Thread: Declawing!!
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Old 07-09-2009, 01:13 PM   #2
Glory87
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Join Date: May 2005
Location: San Diego
Posts: 6,192

S/C/G: 190/140/135

Height: 5'7"

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I don't think declawing is a good idea. It's a lot more invasive than just cutting nails, it actually removes the first joint of each toe. Look at your hand, imagine cutting off the first joint of all your fingers. That's declawing.

Since their feet hurt, some declawed cats have troubles using the litterbox (the litter hurts) and may have more accidents. Declawed cats also may bite more since they no longer have any defense.

I trained my 2 kitties to scratch on a scratching post. I bought a tall post (4 feet) so they can really stretch out. I also have a little scratcher hanging on a closet door. I bought a flat scratcher (one of those cardboard things) but they aren't very interested in it.

So, I would walk up to the scratcher and scratch my nails on it. They would scratch too and I would praise them lavishly and give them each a fish flake (these Bonito flake things that my cats adore). Eventually, they would scratch on command, I would say "show mommy what a good kitty does" and they would run over and scratch the post and I would praise/give treats (they don't get any treats for using the little scratcher, but they still use it).

One of my cats developed a tummy issue and can't eat fish flakes anymore and he has started scratching on the top of the couch (where I have a towel since he sheds like a mofo). He started this at 2.5 years after being perfectly scratch trained for 2 years. I'm going to start reintroducing treats/praise for his proper scratching and see if I can re-direct his behavior.

My cats were VERY easy to train to scratch on their post and until Diego started acting up, NEVER scratched where they weren't supposed to. I would definitely recommend at least trying to see if they will scratch posts/pads before going the de-clawing route - it's so painful and kinda barbaric.

Spayed is a GREAT idea!
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