- Pet forum for dogs cats and humans 


kittens with mittens

October 20th, 2006, 10:15 PM
Clipped this kitty's nails today and she has the regular 5 toes but 3 additional (with nails) on each front paw. She was velcroeing sp? on everything and frequently getting stuck on living room carpet, owners would hear crying while trying to get loose and have to rescue her. Their vet wants to remove the extra appendages but owners aren't sure what route to take. If she were your kitty what would you suggest?

October 20th, 2006, 10:21 PM
I'd only remove them if they were at risk of getting infected. If they keep the tips of the nails cut off, the kitty shouldn't get stuck, right?

October 20th, 2006, 10:25 PM
So she's polydactyl?
I mean, they're not dew claws or something, they're just normal toes?
I've honestly never heard of anyone removing toes from a polydactyl cat, it's not really necessary.
A normal cat will get their claws stuck in things too, I often have to remove my cats claws from the carpet or something when I haven't clipped them in awhile. If you clip the claws there shouldn't really be a problem. Some cats are more prone to getting their claws stuck in things than others, whether they have extra toes or not.
My parent's cat constantly finds a way to get her claws stuck in something that she's trying to scratch, and you'll hear her meowing for help. She's never been injured though and if you don't come quick enough she usually gets them out anyway.

IMO removing some of the cats toes would be as bad, if not worse, than declawing a cat because they're scratching stuff.
Clipping the claws = no getting stuck.

October 20th, 2006, 10:27 PM
Umm.. by infected, I meant how sometimes, there are nails between toes, or between pads and they just curl under and get infected. Those are usually suggested to be removed, from what I know.:shrug:

October 20th, 2006, 10:45 PM
One of the extra toes does have a nail between but its so tucked up it doesn't seem to be an issue its the other 15 that get her into trouble. Do all polydactyls have that many extra toes (3) with nails. She is so tiny that she looks like she's wearing huge bunny slippers and they seem to get in her way when she's doing her zoomies - so funny - she's at that clumsy stage which makes it all the more difficult for her to look stealth.

October 20th, 2006, 10:52 PM
Yeah, it varies. My friend's kitty has 9 on each of her two front paws. They go up her legs. She's kinda freaky. She also has one right in the middle of the bottom of her paw. She uses it to pick up stuff and throw it. Freaky.

October 20th, 2006, 11:16 PM
I have a monthly appointment to clip her nails and hopefully that will sufficiently assist her velcro issues without the surgery.:fingerscr

October 20th, 2006, 11:19 PM
:fingerscr :fingerscr

October 20th, 2006, 11:33 PM
My fingers are crossed too. :fingerscr :fingerscr The toe amputation sounds a little drastic to me. :eek:

October 21st, 2006, 12:27 AM
I once had a polydactyl mama (a stray who adopted us :) ) and whom we later discoverd to be "expecting"). She had 7 toes and as long as kept all the nails clipped and her toes clean, no surgery was ever needed, not that it was recommened either. Now I realize 7 is not 9 and I do hope something quite so drastic as amputating some of her toes will be unecessary. (Frankly, it reminds me of that oft used phrase of using a canon to swat a flea.) Your kitty is likely quite accustomed to her claws just the way they are and like cats who are "declawed" - ughhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!!!! - and since research shows cats to be highly sensitive animals, if this were my cat, I'd try every possible procedure, technqiue that would help to avoid the emotional and painful trauma of amputation.

I asked my own vet - my cousin left a position as a nurse practitioner to work with my vet as a vet assistant and work with animals (her dream job she says and tho the pay is much much much less, she does get free veternary care for her babies - all 6 cats, 4 horses, 4 dogs - 2 puppy mills survivers and one lop bunny (some idiot brought in the poor rabbit to be "put to sleep since he was chewing furniture and wires - Gawd, did they not realize this is what bunnies do and rabbit proof their home. I'd be worried about my bunny being electrocuted!!!!) - ) about this issue and They both pointed me to several academic journals which have articles "debating" both sides, the most important being that medically, it makes little differece. Like its bigger and badder (sorry for thge abhorent grammar - I could think of no other description) - declawing every nail as opposed to amputating a few paws- this surgery is painful and cats, who will adjust, do miss their claws since they use them for so many tasks!!!

As most of you know, I loathe anecdotal replies so this is half and half. Most of the "emperical evidence" I read (depends who paid for aforementioned "emperical evidence") does not recommend this type of surgery unless it is absolutely medically necessary. Your vet may have ethical issues or s/he could really have concerns about your cat medically. I would ask what significant and necessary medical reasons s/he has for recommending the surgery.

At any rate, it took the place of the mystery novel - a Shirley Murphy Rousseau narrative about the latest advetures of those three lovable kitties, Joe Grey, Dulcie and the kit while I joined my own patients (in spirit since they are obviously in a pediatric hospital in recouperating from very minor surgery related to my recent bout of melanoma. and I can so understand why transitions are so difficult for teens when they have to move from our place to the "adult" hospital oonce they come "of age", sighhhhhhhhh!!! - I would prefer to be there physically too tho lol) <g> At least, it looked better, lol Like I was working on something rather than reading a novel!! (I mean, I know it was Fri afternoon and all but I need to set a good example, lol)

As for my now long since departed Nellie and her kittens, all four kits were also polys and 2 found wonderful homes of people we (my family - I was a teenager when we met she and her babies.) We kept the remaining two, one had six toes and the other seven. it was my 1st experience with polydactylism and I have adored polys ever since. I'd love to some day find a poly meezer!!

Good luck in your deliberations!!! I vote no for the surgery unless there is some pressing and urgent medical need and some issue not mentioned here or you are unaware of. Cats - unlike ppl - adjust very well to congenital physical issues. (They'd never see them as "problems" - there are days I truly believe they are the original critical thinkers and problem solvers. Of course there are also occasions I am convinced my cats are laughing hilariously at me after they've managed to make me look foolish or achieved exactly what they set out to do at my expsense, lol - not to anthropomorphize them again, :crazy:

Best of luck!!!!!! I vote no to the surgery except for the already stated exemptions.

October 21st, 2006, 02:28 PM
My beautiful cat that is missing is a polydactyl. She was quite often stuck on things but when I could hear her "ticky tacking" on the kitchen floor or sticking on the carpet I would trim her nails. She has a small claw between the larger toes on each of her front paws and it is important to make sure that one is clipped as it does grow into a circle and potentially into the toe. Oh gosh another reason to worry about her being missing.....that her Hygiene isn't being taken care of. I wouldn't want to see any toes being amputated unless the cat has been seen by a vet who is familiar with polydactyls and he/she says it's necessary ( even then I'd get a second opinion before I would have anything amputated....).

October 24th, 2006, 10:48 AM
They have a 'Hemingway' cat, the extra toes are considered good luck. If the toes are amputated, maybe that is bad luck? :) My opinion, unless there is a good medical reason, is that they just clip the nails periodically. My cat w/ claws gets stuck on things all the time if i don't clip her nails and she is not even polydactyl. Clipping the nails solves the problem every time.

As an aside, a friend of my neighbor's told me he is having his cat declawed by a new procedure, using a laser. Anyone know anything about that?

October 24th, 2006, 03:26 PM
It's supposed to be more expensive, less painful, and faster healing, but it doesn't remove the fact that you're amputating... :shrug: