should I de-claw my cat?

Discussion in 'Teacher Time Out Archives' started by Tbug, Nov 20, 2006.

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  1. Tbug

    Tbug Companion

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    Nov 20, 2006

    We are in the process of moving out and buying our own condo. We need to do a lot of work on the new place- new carpets, hardwood, plus we are buying a new couch. My boyfriend wants to have our cat de-clawed but I"ve always felt like it's unnecessary and inhuman to do so. He does claw the carpet now at times and I scold him for it. He has ripped up one of our old office chairs but because it was so old, I just let him. Probably not a good idea! He is an inside cat, so he never goes, and never will go outside.
    So...my question is have you every de-clawed your cat? Do you think it's a good idea? Or a cruel thing to do? We are looking forward to buying nice pieces of furniture and a clean carpet and certainly don't want them to get ruined.
    thanks!
     
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  3. JenPooh

    JenPooh Virtuoso

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    I have always declawed our cats, all 4 paws to be exact. We have had 3 of them. I do not think it's cruel, but others may think so. The reasons I did it were #1, I have a daycare in my home and I can't be liable for a scratched up child. Even though our cats have always been very friendly, you can never be too safe. #2, we have leather furniture and I didn't pay $2000 for my furniture to get scratched up. Our cats are also all inside cats. If these are concerns of yours, then declawing may be your best option. As much as you scold them, their instincts will take over and there is only so much you can do. Even though my older cat is almost 6 years old he still loves to claw things because they like the feeling and it's instinct to do so, even if they don't have the nails to do it with.

    The only thing I would be careful of is the age of the cat. It's always best to get a cat declawed when they are kittens usually 6 months and under. If you have an older cat (over 1) it will be 20 times more painful on the cat and take a lot more healing time. Some vets wont even declaw cats that are over a year old because of the pain and recovery they have to go through.
     
  4. Tbug

    Tbug Companion

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    thanks for the advice!
    My cat is 3 years old so I guess I shouldn't go through with it. I don't agree with it if there's a lot of pain and healing time!
     
  5. GatorGal

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    I have to put a pillow on floor against the edge of my couch so my cat doesn't claw at it. Sigh...
     
  6. JenPooh

    JenPooh Virtuoso

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    Tbug, they make claw caps for cats. You can ask your cat's vet about them. They are little platic caps that last about 3-4 months at a time that go over the claws. No surgury involved, just placing the caps on the claws but they will no longer be able to destroy things with their nails. It will also help to buy some of those cardboard scratching blocks you can get at Walmart and other stores if you haven't already. My aunt and uncle have an older cat and as long as she has those to scratch she doesn't harm the furniture.
     
  7. txteach2b

    txteach2b Comrade

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    Well, my mom had three of her inside cats declawed about 1 1/2 years ago. We didn't have a problem with it, and one of the cats was over 3 at the time.....one of the cats did have to go back because something happened and had to be attended to, but other than that, all was hunky-dory.
     
  8. Starivy

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    We have 2 cats and had them both declawed. If I could go back in time, I would probably not have done it. Their paws were a bloody mess and they really struggled and cried alot when they were recovering. Plus after I did it, I realized that it is the equilavent of cutting our fingers off! I still feel bad about it because I feel like they almost lost a part of their personalities because of it. I would use those caps that you can glue to their nails so they don't scratch. But I totally understand if you do decide to do it because it's probably the same reasons everyone else does it......like not wanting your beautiful couch shredded. I would google it and read some of the articles, it is eye opening. Good luck!
     
  9. JenPooh

    JenPooh Virtuoso

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    Star, that is what happend to one of my cats. We even did it when he was only about 8 months old, still under a year, and his paws were super swollen! Our kitten we got declawed healed within 1 day and was running around by the time we got her home from the vet and hardly any blood. Our other cat we got declawed very early on and he healed very quick too and was running around by day 2. But our one cat we waited with, I would have never done that if I knew he'd not recover so quickly. Because of the experience I have had with declawing, I would never recommend declawing an older cat unless it's absolutely necessary.
     
  10. MissFrizzle

    MissFrizzle Virtuoso

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    I am against declawing a cat... it seems unfair to put an animal through that much torture to spare furniture. It's like someone ripping off your fingernails and toenails. Cats need to scratch. I've had no problems with my cat destroying furniture.... just provide lots of scratching posts.
     
