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Old 01-30-2011, 07:56 PM   #1
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Question Is this inhumane?

We have a cat and he's probably 2 years old. We adopted him from a rescue center and he's gotten really mean and loose with the claws. He will be in the middle of cuddling and suddenly scratch the crap out of you!

This morning he was sitting under the recliner and my step daughter was in the recliner eating breakfast. He reached up and raked his claws down her legs in two quick moves, causing her to scream in pain with a mouth full of food!! What if she had choked?? Every time he scratches her, it always gets infected and sore. We need to stop this from happening.

My husband wants him declawed. He's an indoor cat only. He hates the outdoors and he's all white, with pink ears, nose, ect., and prone to skin cancer if he is out in the sun too much, so we keep him inside.

I sort of agree with my husband about declawing him, but I feel like he's too old and it would be a hard recovery because of his age and maybe possible infections...

Has anyone had a cat declawed when they were older? Can it, or should it even be done?

Its getting to the point of declawing him, or getting rid of him, and I don't want to lose him.

Any info or advice would be apperciated.

Last edited by CrystalZ10; 01-30-2011 at 07:59 PM.
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Old 01-30-2011, 08:20 PM   #2
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I've never had a cat de-clawed. No doubt its painful. But I would think its like getting a rescue dog spayed about about 2 years old, which I have done. I would just say make sure to follow the vet's aftercare instructions to prevent infection. And when my dogs have had surgery, I've always been given the option to get pain meds for about a week afterwards (at extra charge). I can't believe that it's even an option NOT to. THAT is inhumane. Just please get him the pain medication if you get him de-clawed.
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Old 01-30-2011, 08:24 PM   #3
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Indoor cats don't need claws for climbing/catching prey the same way outdoor cats do. The vet will probably recommend that you change his litter to shredded newspaper to avoid getting kitty litter in his paws while they're healing, and extra pain meds should do the trick. Good luck!
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Old 01-30-2011, 08:44 PM   #4
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As a retired Animal Health Tech I need to tell you that it is much better to have a declawed cat than one that ends up in a shelter because of it's behaviour!! I have had all of my last 8 cats declawed and they still exhibit the behaviour ( think sharpening claws on furniture) but without the destruction. An indoor cat doesn't need to have it's front claws for defense -when a cat is fighting for it's life they use their back feet so I never recommend all 4 feet - but some Vets will do that too. Do get the pain medication and using shredded nespaper or the littler made from pelletted newspaper is a must. We use it anyway because it doesn't track all over and you can flush it. Good Mews and Yesterdays News are 2 commonly available brands . Good Luck!

Last edited by Tea Granny; 01-30-2011 at 08:45 PM.
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Old 01-30-2011, 09:08 PM   #5
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I'm not sure if it will be an issue where you are, but sometimes it's difficult to find a vet who will declaw a cat at that age. The other unknown factor is whether or not the declawing will cause behavioural issues- which happens sometimes. I agree that it's better to try than to have to surrender him- and no one wants to live with a scratcher.

You could try capping his claws first and see if that's sufficient. You can buy do it yourself caps, but I would take him to a groomer to get it done. The only problem is that it would be an ongoing expense because they only last for about 6 weeks. Again, I'm not sure how much that would cost where you are.

Either way, I commend you for trying to make it work. So many people wouldn't even bother to try.
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Old 01-30-2011, 09:12 PM   #6
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I used kitty caps on my cats and they stayed on 4 months before I finally took them off myself--used a nail clipper and came right off. I would have reapplied, but the cat hasn't tried to claw furniture yet and this was 6 months ago. Every cat is different. I got mine at petsmart pretty cheap.
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Old 01-30-2011, 09:13 PM   #7
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I agree that it's great you are trying to keep the cat and not just giving it away. I know when we got our cats we had to sign a contract that we would not have them declawed. I am not sure if all vets still do it or not, but if it's your last resort than I would think it would be better to have the cat still have a happy home, but be declawed than to loose it's home and possibly die in a shelter But, you can also try the nail caps, I never tried them with mine, but I know other people like them.
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Old 01-30-2011, 09:21 PM   #8
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Thanks everyone. He's such a smart kitty, but I don't know why he seems to take extra pleasure in attacking my step daughter. She's becoming afraid of him and I can't blame her.
Thanks for the advice about the shredded newspaper. I might switch to that now over kitty litter. I am thinking about training him to use the toilet. He's smart enough to do it.
We have some research to do before we do anything. Caps might be a good idea too.
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Old 01-30-2011, 09:22 PM   #9
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Have you tried trimming your cats claws? I trim our cats claws 2x/month. If they happen to scratch us, it doesn't break skin or hurt. It is more like a tickle.

