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HIND paw DECLAWING: HELP! opinions needed

Sweetpea3
August 7th, 2004, 05:08 PM
Hi everyone! I'm in a tough situation, and I need some opinions from fellow cat insaniancs(that's what I call us).
I just adopted a new cat from the local animal shelter, that is front declawed. Her name is Fluffy, and she is snow white with blue eyes. She is intended to be a companion for my grandmother.
My problem is that Fluffy seems to somehow use her back paws to stabilize herself, or pull herself up when she jumps on high upholstered pieces of furniture. I know because I hear little ripping sounds. She loves to be picked up and held, and rubbed and petted. However, if you go anywhere near her hind paws(just to touch them or to clip her nails), she pulls them away, and will bite you if you pursue her.

So now I am left with the unsavory task of deciding about hind paw laser declawing, which is more expensive(not a problem), but supposedly has a quick recovery time and much less pain.

WAIT! STOP! before you start scolding me about how inhumane and painful the surgery is, let me stop you. I know. I have 3 cats of my own and I would never declaw them, no matter how much damage they caused. In general, I am morally opposed to declawing. However, since she won't easily let us trim her back paws, I don't see how I have another option. Plus, even if my grandmother could somehow manage to clip Fluffy's nails without getting bitten, I think Fluffy might get hurt. My grandmother has macrodegeneration(translation: "she's legally blind"). With her poor eye sight, I'm afraid my grandmother might hurt her by trimming too much nail.
Wouldn't a week of pain be worth of lifetime of painful nail trimmings?

And if I can't figure out a solution, Fluffy would have to be brought back to the shelter. She did not present as a good pet in the shelter(shy & cowering, with a sign on the cage that said she didn't like being picked up), and I doubt anyone else would have adopted her(I thought she was a diamond in the rough, and was right). So basically, the way I see it, it's declawing or eventual euthanasia at the shelter. Plus, the psychological damage has already been done to her. But I am concerned that she would have a liftime of pain when walking if all four of her paws are declawed.

<sigh> I'm so confused and I don't know what to do. I think I am too involved in the situation and need an outside perspective. What would you guys do? Also, does anyone have any links to sites discussing the effects of four paw declawing?

sammiec
August 7th, 2004, 06:38 PM
Hey sweetpea! Have you thought about SoftPaws? They are little caps that you put over the cats nails. This could be done by your grandma and wouldn't injure the kitty!!!

SoftPaws (http://www.softpaws.com/)

Sweetpea3
August 7th, 2004, 06:58 PM
I suspect that this cat would probably just rip them off. I used softpaws on one of my other cats when she was a kitten. It only took her a day. I found a trail of little plastic pieces on the floor.
But thanks for the suggestion.

Sweetpea3
August 7th, 2004, 07:05 PM
Oh, and she would still have to touch the cats paws to put on the soft paws. Again, touching =biting.

chico2
August 7th, 2004, 07:25 PM
Sweetpea,I just read part of your post and felt sick to my stomache,the answer is an absolute 150% NO.OMG,no wonder she does not let you near her paws,let her keep at least one chance at holding on.
Your grandmother does not seem to be in good enough shape to take care of a cat.It would be incredibly cruel to cause her so much pain,euthanasia would almost be preferable,at least there will be no pain :(
Your grandmother not seeing well,could easily trample on or fall because of the cat,not a good idea for the cat or your grandmother.
I don't mean to be hard on you,but just the idea of back-paw declawing sends shivers down my spine.
If you cannot keep her,please try to rehome her.

Lucky Rescue
August 7th, 2004, 07:41 PM
Agree totally with Chico. This is very inhumane.:(

What will happen if you take her back claws out, and then she starts to bite? Take her teeth out?:(

chico2
August 7th, 2004, 10:06 PM
Thank you Lucky,of all the posts I have ever read,this one got me most upset,just the thought of it makes me ill.
Sweetpea,you say you have three cats,as do I and I love them,there is nothing in this world that would make me declaw them,much less mutilate the backpaws on a grown cat.Coming from a shelter and being skittish,don't you think this poor cat has suffered enough.
I feel for your grandmother,but a cat is not what she should have..how will she feed it,do the litter,make sure the cat does not run outside??
No,it's an all around bad idea!!!