  11. Ima Teacher

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    One of my friends declawed her cat after it scratched the dog's eyeball. The cat learned to BITE. Her can was around 15 when she was declawed, and she didn't have any problems that I'm aware of . . . other than the biting issue, which was a problem for ME the first time I visited after she learned that trick!
     
  12. teacherintexas

    teacherintexas Maven

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    It wasn't my choice at the time, but I had my cat declawed when he was two years old and he didn't have any trouble healing. We had to use shredded newspaper in the litter box for a while, but he never acted differently after the surgery. He still acted like he was sharpening his claws on everything, but without the claws that was more cute than destructive!
     
  13. loves2teach

    loves2teach Enthusiast

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    I declawed my cat recently when she was about 6-7 months old. We did the laser declawing which eas a little more, but they said in the long run it would help with her recovery. She was fine- we did have to use paper litter for 3 weeks, but other than that she was great. Since she has been declawed most of her aggressive behavior is gone. I really was worried about it, but to me it was better than her scratching us, and herself till bleeding (even with her nails clipped). Had more problems w/ her healing from being fixed.
     
  14. nasimi77

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    I worked in a pet hospital for 6 months. Our vets were against de-clawing. One of the docs explained it like ripping out your nails completely...it is not like clipping their nails. To be very honest, I think it's kind of brutal to do to an animal. I say if you have that much furniture that you don't want harmed, perhaps just don't have a cat at all. :confused: Cats need to naturally sharpen their claws, it's part of their DNA. Have a good scratch board available or something. I realize you need to do what you must do, but I do not recommend it at all.
     
  15. Suburban Gal

    Suburban Gal (formerly Elizabeth) Banned

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    Tbug, have you ever seen a declawing procedure? It's nasty. Here, have a look (CLICK HERE - WARNING: Pictures are graphic in nature.).

    Many vets and clinic staff deliberately misinform and mislead clients into believing that declawing removes only the claws in the hopes that clients are left with the impression that the procedure is a "minor" surgery comparable to spay/neuter procedures and certainly doesn't involve amputation (partial or complete) of the terminal-toe bone, ligaments and tendons. However, as you can see from the picture below it's clearly a digital amputation taking place.

    [​IMG]

    Cats need to scratch just as dogs need to bark. Why remove what mother nature intended?

    If you teach kittens at an early age to use a scratching post, they will. However, in cases where you already have a grown cat that doesn't know any better (like my Thomas) then it's better to use Soft Paw caps, which easily slip over their claws and then dissolve safely in a matter of weeks. Just keep replacing the caps as they dissolve. :)

    The bottom line here is that if someone can't deal with the scratching and clawing then a cat isn't for them.
     
  16. nasimi77

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    Elizabeth 1977: I appreciate you bringing this up. It really is a gross procedure. I could never do this to my baby!:(
     
  17. MissWull

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    We were going to have our cat declawed...but we recently had to give her to friends just temporarily. If we have our bedroom door closed and she knows we're on the other side she will claw constantly at the carpet by the door. She also sometimes claws the furniture, and she did claw out 2 holes in our apt. carpet...lovely. But since all that she kinda just stopped and very rarely she'll do some scratching other than on her little post...but we tell her no and snap at her and she stops.

    I absolutely love animals...and I don't think it's horrible if you have to do it. I would say only do it if it's absolutely necessary. I called a vet and got information on laser surgery vs. normal surgery and he told me the laser surgery is much less painful and requires less recovery time, although it is more expensive of course. Also not every vet office has a laser procedure option. You might want to look into it!
     
  18. Suburban Gal

    Suburban Gal (formerly Elizabeth) Banned

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    Then you wouldn't mind someone amputating the very tips of your fingers if they had to do it?

    IMHO, it's not horrible if you're not the one going through the procedure.

    Sorry if I may offend, but if someone really loves their cat then they will look for humane, alternative ways to deal with the problem rather than subjecting them to unnecessary pain and taking away what mother nature initally intended.
     
