely accurate.

I agree that there are other solutions that would be better in this circumstance, but I don't think it's as horrible as many here seem to think it is.

This is good to read, because I've been contemplating declawing my kitten. I've put 5 different sets of soft paws on that stinking cat, and he's ripped all of them off.
He's not all that destructive at the moment, but he does sharpen his claws on some things, and I can see this behavior getting worse. And I suppose it's better to get it when they're young.
My older cat is declawed (she was like that when we got her- it's why we picked her), and she has no problems as a result of it.
post #27 of 47
I would never declaw an animal. But, I'm also against all kinds of things that people view as normal, i.e. cropping ears and tails.

If your cat is destructive, she will be destructive after the de-clawing. We had a cat that we got from the shelter, already declawed. Whenever we did something that she didn't like, she would CHEW holes in the sofa. Not having claws didn't stop her from getting through screens either.

Cats can be trained, like dogs. It just takes a different approach. Cats can be trained to use cat scratchers as opposed to furniture. Yes, it takes time and patience - but, that's part of having an animal. Sharpening claws is a natural instinct - they need to do it. But, they can be trained to scratch on kitty scratchers versus furniture.

If the screens are the only issue, then it's much cheaper to buy more expensive screens that are kitty proof. I would never declaw over such an issue. The ONLY time I could see declawing as an option is if the cat was a menace to everyone, i.e. scratching everyone despite repeated training attempts.
post #28 of 47
Why get a cat if you don't want something that has claws? This is mystifying me the more i read. Cats have claws. I can just about get modifying an animal if it in some way augments or benefits the working relationship (i.e. shoes on working horses) but surgery to make a pet more convenient? Don't have a pet then...? It seems too awful that one would get an animal and then chop off all the inconvenient bits of it so it fits in the way one thinks it should. Do those who declaw also have the canine teeth removed so the animal can't bite? *shudders* I cannot get with this at all.
post #29 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by GoBecGo View Post
Why get a cat if you don't want something that has claws? This is mystifying me the more i read. Cats have claws. I can just about get modifying an animal if it in some way augments or benefits the working relationship (i.e. shoes on working horses) but surgery to make a pet more convenient? Don't have a pet then...? It seems too awful that one would get an animal and then chop off all the inconvenient bits of it so it fits in the way one thinks it should. Do those who declaw also have the canine teeth removed so the animal can't bite? *shudders* I cannot get with this at all.
Well, one of the situations I've seen that I think merits some consideration is when an elderly person owns a cat who is too playful and scratches them. I have seen people with HUGE areas of subcutaneous bleeding on their arms from their friendly cat. Most are on blood-thinners. Should be tell these people they need to give up their cats? Or is declawing appropriate in this situation? I agree that it's not usually necessary and that most cats can be trained.

That being said, I have also seen cats that cannot be trained and declawing works as a safe alternative. These cats do not continue to be destructive without claws. The destructiveness was a side effect of the natural scratching action, which the cat will continue to perform after a declaw (only without the claws). Once the claws are removed, no more destructiveness. It's not really about the scratching for the cat, it's about scent marking with the glands on the feet. Which is why declawed cats still "scratch" on furniture.
post #30 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by BreaMarie View Post
This is good to read, because I've been contemplating declawing my kitten. I've put 5 different sets of soft paws on that stinking cat, and he's ripped all of them off.
He's not all that destructive at the moment, but he does sharpen his claws on some things, and I can see this behavior getting worse. And I suppose it's better to get it when they're young.
My older cat is declawed (she was like that when we got her- it's why we picked her), and she has no problems as a result of it.
IMO it would be a much better option to trim his nails regularly and train him to use a scratching post/area (there are many different kinds and some cats have preferences). If he's not that destructive, and given that he's young, you probably have a very good chance of steering him towards more appropriate behaviours instead.
post #31 of 47
Just a few quick points--

While laser does make the procedure easier, in my experience the success of the surgery is determined by the skill of the vet. I just don't do many declaws, so even with the best tools, meds and guidance, I'm not going to be nearly as proficient as some of my peers who used to do them for every indoor cat (back in the days of yore). While in vet school we had this instructor who used the Roscoes and did a beautiful job, much better than the average veterinary surgeon could do with the new lasers.