Sweetpea3
August 7th, 2004, 11:41 PM
I appreciate the responses, but not the negativity. If you treat everyone like this that comes looking for helpful opionions, no one will ever come back.

To respond:

CHICO:
I gotta say, your postings really got under my skin. I can't believe some of the things you are saying.

(1)DEATH is better than declawing?? Maybe we should euthanise you. She's a very sweet cat and it would be inhumane to kill her.

(2)Could you please point out for me where I stated that my grandmother was wheelchair bound or bed stricken? That's right, I didn't write that. "Legally Blind" does not mean blind. It means that she cannot drive a car, it does not mean she can't see. She is completely self sufficient and can buy the cat food at the same time she buys human food. She can clean the litterbox as easily as she can vaccum, dust, clean windows, or whatever. As for making sure it doesn't go outside, she just won't let the cat out the friggin door. And if the cat slips past her, then she will walk down the hallway, pick it up, and put it back in the apartment.

(3)My grandmother is not in bad shape. She is in great shape and very active. You and I can only pray we will be as mentally alert and physically fit as she is. She's 86, but if she got a facelift you would swear she was 50, based on the way she gets around. For those of you that are not familiar with macrodegeneration, let me tell you the effect. The affected individual can still see, watch tv, read, walk, jump, etc. However the center of their vision is blurry, and they only have peripheral vision. She can't drive a car, and I'm not sure I'd trust her to cut a struggling cats nails, but she can do everything else fine. Since she has never tripped over anything else, I don't think this cat is going to be her undoing. And give me just a little credit, please. I specifically picked a cat that doesn't trip humans.

(4)And, I believe I already explained that if I don't take her, she will eventually be euthanised by the shelter I got her from. It's common knowledge that when you adopt a cat from an organization you sign a contract agreeing to give the cat back to the organization if you can't keep it. Therefore it would be illegal for me to try and find another home for her. Since I don't feel like going jail, I don't think I'll be taking your advice.

(5) How old are you? You sound like you must be 15 or something. I think you should wait until you are an adult to give advice on such matters.

LUCKYRESCUE: Please be serious and don't waste my time with stupid questions. Of course I wouldn't pull her teeth out. And obviously, you didn't read my post, because I said she was already BITING. If she wasn't already biting, someone in the family could drop by every couple of weeks to do it, or we could hire someone. But Fluffy is not making that possible. She bites a little when shes unhappy about something, but the only time she really bites hard and draws blood is when you try to touch her back paws.

If anyone has any polite and constructive advice, I'd be happy to hear it. But I would prefer that people advocating Euthanasia and teeth pulling please not post here.

Cactus Flower
August 8th, 2004, 12:34 AM
If anyone has any polite and constructive advice, I'd be happy to hear it. But I would prefer that people advocating Euthanasia and teeth pulling please not post here.

You posted in a public forum. You will get varied responses.

It's common knowledge that when you adopt a cat from an organization you sign a contract agreeing to give the cat back to the organization if you can't keep it. Therefore it would be illegal for me to try and find another home for her. Since I don't feel like going jail, I don't think I'll be taking your advice.

People don't go to jail over breach of contract. That is a civil matter, and the organization you got the cat from would have to take you to court over it. I'm guessing they'd rather spend that money on catfood, if you were to find this kitty a loving home.
Just for the record, I've never heard of a shelter demanding that a pet be brought back if you can't keep it. Only some rescues and most breeders. As far as I know, shelters are trying to keep their pet population down. Maybe it is different where you are.

You asked:
I'm so confused and I don't know what to do. I think I am too involved in the situation and need an outside perspective. What would you guys do?

And you were answered:
the answer is an absolute 150% NO
there is nothing in this world that would make me declaw them,much less mutilate the backpaws on a grown cat.
If you cannot keep her,please try to rehome her
No,it's an all around bad idea!!!

