Cats and declawing – Pet podcast # 12 on Pets.ca – www.pets.ca
Pet podcast #12 is about declawing cats and alternatives for scratching problems. I also thank people for their personal support with regard to the previous podcast and thank a new BB member Peter. You can download this pet podcast directly by clicking the preceding link or listen to it almost immediately, with the embedded player below.
Please note that this is an audio transcription. grammar and punctuation may not be perfect.
Hi there everyone and welcome to the Pets Podcast #12 on Pets.ca. My name is Marko. We are coming to you from Montreal, Quebec, Canada, and today is March 1, 2007. For today”s show, we are going to talk about an old topic that has been around for a while, but because there are some new people listening, it is an important issue so I thought we would revisit it and that issue is declawing cats.
Before we do I would like to very much thank Peter for his comment on the podcast where Sherry talked about cats, actually, and Peter was lucky enough to actually meet Sherry and talk with Sherry and learn from her because she is such a great teacher. I am so pleased to say that Peter is actually a new member and he actually became a member because he heard our podcast #6 where I actually talked about dog walking at the SPCA and he was interested enough to actually give me a shout and I put him in touch with Marie-Claude, the leader, and now he is actually a dog walker at the SPCA, too, a volunteer dog walker. So, that is a really, really good feeling actually. I am so pleased that the program in general has benefited because of this podcast and I am pleased to be doing it and it is such a good program that if anyone else is interested in getting more information or actually becoming a dog walker, they could listen to podcast #6, which describes a little bit of the requirements and, of course, you can always just give me a shout at email@example.com. Just give me a shout and it will be more than my pleasure to do this because it is good for the dogs and it is good for everyone. So, thanks so much, Peter, so much appreaciated.
I would also very much like to say thank you to all the people that showed a lot of personal support for the last podcast we did. For those people who are just tuning in now, last podcast I talked a little bit about my own cat Zak who was recently diagnosed with cancer and I got a little bit choked up on the last podcast. It is not going to happen this podcast, but I posted on the bulletin board and the response was really lovely and I so appreciate the warm wishes and good response that I received. For those who have not been to the bulletin board but just listen to the podcast or surf the site, the bulletin board is really an amazing resource. It has been around for six to seven years by now and we have built quite a community. There are always several hundred people looking at what is going on there and the community of regular members is just amazing. The support is amazing. We are really a bunch of animal lovers, so I do encourage people to use the bulletin board and read the bulletin board if they are not familiar with it already. The support I got was just tremendous and other people get the same type of support. It is not just because I am co-owner of the site. Really, the people give support to anyone and everyone that is a pet lover. I just like to take this quick moment to personally thank each and every person that has responded to my post, so appreciated. I am so touched.
So, here goes. Here is a list of people that really responded and I am touched, so I would like to personally thank Dogastrophe, Stacer, angeldogs, Lucas Mom, Lukka”sma, jesse”s mommy, meb999, Hunter”s_owner, badger, Joey.E.CockersMommy, chico2, Mocha”s mum, wdawson, papillonmama, Frenchy, Prin, OntarioGreys, Skryker, dustybird, erykah1310, technodoll, phoenix, Golden Girls, happycats, CyberKitten, hazelrunpack, TeriM, luckypenny, cpietra16. There is Peepmouse, mindis12, coppperbelle, Byrd, rainbow, JennieV, marsupial mama, Shamrock, joeysmama, glasslass, Dog Dancer, doggy lover, TMac, mummummum, Mahealani770, HunterXHunter, and jawert1.
If anyone leaves comments in the future, it is not necessary, I so appreciate it, but if you do I thank you in advance as well.
On to the next topic, we get a lot of members that upload their photos and it is quickly becoming one of the more popular areas of the bulletin board actually. I was thinking I kind of do have a background in photography and maybe if people were interested, I would talk a little bit about pet photography and we could perhaps make it a regular segment on the podcast. This podcast is still relatively new. We have 12 episodes now, this being our 12th. I am really pleased and I am enjoying our once a week type of endeavor, doing my best to make it once a week, and I am interested in doing more regular segments. I thought perhaps that pet photography could be a regular segment. Either I could talk about a picture that a member uploaded or I could give a quick critique of that picture if they were into it or I could talk about pet photography in general. It is so nice to see such beautiful photography on Pets.ca. It is amazing. A lot of people are really talented and they do not need much critiquing or help, but there are some people that could use a little bit of suggestions, a little bit of critique. If you are into it, it would be more than my pleasure.
As always, you can comment on this. You can send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or you can PM me through the bulletin board if you are a member or get in touch with me through the blog just by responding to any of the posts and it will be my pleasure as always to comment back and follow up.