Second, I don't think that many people come to the decision lightly. Certainly not, as GoBecGo indicates "chop off all the inconvenient bits of it so it fits in the way one thinks it should". If you have a responsible vet, then you're going to be a well informed owner, which means balancing the costs with the benefits.

As I mentioned, I do very few. The last declaw I did was a 4 paw declaw for an owner who had developed clotting issues. The cat was young but had other medical issues which would have made him very difficult to rehome.

Perhaps the situation is better where some of you live, but here the shelters are full of cats who do not find homes. When I objected strongly back in my vet tech days, I once had a mentor tell me to consider what the cat would want... if given the choice between being relinquished at a shelter and possibly euthed due to lack of homes, or to have the declaw procedure.

That said, behavioral interventions must be exhausted before any discussion of a surgical option. If surgery is the last resort, it must be performed with the very best short and long term pain management available.
post #32 of 47
Well where i live (the UK) it's illegal. As an owner who had it done or a vet who did it you would face prosecution for animal abuse which could lead to a fine, a ban from owning animals and even jail time if the judge felt that was appropriate. I guess that's where i'm coming from on this, a bit like circ'ing (which is also not widely done in the UK), culturally it's not something one would think was in any way acceptable. And yes, ideally i think anyone who can not adequately care for their pet any more should rehome it, rather than surgically alter it to make owning it easier. To me that's a no-go. There are homes in the UK which house animals until they are re-homed or until their natural life runs out (not all of them, but it's not the case that a difficult-to-rehome pet would automatically be euthanised here, they might just live a long time at a shelter, most of which have "foster" families who will care for animals, which are not being re-homed timeously or need behavioural work before they can be re-homed, in a home envionment).
post #33 of 47
I have not read the other replies; I'm sure you're getting lots of anti-declaw and helpful information, but I just want to add my bit:
Declawing a kitten can go relatively well. They heal fast and do not seem to suffer pain afterwards, at least not for long. (yes, they are under general anaesthetic for it, and a good vet sends them home with pain meds).
Declawing an adult cat is awful. They do have alot of pain, and in some cases, very poor recovery....bleeding, etc.

There are alternatives - Soft Paws, frequent trimming, training.
post #34 of 47
I have one of those cats who has suffered from being declawed. She was front-declawed at about 9 months of age.

She became timid and skittish. She walks funny (kind of like if you walked on the heels of your feet and kept your toes in the air), which puts strain on her back and the joints in her front legs and shoulders. She has injured her knee twice because of her odd gait.

She is unable to jump like a normal cat....she can get up and down from the couch, but can't jump over a cat or into a window sill. She's now 13 years old and her quality of life has been....blah.

I was one of those people who thought declawing was just "plucking the nails out." After reading more and more about it over the years, I think it's inhumane and atrocious. I feel an enormous amount of guilt over my poor kitty.
post #35 of 47
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by GoBecGo View Post
Why get a cat if you don't want something that has claws? This is mystifying me the more i read. Cats have claws. I can just about get modifying an animal if it in some way augments or benefits the working relationship (i.e. shoes on working horses) but surgery to make a pet more convenient? Don't have a pet then...? It seems too awful that one would get an animal and then chop off all the inconvenient bits of it so it fits in the way one thinks it should. Do those who declaw also have the canine teeth removed so the animal can't bite? *shudders* I cannot get with this at all.
I love cats - and I have lived with them all my life.

I have no issues with claws as a general rule - and do not even mind that they have "clawed" my sofa. I have never had an aggresive cat - but even with normal cats you are bound to get a few scratches - particulalry when they are kittens. I am OK with it.

