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#31 of 47 Old 10-08-2009, 12:52 PM
 
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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.
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#32 of 47 Old 10-08-2009, 01:12 PM
 
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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).
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#33 of 47 Old 10-08-2009, 01:20 PM
 
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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.

DS 12/22/05 and DD 5/24/09
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#34 of 47 Old 10-08-2009, 01:22 PM
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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.
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#35 of 47 Old 10-08-2009, 01:40 PM - Thread Starter
 
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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.
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#36 of 47 Old 10-08-2009, 01:47 PM - Thread Starter
 
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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
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#37 of 47 Old 10-08-2009, 01:50 PM
 
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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.
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#38 of 47 Old 10-08-2009, 02:20 PM
 
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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.
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#39 of 47 Old 10-08-2009, 04:05 PM - Thread Starter
 
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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
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#40 of 47 Old 10-08-2009, 05:48 PM
 
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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.

Mother is the word for God on the hearts and lips of all little children--William Makepeace Thackeray
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#41 of 47 Old 10-11-2009, 06:14 PM
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Clawed cats and declawed cats alike can be ittle terros and have bevahioral problems. By nature cats like to be outside, yet are so often kept indoors every minute of their lives. I've had cats with claws and cats that were declawed, and realistically there were no more problems among the cats without claws, no behavior issues, so balance issues, nothing. Animals adapt far better to physical change than humans. We'd be depressed as hell is we lost some fingers or a leg or an arm, but animals get over it and don't realize they're somehow different. The adapt. They're fine.

That said, I'd still suggest Soft Paws first. They do help cut down on claw-damage and are pretty dang cute too. Our black cat Starbuck has hot pink ones that match her pink collar and pink tag!
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#42 of 47 Old 10-11-2009, 10:26 PM
 
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Why not start with clipping your cats claws while you work on a screen door solution? And for the screen door, try a model that has a metal guard covering the screen.

I clip my 2 boys' claws about once every two weeks. I never let them get to a talon shape. With their blunted claws, they can't do any damage to furniture/screens, but they have no problems gripping. We have a sisal rope scratching thing hanging from a door knob--they like the sisal rope a lot.

It's easy to do if you get them used to it as kittens; if not, then wrap kitty in a towel and hold on tight. I use human toe nail clippers as they cut much better than the so-called cat claw clippers.

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#43 of 47 Old 10-11-2009, 10:39 PM
 
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An online friend of mine had taken her kitty to petco (I think it was petco) last week to get the smart paws put on her cat. They got the cat home and it went into convulsions and died. Apparently it was allergic to the glue they used!!! They are doing an autopsy to be sure..

Blissful Mama to DD-(5), DS-(6) and someone new due in November!
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#44 of 47 Old 10-11-2009, 10:40 PM
 
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What about a tendonectomy? Not that I am advocating doing anything to your cat's claws, but isn't that supposed to be a bit less extreme than declawing? Personally I had a Siamese who was scratching the heck out of everything and I used Soft Paws on him, and he did great with them after a couple of weeks of chewing them off.

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#45 of 47 Old 10-11-2009, 10:40 PM
 
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my cats can and have definitely done damage with clipped claws.
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I clip my 2 boys' claws about once every two weeks. I never let them get to a talon shape. With their blunted claws, they can't do any damage to furniture/screens, but they have no problems gripping. We have a sisal rope scratching thing hanging from a door knob--they like the sisal rope a lot.

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#46 of 47 Old 10-12-2009, 07:41 AM
 
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I would talk to a trainer or a vet or somebody before I ever considered declawing an animal. It's illegal in europe and I have a hard time fathoming why it's still even an option.

Please don't declaw your cat. On the off chance he does get outside, he has no chance of defending himself against any other animals.
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#47 of 47 Old 10-12-2009, 09:38 AM
 
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my cats can and have definitely done damage with clipped claws.
How often are you clipping them, and do you clip them short?

We clip once a week and since I've been doing this for decades I clip as much as I safely can off (there are online instructions you can find). If their claws are adequately clipped they can't imbed them in anything to destroy or shred things.

I was helping out a new exhibitor at a cat show a while back, and none of us thought her cats claws were clipped, though she claimed she had clipped them. We all wound up teaching her how to clip right before the show started. She was not clipping low enough.

I speak to you as someone who has owned three pieces of leather furniture the last ten years LOL. I actually had a few people tell me I 'couldn't possibly do that, I'd have to get all my cats front and rear declawed'. And, the cats love the leather, they sleep on it!

My siblings also had leather furniture with dogs...if they nails are blunt apparently they are OK.

With kittens, in particular, they can be like little needles if they're not clipped. Youch!

Just like people, some cats claws do grow very quickly. I always figure once a week as a guage. Some don't need much clipped off at that point, but there's usually something. I used to show every weekend at one point (that was lunacy--just had one of the top cats that year) and it was easy to do it at the same time, same day every week.

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