Now, on to the meat of the show. Should we get our cats declawed? Well, if you have been around the board for a while, I guess the quick and short answer is no. You should not do it. I am going to read a post from the bulletin board again. Wow, we are really involving the bulletin board in this podcast, but I really feel that this post describes the tone of how most people, at least on the bulletin board feel, maybe there are others that feel differently, but most people that become members on the bulletin board kind of adopt the same philosophy where we really do not believe that declawing cats is a good thing at all. Here is why. I am going to read that post now. This was actually a post that was written about seven or eight months ago and it was a thread started by Kelly_ann1980. She actually posts a poll with the thread and the poll is “Declawing: against or for?” Of the 76 people that answered, it is not the hugest sample, but it is a respectable sample, 89.4% said, “No, you should not declaw your cats;” 5.3% said, “Yeah, it”s okay to declaw your cats;” 3.9% were unsure; and 1.3% did not know. So, the vast majority of people responding, almost 90% say, “No, don”t declaw your cats.”
Then Kelly goes on to post her thread and she writes, “I”m totally against declawing because it is abusive and causes unnecessary pain and suffering with no benefit to the cat. It is a serious surgery and with a painful recovery afterwards; it is removal of the claws, the last bone of the cat”s claw has to be removed. Declawing is actually an amputation of the last joint of your cat”s “toes.” Also, part of the digital pad is removed and incomplete removal of the nail bed. Removing the claws makes a cat feel defenseless. Declawing changes their behavior real fast and their personality changes altogether. Some cats become nervous or aggressive, often resorting to their only means of defense, their teeth. They become biters using their teeth as their only defense against prey and often they become depressed. I have tabby that is declawed on all four paws. He was like that when we adopted him. I recommend you don”t get your cat declawed. They become really different cats after the surgery. There are other alternatives, things you can do like soft paws. These are caps that you put on your cat”s claws but you would have to replace them about every six weeks. Buy him or her a scratching post and show them how to use it. Put some catnip on the post. Just don”t get them declawed.”
So, thanks so much to Kelly_ann1980 for that. I must say, I so agree with that. Cats were not meant to be declawed. It is a human thing as Kelly_ann suggests. It is easy for us, but it is not easy for them. It is for our benefit, not for their benefit. As Sherry Bedard suggested a few podcasts ago, if you take the time to get some scratching posts and some multi-platform layered scratching trees, you put some catnip on it, then they will not scratch on your furniture or your sofa. These are the reasons that people declaw their cats. They do not want them wrecking their furniture. If you just take a proactive approach of it, just spend a few bucks, put the scratching post near the couch, put some catnip on it, your cats will probably use it. I know my cats were big-time scratchers as well when we got them. Declawing was never an option, but they were big-time scratchers. Cats are big-time scratchers. They scratch. That is what they do. That is what cats do. They scratch to increase muscle tone. They scratch to get rid of dead nails. They scratch to put their scent on stuff. They scratch, but you get a scratching post and a scratching tree, something really solid and it totally helps and they totally will not scratch your furniture if you use this. Some other quick deterrents for scratching that were also mentioned by Sherry, but again cats do not like tinfoil much, so if you put tinfoil on places they scratch, that helps. They do not like double-sided tape or sticky stuff, so if you put that kind of material on couches or areas, they will not use it. They are not interested in citrus smells or orange peels and there are several repellant spells made of oranges or you can even use your orange scents to send areas where you do not want your cats to possibly scratch. All these things help.
For some of you that are still not convinced and you are like, “You know what? My cat is just staying inside. He is not an outdoor cat. I want to protect my furniture. I”m having the cat declawed.” Well, let me tell you that from personal experience, your cats can escape. Our cats too are housecats. They stay in the house and they have not been out in years and years and years since we made the decision for them to be indoor cats. A couple of years ago, our cat Zak escaped. Cats escape. They just do sometimes. Of course, we absolutely freaked out when he escaped. Now, imagine had he escaped and he not had his claws. He was missing for 36 hours and before we found him, we actually heard him fighting with other cats. We did not catch him until 36 hours later, but we heard him fighting with other cats. Imagine if he had had no claws. He would have been finished. It is a real defense mechanism for cats. They use their claws to defend themselves. He would have seriously been injured or maimed or even worse had he not had his claws. So, that is yet one more reason why please, do not declaw your cats. If you are having trouble, come to our website. Ask your vet what to do. There are so many other solutions when it comes to declawing cats that it is not something that we can really recommend. So, please, please, please. Do not have your cats declawed.
That is going to do it for this week”s podcast. As always, you can leave comments through the blog. You can leave comments by emailing us, email@example.com, or through the bulletin board and we appreciate the comments. As always, thanks so much everyone for listening and please give your pets a little scratchy from Marko. Bye for now.