  19. ChristyF

    ChristyF Moderator

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    I know people who have had their cats declawed and been happy with it. I didn't know the cats when they had the procedure, only after. Lizzie (my cat) is 100% inside, but that didn't stop her from getting out at the vet's office and spending 6 hours in the woods. At least I know if she gets out somehow, she has her claws to defend herself. She only claws my trunk ($20 Hobby Lobby purchase) and I think it's because it's got rope on it. I've always heard that if they scratch on your furniture put tinfoil on it. (The noise is an extra deterrent.) You don't have to leave it on forever, just until they stop. Lizzie doesn't like regular scratching posts. The only thing I've found that she likes is the ones with the cardboard strips in them.
     
  20. JenPooh

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    Elizabeth, I think it's important to still respect other people's opinions. There is no reason to badger and judge someone just because they see things differently.;) Comparing a human being to a cat are totally different, IMHO.

    I realize you and a couple others didn't intend to sound that way, but nobody knows anyone else's story/situations, or their cats, so I think whatever anyone chooses is what is right for their situation. Nobody has to like it, but I do not think it's fair to make people feel like they are aweful people for making a decision they feel is right for their situation. :)

    For example, both of the cats we have were from stray mothers. Both of the dads were also wild cats. If I didn't take them they would have ended up in a humane society and may have been put to death. Now, how humane is THAT? Our humane society around here isn't exactly busy either, and they practice euthanasia. We took the cats, gave them a very loving home, but chose to get them declawed because that is what I felt was right for our situation. So, what would have been better? The cats being put to sleep, or getting declawed so they could live a happy life with a loving family?

    All I'm saying is that, even if you (people in general) don't agree with the procedure (and I respect that some people don't), it's still important to make sure you don't make someone feel like they are a horrible inhumane person just because they chose to declaw their cats. I did, and I am a full-on animal lover, I don't even like to see road kill. My cats are very well adjusted and loving and not to mention spoiled. :love: I respect other people's choices and I also respect the information posted about how it's done because it's great information. But, it's also important to be respectful to other people's choices and not make them feel guilty because they declawed to "save their furniture" or their own children for that matter. :)
     
  21. MissWilliams

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    A forum is a place for discussion of people's personal beliefs and experiences. If you wanted to do your own research, there are many methods for that. One would be to Google declawing cats, and look at any of the research, veterinary opinions, etc...there are pages of documentation on it.

    If Elizabeth cared less about the issue, perhaps it would be easier to be objective. When you solicit opinion, this happens. Many would argue that your dismissal of comparisons about cat vs. human, when both have nerve endings and can feel pain, is a bigger problem. If someone had power over you and could remove part of your digits for convenience, your perspective could change. What the heck, you could always heal. ;)

    Declawing is a lazy person's procedure. Many prefer to NOT KNOW what is involved. I went through college as a veterinary assistant. The clients requesting declaw were overwhelmingly categorized as: don't tell me about it, just do it. I'm a very busy person, and my couch costs $_______ much.

    But I'm jaded, and people will still do it. :rolleyes:
     
  22. JenPooh

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    There is a difference between stating your opinion and putting other people down for having theirs. ;) And calling it a lazy persons procedure is also doing that. This may be a public forum but most people around here are still respectful to one another! Notice I didn't say anything about information and education about it!!! Only putting others down in the process!
     
  23. Suburban Gal

    Suburban Gal (formerly Elizabeth) Banned

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    And I do. If someone really want to decalw their cat, they will reagrdlss of what I or anyone else says about it. Hoever, I'm entitled to say what I said and was kind enough to start it with: Sorry if I may offend.

    And no, comparing a cat to a human being aren't two tatoally different things. Both are living, breathing creatures. One needs its hands and its fingers just as the other needs its paw and its claws. Not to mention, both can bleed and feel pain. How on God's green Earth is that two toatally different things? Just because an animal doesn't have a conscious an free will doesn't mean it's life is any less significant than ours and I certainly don't go along with the argument that it's just an animal.

    If God wanted a cat to be missing the very tips of its paw then he would've created all cats that way. (The same goes with dogs and be-barking. If God wnated a dog to be silent he wouldn't have given it the ability to bark.) Obviously, they're [the claws] there for a good reason. Nothing on the body exists just to exist. (See 1 Corinthians 12:12-26 - A body is one, but it has many parts. It needs all its parts: feet, eyes, ears, everything to work.)

    Sorry if we don't agree on this one.
     