I'm sorry if you didn't hear what you wanted to hear. You were obviously prepared for an emotional response to declawing, and that is some of what you got. You responded in kind with a post that obviously took quite a bit of time to write, as it was even longer than your original post. Perhaps you could put the same kind of effort into posting on adoption sites to find this kitty a more suitable home, rather than declawing her. You said she did not "present as a good pet at the shelter", but surely she is a bit better socialized now that you've had her, and you could find her another home.
Maybe a more mature cat would be more suitable? Couldn't you adopt another tamer adult that is able to be held, etc?

Best of luck.

Sweetpea3
August 8th, 2004, 12:57 AM
Hi Cactus.

I think perhaps you missed the inflammatory and insulting tone from the previous responders. I was not looking for someone to tell me "what I wanted to hear". I welcome different opinions, but I did expect them to be polite. You said a few things I didn't like or agree with, but I listened to each one and am happy you added your voice to this topic. I have lost no respect for you because you said it in a polite way that showed respect for me. As a result, I am able to give your comments the consideration they deserve.
I wrote a long response, basically because I was really fuming mad at the rude tone the other posts had.

And, by the way, they don't come any tamer than Fluffy. She is very mellow and loves to have her belly rubbed. Even when I'm rubbing her belly, by her internal organs, she goes into such a deep sleep that her second eyelid covers her eye completely! I don't think I've ever seen an adult cat sleep that deeply. I think she is the sweetest cat I've ever met. I could never do any better than her, and I've only had her for a few days. It's just this one phobia she has about people touching her paws. My other cats aren't that sensitive, so I suspect it stems from her waking up one morning to find that "hey, my hands are gone!" She may be afraid of loosing her other paws. It's a catch 22.

Cactus Flower
August 8th, 2004, 01:36 AM
*Duly Noted*


Truce?

I've heard them recommend putting clear tape on the upholstered arms/legs of furniture. Cats don't like the texture, therefore they won't claw or scratch it. But as far as I know, that is for cats that claw with their front paws. Maybe it would still help with the "gripping" that your kitty does with her hind feet? At the very least, it would protect the furniture. Those clear runners you buy for high traffic areas on carpet could be cut and put over the arms of the furniture. I knew an old gal who did that just to prevents stains, as well as general wear and tear.
I've also heard people recommend putting something distasteful (like lemon juice) on your hand to stop the biting. I wonder if that would work in your situation.
It is possible that you could condition her to having her hind legs touched. Using catnip, even? Is there some toy she loves so much that you could touch her feet with the toy? Perhaps just start with brief touches, and reward for no biting with treats, then eventually make the touches longer, etc. I'm trying to find a way to fix this problem without surgery (which we obviously are opposed to) or rehoming (which you obviously are opposed to). The best case scenario for you and your kitty would be to keep her and try to condition her to having her back feet touched.
Does that sound reasonable?
Would anyone disagree with that?

Cat owners.......any ideas on how to overcome extreme protectiveness in hind feet?

chico2
August 8th, 2004, 08:36 AM
Sweetpea,reading your response to my"opinion",which you asked for and got,I would say you are the childish person and I will ignore your comments.I am probably years older than you.
Fluffys only defense is biting,since she has no claws,even my cats with all their claws have parts of their bodies they don't want handled.Two of my cats let me trim their nails,but my big tabby has to be done at the vets,not a big deal at the cost of $10.
Most cats and I have had many over the years,although loving and sweet,do not like to be carried around,they prefer to come for cuddles when they feel like it.
In your original post you said she was nervous and shy,now you point out how relaxed and sweet she is :confused:
Then why back-paw declawing?
I congratulate your grandmother on being in wonderful shape and maybe since the cat already has her front paws declawed,she would not want to further mutilate the cat by doing her back-paws too,that is,if she really wants a cat or something that matches her furniture.
You also point out she would never get out,but we have several defenseless,declawed"lost"cats on the Lost and Found thread,it happens :mad:
Also,since you have cats yourself,you must know,cats love jumping on high places,makes them feel secure.All three of my cats have their favourite"high place",on top of an armoire,wallunit etc...that is what cats do.All cats leave little scratch marks in your house ever now and then,it's difficult to disguise that there are cats living in your house.I have a cat-tree and other scratch-posts,but sometimes a couch,carpet or woodmoulding is more inviting :D ,I discourage it with a mist spraybottle of water and sometimes it helps.
Maybe your grandmother would do better adopting an elderly dog,there are several needy,sad old dogs at the shelters,they don't destroy furniture or scratch,they just want to be loved.
The idea of chopping off Fluffys back paws,is inhumane,cruel and unusual punishment,something this shelter cat does not deserve and I still feel very strongly,if that is what you intend to do,Fluffy should be rehomed.
As for going to jail,my Oakville HS has 200 cats needing homes,several declawed,I suspect if you found Fluffy a good home,HS would not have the time or money to try to get you jailed.Many shelters however,will not agree on declawing and it is often stated in adoptionforms.
Finally,if you found my response negative,it's because you asked my and other animal-lovers opinion,you got mine and there is no way,I would EVER condone back-paw declawing.