I do think declawing is inhumane though. It is more similar to removing the tips of someones fingers. I would urge you to seek alternatives to declawing, whether it is caps or trimming.
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Old 01-30-2011, 09:31 PM   #10
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I don't recommend declawing. It's painful for the cat. Before I really knew what declawing was, I had my cat declawed as an adult, and he never walked the same again. Instead of that loose, fluid movement cats have, he walked "clunkier". They remove the first knuckle when they declaw, so it would be like having your toes amputated at the first knuckle.

I worked at a shelter and handled hundreds of cats. I also grew up having cats, and had cats as an adult. These are the things I recommend instead of declawing:

Clip your cat's nails. We had a cat that we HAD to clip her nails regularly. Even with all her toys and scratching posts, her nails would grow very long and irritate her. It's very easy to clip a cat's nails. If need be, get a helper and wrap the cat in a towel with the paw you are going to clip out, and the others inside so he can't scratch you. Have someone hold the cat, and you gently press the toe so the claw comes out, clip it close to the quick, the little white or pink part of the cat's claw, but DON'T clip the quick. It's painful and could start bleeding. After a while, your cat WILL get used to this, trust me. You just have to be consistent. This won't stop him from scratching, and isn't as good as claw covers, since it's possible he could still break skin, but it won't be as likely. Now on to my favorite...

I like the claw covers. We've used them on cats we had before, and ultimately, they are NOT that expensive. We used Softpaws nail covers. They're about $20 for 40 nail caps, and a pack will last you about 5 months. Considering a declawing surgery can cost upward of $200, nail caps aren't that bad of a deal. They come in all kinds of colors, and clear in case you don't want your boy wearing "nail polish". We put them on ourselves when we clipped our cat's claws. Here's a link to their website: http://www.softpaws.com/

To stop him from scratching furniture, get a scratching post, or a couple, and spray it with catnip spray. Get a spray bottle and fill it with water. When your cat starts to scratch furniture or people, or starts getting too rough, spray him and say NO! Keep it up and be consistent. Don't play with him using your hands or feet EVER. Always use a toy. I like laser pointers and these toys that look like fishing poles with feathers instead of a hook. If he starts going for your hands/feet/legs, spray and say NO.

Please reconsider declawing. It's really a very awful process. Many places have stopped doing it and even declared it inhumane and illegal in some countries.
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Last edited by Pint Sized Terror; 01-30-2011 at 09:35 PM.
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Old 01-30-2011, 10:15 PM   #11
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I'm vehemently against declawing. When I got my cat Callie (she'll turn 9 this year) I had her declawed because I was dumb and had no idea what I was really doing. I've severely regretted it ever since. I really urge you to try trimming or soft paws out to see how your kitty does. I would worry a lot about your boy since he's a few years old now too.

I think this site is a great resource to help you in your decision. I am SO glad you're taking the time to do your research, I just wish I had
http://www.declawing.com/
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Old 01-30-2011, 10:25 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pint Sized Terror View Post
I don't recommend declawing. It's painful for the cat. Before I really knew what declawing was, I had my cat declawed as an adult, and he never walked the same again. Instead of that loose, fluid movement cats have, he walked "clunkier". They remove the first knuckle when they declaw, so it would be like having your toes amputated at the first knuckle.

I worked at a shelter and handled hundreds of cats. I also grew up having cats, and had cats as an adult. These are the things I recommend instead of declawing:

Clip your cat's nails. We had a cat that we HAD to clip her nails regularly. Even with all her toys and scratching posts, her nails would grow very long and irritate her. It's very easy to clip a cat's nails. If need be, get a helper and wrap the cat in a towel with the paw you are going to clip out, and the others inside so he can't scratch you. Have someone hold the cat, and you gently press the toe so the claw comes out, clip it close to the quick, the little white or pink part of the cat's claw, but DON'T clip the quick. It's painful and could start bleeding. After a while, your cat WILL get used to this, trust me. You just have to be consistent. This won't stop him from scratching, and isn't as good as claw covers, since it's possible he could still break skin, but it won't be as likely. Now on to my favorite...

I like the claw covers. We've used them on cats we had before, and ultimately, they are NOT that expensive. We used Softpaws nail covers. They're about $20 for 40 nail caps, and a pack will last you about 5 months. Considering a declawing surgery can cost upward of $200, nail caps aren't that bad of a deal. They come in all kinds of colors, and clear in case you don't want your boy wearing "nail polish". We put them on ourselves when we clipped our cat's claws. Here's a link to their website: http://www.softpaws.com/

To stop him from scratching furniture, get a scratching post, or a couple, and spray it with catnip spray. Get a spray bottle and fill it with water. When your cat starts to scratch furniture or people, or starts getting too rough, spray him and say NO! Keep it up and be consistent. Don't play with him using your hands or feet EVER. Always use a toy. I like laser pointers and these toys that look like fishing poles with feathers instead of a hook. If he starts going for your hands/feet/legs, spray and say NO.

Please reconsider declawing. It's really a very awful process. Many places have stopped doing it and even declared it inhumane and illegal in some countries.
+1!!!! Outstanding advice here, and I also agree with Nelie's post. In the last 23 years, which comprises my adult life, I've had 5 cats - currently have 3. When I inquired about declawing with my first two kitties, I had the forethought to ask the vet if she had ever declawed any of her own cats (she has several dogs and cats). She said she wouldn't do it on her own pet -- described it to me as a person having all your fingertips removed at the first knuckle (OUCH!) --- not merely having the nails removed. She said it was akin to an amputation for a person. So, yes, I would say an unnecessary amputation is inhumane.

She also warned me that some declawed cats become biters - not such a great payoff.

Unfortunately the caps never worked well for me, but then again, I haven't tried them for years. Scratching posts - in a couple of rooms - and the water bottle if needed have been very helpful. Maybe you could try some of these strategies and see if they help.

Good luck! I can tell you want the best for your kitty, and it can be a challenge, but a conquerable one!
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Old 01-30-2011, 10:53 PM   #13
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not related to the claws at all

does your cat have blue eyes?
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Old 01-30-2011, 11:01 PM   #14
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My mom declawded the front paws of her 3 cats. My husband & I decided against that for our 4 cats. We have many scratching posts around the house. I also clip their nails regularly. But they are very good about not scratching the furniture. They NEVER scratch us either, unless they are laying on us, and get scared, lol! We actually tried those caps..only because we have girl cats & the caps come in different colors. It looked like they had painted nails, lol!

Buy scratching posts for every room. Even one for the door (my cats love those!). The spray bottle helps too. It is a good training technique.
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Old 01-30-2011, 11:18 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tea Granny View Post
We use it anyway because it doesn't track all over and you can flush it. Good Mews and Yesterdays News are 2 commonly available brands . Good Luck!
A little OT but where do you find these? The only flushable litter I've found is Swheat Scoop (wheat based litter). But it still tracks like regular litter. I'd love one that doesn't track!

Quote:
Originally Posted by CrystalZ10 View Post
I am thinking about training him to use the toilet. He's smart enough to do it.
Smart and willing are not one in the same. My cat rebelled against this. He new how to use the training box on the toilet, but he preferred to go on my clothes, bookbag, etc.
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