  24. JenPooh

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    I totally understand your passion, I am that way with quite a few things myself, and I totally respect that you have such a passionate opinion about it. And I also appreciate the information you posted about it. I just thought a couple comments made were a little too personal for those who don't see it that way, which is all. It's like saying people who do that don't really love their cats, which is a pretty hefty blanket statement and a judging on ones character and love for their animals. Even being courteous with "sorry if I may offend", doesn't make it any better if the statements are that harsh. Know what I mean? I respect and admire your passion though.
     
  25. MissWilliams

    MissWilliams Rookie

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    The last thing I will say about this is, (thankfully..?) a Google comment was not addressed solely to you. It is a statement about other venues to find out information. Putting other people down...I found your 'badger' comment to Elizabeth as a put down, since she prefaced her post beforehand--she didn't require a moderator.:eek:

    For some, this is a hot button issue.

    Far more of a time investment to learn about SoftCaps, train kitty early, make scratching surfaces available.......I make myself tired!

    I myself am a lazy girl who would NEVER. I've seen it. It's the photo nobody wants to look at. And there's my solicited opinion.....:p

    Elizabeth, I admire your passion. Thank you for bothering, with the linky.;)
     
  26. JenPooh

    JenPooh Virtuoso

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    You are obviously not getting anything I am saying. Perhaps you will understand once you've been here for awhile.
     
  27. Suburban Gal

    Suburban Gal (formerly Elizabeth) Banned

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    Let's look at it this way:

    If a group of moms said they loved children yet were chopping off the tips of their child's fingers to keep them from taking bills out the the due box and ripping them up into tiny pieces day in and day out, wouldn't you find that hard to believe? Wouldn't you find that abbhorrent and inhumane? Of course! So they why is it the opposite, i.e. humane, with a group of cats owners who want to declaw their cats for ripping up carpet or upholstry?

    Unfortunately, it is.

    It is far more of a time investment, which is why people take the easy way out by de-clawing or de-barking.
     
  28. JenPooh

    JenPooh Virtuoso

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    Elizabeth, this is where we disagree, because in my eyes it's just different and I can't explain it more than that. I just don't see it that way, but I can understand where you do, I really do, and I respect that. I'm not looking to debate you about it. The only reason I brought it up was to say something about the couple harsh statements that I found a little too personal to those who disagree, that is all. I did not post to argue an opinion, which both of us are entitled to have. Not everything has to be a debate. ;)

    ETA: just so you know...that last quote was not my statement.;)

    And this was not a hot button topic until my intentions were misconstrued.;) I am not upset by others opinions, it was the putting down of others and saying people who declawed their cats don't love them that was disappointing.

    PS: God also didn't originally make animals to be inside houses. ;)
     
  29. MissFrizzle

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    I think the point Jenn was making is people are entitled to their opinion. Period. We are all adults, and are free to express those opinions without being told our opinion is "wrong" or that we are bad people.

    Note - I am against declawing, but I see Jenn's point of view.

    Elizabeth you are correct when you say people will do whatever they want regardless of an opinion. That's so true. Let's keep this friendly so that the thread can stay open. I enjoy hearing opinions, but I don't want to debate.
     
  30. Tbug

    Tbug Companion

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    Has anyone tried 'soft paws'? They are small plastic caps you glue on their nails. It says it's an alternative to declawing. The caps are suppose to last 3 to 5 weeks and seem pretty inexpensive.
    Plus, they come in different colors! You can get clear but if you want to style it up, you can get blue, pink...!
    The website iswww.softpaws.com
    I am concerned that they will fall off right away, but their worth a try!
     
  31. MissWull

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    Wow a lot has gone on since I left my comment that spurred some arguements. Obviously no one is going to agree on this subject. Some cats claw stuff to death, and others don't...and if you had to get rid of your cat because it was a scratcher...I think declawing it would be better than sending it to the pound where hundreds of cats go and end up dying.