sammiec
August 8th, 2004, 09:13 AM
Sweetpea, I am quite surprise by our defensive posting. As Cactus has pointed out this is a public forum and you will get a varitey of responses. I know that Chico did not intend posting here to inslut your intellegence, she is one of our older and much more knowledgable members. You ASSuming that she was 15 was pretty insulting and childish.
I have a question though, why did your grandmother not go with you to choose a cat that she would like to care for, why did you "supply" it for her?

I agree that declawing a cat is cruel, declawing the back paws is just inhumane. The cat is left with aboslutely NO defense mechanism and must resort to biting. Though, I doubt your grandmother will be much of a threat to the cat, they still require that feeling that they can protect themselves. If the cat needs to have its paws touched for any other reason (once the claws are pulled out) she would bite, there's no doubt.

I rescent the fact that you came here asking for advice and turned to being insulting, rude and childish. You're complaining about wanting "polite and helpful" responses, well sweetie - do unto others... ;)

Lucky Rescue
August 8th, 2004, 10:39 AM
Anyone who is so concerned over a scratch on the furniture should not get a cat. All pets are capable of being destructive, and chopping off body parts is not a good option.

As for de-fanging being ludicrous - why? It would actually less painful than declawing?

Please find a compassionate home for this cat with someone who doesn't care if she's not perfect. Dumping her back at the shelter again where she was so terrified is unthinkable. Go to jail? That's funny. Do you really think the shelter follows up on the thousands of cats that pass through their doors, and do this for the life of the animal?

Try putting a something (footstool, hassock etc) near the sofa she likes to jump on. This way she won't need to dig her claws in to get up.

You asked for declaw information:
Declawing (http://www.sniksnak.com/cathealth/declaw.html)

glasslass
August 8th, 2004, 11:00 AM
And if I can't figure out a solution, Fluffy would have to be brought back to the shelter. She did not present as a good pet in the shelter(shy & cowering, with a sign on the cage that said she didn't like being picked up), and I doubt anyone else would have adopted her(I thought she was a diamond in the rough, and was right). So basically, the way I see it, it's declawing or eventual euthanasia at the shelter.
You're accusing Chico of suggesting euthanasia? YOU are the one that brought this up as an option. No one here would suggest that as a solution. What was suggested that it would be more humane to do it yourself rather than send this poor creature back to a shelter to have it done. At least, she wouldn't feel the rejection yet again. I guess your ultimate solution would be easier for YOU?

Sweetpea3
August 8th, 2004, 11:18 AM
Hi cactus

You've given me a few things to consider. The mere idea of declawing her makes me cringe, and I appreciate the suggestions. Lemon juice is an interesting idea, but I doubt it would work. I've never heard of it, but I'd guess that's for dealing with young cats that bite as part of play time? Am I right? I can't imagine Lemon Juice would stop a cat from biting if it was hissing and upset and trying to "defend" itself.
In any case, this may not be as big of a problem as I initially thought it would be. I was first alerted to the problem when Fluffy jumped on an expensive, high(3 feet) upholstered laundry bin. Beds, couches, and chairs don't seem to be a problem. I've been trying to mentally go over all the furniture in my grandmas apartment, and I don't think she has any that would cause a problem.
That's not to say Fluffy won't do a little bit of damage, but with grandma's eyesight being what it is, I don't think she would notice anyway! That's another thing I hadn't considered when I initially posted. Certainly, I care about keeping her antiques nice, but the family doesn't really care about the resale value, if you know what I mean(thinking 15 years in the future). If grandma won't notice then it probably won't be a problem, and then I wouldn't have to put Fluffy through that. I'm not even so worried about the surgery itself. Certainly, we would get the expensive laser version and research to find the best and most experienced vet possible. But I am worried about the long term damage it might cause like Arthritis. That's wh I really don't want to resort to declawing.

Do you know if a cat's hind nails NEED to be clipped? I've always clipped the front and back paws on my cats, so it never occured to me . But I see them biting/grooming their back paws all the time. Are the back paws something they can take care of themselves? I have a feeling that Fluffy's previous family did not clip her nails, which makes me wonder.

Thanks,
Stacy

Sweetpea3
August 8th, 2004, 11:22 AM
It would be incredibly cruel to cause her so much pain,euthanasia would almost be preferable,at least there will be no pain

That's a direct quote from Chico telling me to Euthanise her.

I would NEVER NEVER euthanise Fluffy. She's way too sweet and I love her already. I definately did not advocate euthanasia. I only said that I believe that would be the end result, if she didn't stay in my family.

Sweetpea3
August 8th, 2004, 11:36 AM
why did your grandmother not go with you to choose a cat that she would like to care for, why did you "supply" it for her?

Hi Sammiec

Because she is in New York and I am in a different state.

Plus, as we all know, there are certain cues or behaviors cats present at shelters that do not truly represent them. I'm sure we've all seen a cat in a cage that stuck it's paws out and cried "please pick me up and give me a hug." But the second you open the cage, they bolt and start bouncing off the walls. The reverse is also true. I have seen cats sedately sitting in their cages and showing no interest in humans. Some even shy away and bite if a human comes near them. But if you pet them and rub them and talk to them for 5 minutes, they turn into lovebugs and are happy to be picked up and held. That is how it was with Fluffy. Except that for her it was even worse. She was in a very noisy room that was next to the dog kennels(dogs barking non stop). It was obviously fraying on her nerves. Grandma and most people wouldn't have given Fluffy a second look. But I could tell she was special and that's why I gambled on her.

Cactus Flower
August 8th, 2004, 12:01 PM
Yes, the lemon juice is usually used in "play-biting". You are probably right about it not working in a cat that is fear-biting. I'm grasping for solutions, and I'm the first to admit that I'm no cat expert. I hope everyone can set aside their differences here and offer better advice than I'm giving. There are many others here that are better versed in cat-care by a huge margin.

My neighbor and best friend of ten years has always had cats. Like, an entire house full. I know that he has never declawed any of them, and he has never clipped any of them. So maybe they don't need to be clipped. His house looks like some sort of cat jungle, with scratch posts and cat-trees and toys hanging from the ceiling. Perhaps having many things that they are allowed to scratch keeps the nails worn enough that they don't ever need clipping. I don't think it's the same as on a dog, where they'll just grow to ridiculous lengths if they are not clipped. I could be wrong, but I've never seen that happen. I have only had one cat, a "free to good home" that adopted my son. They were great pals. I never clipped her nails, and to be honest, I wouldn't even have known at the time that it could (or should?) be done. She seemed to be just fine without the clipping, though.

Sweetpea3
August 8th, 2004, 12:13 PM
Well, I usually like to be proactive about problems, but maybe that's the real answer. Maybe There's noting that could or should be done. I'm going to have her in my house for at least a few weeks. So I'll keep an eye on her and see if she can go without having her hind nails cliped.

Thanks for all your help Cactus Flower.

Cactus Flower
August 8th, 2004, 12:53 PM
You're quite welcome. Wish I could have helped more, though.

Please post an update on how all of this turns out for you and Fluffy and your Grandmother, and good luck!

Shae
August 8th, 2004, 01:03 PM
Just let the vet trim her nails . We are used to tough situations and uncooperative cats and dogs. OR, Purchase soft paws and have the vet and the techs put them on for her. I would write more but I am in a rush and just skimmed this thread. I'll check back

Sweetpea3
August 8th, 2004, 01:11 PM
Cactus Flower

You were the most helpful person here. You offered many excellent suggestions, shared your knowledge, and were non-judgemental. You are exactly the kind of person I was looking for when I came to this forum.

Eve though you didn't give me the answer that I eventually came to, you helped me talk it out and made me realize a few things that I might not have if I hadn't posted here. I don't think "doing nothing" would have occured to me if I hadn't been talking to you and realized that Grandma won't notice the slight damage.
5 years ago, before her eyesite deteriorated, she would have noticed. She was orphaned at the age 0f 10 when her mother died, and was passed around by the extended family like a "hot potato". As a result, she is very protective and very particular about keeping all her posessions perfect(she probably had very little to call her own as a child). I am not even allowed to sit on her couch(no one is), so I can't imagine her letting a cat with claws sit on it.

Sweetpea3
August 8th, 2004, 01:14 PM
Just let the vet trim her nails


Hi Shae

I thought of that, but it's not an option. This cat is big(about 12 pounds) so it would be cumbersome for her to have to carry it to a vets office. Since she can't drive, she would have to walk it, and I don't think any vets are within walking distance.


Good idea though.

Thanks

RuffNTumble
August 8th, 2004, 01:31 PM
I thought I'd throw in my two cents, only because I think there is a fine line between offering a heart-felt opinion, and dragging someone to the gallows. As a recent member, this thread has shown me that were I a vulnerable person to everyone's opinon, I would have to censure myself in order to get help. And that is really sad. This is a public forum, yes, not a public hearing. We shouldn't be afraid to ask questions of those who are so knowledgeable, for fear that we will be condemned and ridiculed. I think SweetPea was very honest in her question, and was met with a barrage of insults. That being said, her reply to the replies was very defensive, but who could blame her? You all fell short of calling her an animal torturer. You'll notice declawing is not something she WANTED to do, but rather something she was ASKING about. Isn't that one of the great things about this forum? You can ASK questions? I don't know much about anything when it comes to pets, I learn more everyday, and this forum is usually the first place I go to. I wonder how long it will be this way. I'd lik to be able to ask honest questions, but after today, I am afraid of the response, but then again, I am thick-skinned! Now, onto the comment I wanted to make! :D
I have a hellcat that is just about the meanest cat around (aptly named Vader, as in Darth Vader, as in, you know, evil) she slashes, she bites, and yet, we adamantly refused to have her declawed (and had to fight with the vet about it). I don't know why we feel this way, since we are all scratched up, and it's scary when you get up in the middle of the night and you feel something sharp around your ankles! I suppose it's out of fear that she will bite even more if we declaw her.
SweetPea, all I will say, is that my grandma had a really sweet cat, Reboot, a Russian Blue who was sweet as pie, and then, she was convinced by her vet to not only declaw the front, but also the backpaws. Being 80, she didn't argue, since she had cats all her life, and whether they came with or without claws never made a difference. Reboot went NUTS, he did nothing but bite, and you couldn't pet him anymore. I'm not saying this will happen to Fluffy, but on the off chance that it might, she might lose her personality and good nature. I guess if she was already declawed, the argument would be moot, but in the end, it's up to you. I agree with the general concensus that if you value furniture, pets are not for you, clawed or not. If you don't and your grandma doesn't, then you have options.
Now everyone, and don't lynch me on this, but a friend of mine worked in a vet clinic before, and she mentioned their is a surgery available where the ligament is cut, but the knuckle is not removed. She says vets don't advertise it because it's more work than declawing. I know it's taking away the cat's ability to use his/her claws, but I don't know much more about it (or that they used lasers to declaw cats!!!) Am I crazy to think this up? My friend is real, but is this surgery also? :confused:

That's all I have to say on that. Regardless of public opinion, I will keep coming here for questions, answers and comments, because I think this is a great community.