Having every screen in the house ruined is a different matter.

It is like a tomb in here with all the windows closed - and while I have now learned that declawing is not good for numerous reasons and that there are other options - I do not think you should judge me for initially considerring it unless you have lived in a ( not air conditionned) house in July with all your windows and closed.
post #36 of 47
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by 2xy View Post
.

I was one of those people who thought declawing was just "plucking the nails out." After reading more and more about it over the years, I think it's inhumane and atrocious. I feel an enormous amount of guilt over my poor kitty.


You did not know any better - you should not feel guilty. And TBH - your vet should have told you the possible consequences

I doubt you will declaw another cat, and you can (and are!) educating people to not declaw their cats.

When I posted I was considerring it - now I am quite against it. This is largely due to MDC and the stories I am reading here.

Kathy
post #37 of 47
Actually i wasn't judging you at all. And in fact you have said, and i have read, several times now that you were not looking at declawing anymore. I wasn't thinking of you in particular when i posted, i was surprised that so many people have declawed cats, that's all.

In addition my notes on MY culture (the post after the one you copied) are because i recognise that those with declawed cats come from a culture where declawing is something which is acceptable and easy to arrange, and thus would NOT necessarily be surprised that anyone else had had it done. This conversation just wouldn't happen where i am, that's all. It wasn't your enquiry which surprised me really either, more the fact that there is a culture not so different to mine in so many ways (in the US) where something which is seen by my culture (in the UK) as totally unacceptable is done and casually discussed.

Please do not feel judged by me, for i certainly was NOT judging you.
post #38 of 47
Another vote for Soft Paws here- they do tend to rip off the first few sets (one of our cats was fine with them and didn't rip them off but FREAKS OUT during the nail trimming that precedes the applications of the tips, the other is fine getting trimmed but runs around the house trying to tear off the tips and occasionally succeeds), but according to the literature, there's a "training period" until the cat gets used to the idea.

Since you trim the claws before you apply the tips, even if they get one or two off they still can't do any real damage. You just have to check regularly for claws that need re-trimming and new tips.
post #39 of 47
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by GoBecGo View Post
Actually i wasn't judging you at all. And in fact you have said, and i have read, several times now that you were not looking at declawing anymore. I wasn't thinking of you in particular when i posted, i was surprised that so many people have declawed cats, that's all.

In addition my notes on MY culture (the post after the one you copied) are because i recognise that those with declawed cats come from a culture where declawing is something which is acceptable and easy to arrange, and thus would NOT necessarily be surprised that anyone else had had it done. This conversation just wouldn't happen where i am, that's all. It wasn't your enquiry which surprised me really either, more the fact that there is a culture not so different to mine in so many ways (in the US) where something which is seen by my culture (in the UK) as totally unacceptable is done and casually discussed.

Please do not feel judged by me, for i certainly was NOT judging you.
Thank you. I was not sure if you were judging me or just declawing in general - perhaps I should have asked rather than ranted

Kathy
post #40 of 47
Quote:
This is good to read, because I've been contemplating declawing my kitten. I've put 5 different sets of soft paws on that stinking cat, and he's ripped all of them off.
He's not all that destructive at the moment, but he does sharpen his claws on some things, and I can see this behavior getting worse. And I suppose it's better to get it when they're young.
My older cat is declawed (she was like that when we got her- it's why we picked her), and she has no problems as a result of it.
Kittens are naturally rambuctious so you should expect that behavior from the kitten right now (some destructiveness).

However I would start right now just trimming his claws so he gets used to it. Most of the damage is done when the nail is allowed to become needle-sharp. It snags on everything. You can use nail trimmers to blunt the nail so it is more like a dog's claw. If you start now he will be used to it.

Although I understand the point about extreme circumstances (geriatric patients) I don't think we are talking about anything extreme in this thread. I really am sorry to see declawing discussed as a possible solution to normal cat behavior.
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