    I had a big reply to all this but I ended up deleting most of it. I don't want to go on and on I guess. But I don't agree with someone who said declawing is a "lazy persons" way of dealing with it...or whatever. I mean people are entitled to their opinions but geez...we don't need to accuse or label people as lazy just because they choose to do something another way. Also, I don't think I was lazy about it...I called about 10 different vets offices, visited a couple, and I researched a lot more than just the price. So I don't think I was lazy at all. Although I didn't end up doing it because of certain reasons but when we get our cat back and she claws it will still be up for discussion with my fiance and I. I see that people say you can put your own opinions down yadda yadda...but I don't think that the lazy comment was necessary because that could have been worded very differently as to not directly offend people who make a certain choice in their own life. JMHO. :/
     
  32. JenPooh

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    Tbug, I mentioned those earlier and I think they are great if that is the best option for those who do it. They do only last for months at a time and then have to be redone, but there are downfalls to any decision.
     
  33. Grammy Teacher

    Grammy Teacher Virtuoso

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    You are right

    I would never take a cat's claws away from them...for those very reasons. I have nice furniture, but my cats are way more important to me than a material possession.
     
  34. aprilgurlie

    aprilgurlie Rookie

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    Neither of my cats are declawed because as you can see in the pictures, it basically involves taking off the first knuckle so the claws don't grow back. OUCH!

    I buy furniature that my cats don't like to scratch on. Our couch is microfiber and they don't scratch it because their claws would just get stuck in it. They do like to scratch this crappy rug that I have and the carpet, but I don't care because the rug is icky anyway and they always scratch the carpet in a different spot so you can't tell.

    I wouldn't think that they would scratch leather for the same reason-claws getting stuck. They really like textured things. We have a vynil/leather like chair that they don't touch.

    Just remember to keep the claws clipped so that they don't hurt you by accident when jumping on/off you. I just use regular nail clippers, they work fine.
     
  35. kinderkids

    kinderkids Virtuoso

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    Goodness! After reading all this, I'm glad I have dogs!:eek: ;)
     
  36. Grammy Teacher

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    Ha! Well, it's true, what they say and in fact, vets don't like doing it, but the public wants it. Cats just have to be able to claw and scratch. That is possibly the only drawback to having a cat. I have 2 sisal posts, a round play/scratch toy with a ball in it to bat around, carpet tacked to the wall near the basement and a place in the living room. They simply need a place to do it and as april mentioned, the fabric of your furniture is a factor. My furniture is very "smooth" so they never touch it. They prefer rough fabric. However, my very expensive dining room chairs are upholstered and one of my cats just loves to rip on it. However, cats are smart. I tell him "no" and he quits right away. They understand discipline as long as it doesn't involve hitting them or embarrassing them.
     
  37. Grammy Teacher

    Grammy Teacher Virtuoso

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    Oh and something else that works is to rub catnip into their scratching posts and they will use the posts. I forgot to mention that I have a tall cat tower on the porch that they can rip away at. They need lots of "outlets!"
     
  38. MissFrizzle

    MissFrizzle Virtuoso

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    Yes, I do this for my cat also. She loves it... that catnip leaves her wacky for awhile though:D
     
  39. Alaskanteach

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    I can't believe that through all this discussion, no one mentioned that declawing cats in some states is ILLEGAL.

    California law already prohibits it, more states are going that way.
     
  40. Grammy Teacher

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    I didn't know that! Good! Thanks for the info.
     
  41. JaimeMarie

    JaimeMarie Moderator

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    Thanks for calling some of us Lazy. You basically just stereotyped any one that has a cat declawed.
    I always have a saying that I follow: "I would rather see a cat declawed to get a good home then not have a home and keep its claws."
    Yes I am a cat owner or owned by four cats and three have their claws, the fourth does not. She actually is my boyfriend's cat. She used to climb walls, scratch up the couch. She actually pulled down some wall paper. When we moved back to his parents home. His mom said if we wanted to keep her she had to be declawed. So we took her to a cat vet and had laser surgery. The rest of my cats are not declawed. They do not scratch or dig at anything. I have cat scratchers for them.
    I realize that all cats are not the same and sometimes a person has to declaw to have a cat.This is a choice only the person can make.Different situations have different solutions but the important thing is give the kitty a home.
    Every year cats are euthanize.We can't save them all but giving a home to a cat is rewarding. If you don't want to declaw keep nail clippers handy.
    If you have to declaw to give a cat a home then do it but find a qualified Vet.

    Also, one of my very close friends had to declaw her cat. He's nails did not retract correctly and would catch on things and get ripped. So the vet recommended declawing. Which she had done. So is she lazy?
     
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