Ruff

Sweetpea3
August 8th, 2004, 01:42 PM
Hi Ruff! First, thank you for sticking up for me. I really appreciate it. I think you hit the nail on the head. It's not like I was advocating declawing or anything. That's why I was surprised when people jumped on me.


their is a surgery available where the ligament is cut, but the knuckle is not removed. ......Am I crazy to think this up? My friend is real, but is this surgery also?


To answer your question, yes, it's real. It's called a "Tendonectomy". It stops the cats from being able to use their claws, but the claws still grow an require regular trimming for the rest of their lives. After a tendonectomy, the cat can no longer control their claws and can't "cut", bite, or scratch their nails themselves to shorten them. If the nails are not trimmed regularly they will grow in a spiral and start digging into the cats paw pads. It's very bloody and painful

sammiec
August 8th, 2004, 01:57 PM
Grandma and most people wouldn't have given Fluffy a second look. But I could tell she was special and that's why I gambled on her.

You're NOT taking a "gamble" on Fluffy, you're expecting your Grandmother too!! She is intended to be the primary cargeiver, is she not?

Sweetpea3
August 8th, 2004, 02:02 PM
Did you make a point in that last post?

sammiec
August 8th, 2004, 02:06 PM
I guess I'll make it a little easier to understand. Your grandmother is expected to watch over this cat. Have you talked to HER about HER preference of what way SHE would like to tackle this issue? Does SHE have a concern about the scratching? By the sounds of it she can take care of this issue. Is there no public transit in her area, is there no family that close by to help with driving?

chico2
August 8th, 2004, 02:09 PM
Ruff,I do not think my answer to SP's questions were rude or mean,but I would never pussyfoot around the question of declawing,much less backpaw declawing.
As for arthritis,it is true...a friend of mine in Florida adopted a beautiful Himalayan designer-cat,the owner had passed away.This poor 13-yr old female cannot walk properly,nor scratch the litter-box.
To me trimming the front-paws are always more important and by the time we've done the front,the cat usually does not want you to touch the back.
But if you have valuable antics,why would you even consider getting a cat?
I have good furniture,but after going through a few sofas,went for all leather sofas and wood-floors instead of carpeting,much more expensive than declawing my three cats,but that was NEVER an option.
In conclusion,Ruffandtumble,my main concern in trying to answer questions is the animal and when it comes to their care I have very strong opinions and I do not take back anything I said.I am only glad if we could enlighten SP on putting Fluffy through such inhumane treatment.
This is a Pet-board,the answers will be for the benefit of the animal,not ease an owners conscience.

Sweetpea3
August 8th, 2004, 02:34 PM
I have very strong opinions and I do not take back anything I said.I am only glad if we could enlighten SP on putting Fluffy through such inhumane treatment.

Chico, you did nothing of the sort. In fact, if I had taken anything you said seriously, I would have the cat declawed just to spite you. I was on the fence about the subject, but you put me in a position where I had to defend declawing. That is not something I was looking to do, and I think my original post made that very clear.

I feel for your grandmother,but a cat is not what she should have..how will she feed it,do the litter,make sure the cat does not run outside??No,it's an all around bad idea!!!


Don't you see how inflammatory your remark was? You just insulted my grandmother and my judgement of her being fit to take care of a cat.
Basically, you just stated that my grandmother is incappable of the most basic functions and that she is not allowed to have a cat. No, no, Chico says she can't have a a cat, and you've decided - so now it must be set forth and written in stone.

Cactus Flower
August 8th, 2004, 02:38 PM
Kind words, thank you.

I was just thinking...
She was orphaned at the age 0f 10 when her mother died, and was passed around by the extended family like a "hot potato".

I bet your Grandmother will be able to empathize with this kitty, given her history. I'm also betting that if your Grandmother had pets in the past, her eight decades of experience on this planet might include some interesting tips on the matter! She might just put us all in our places by saying "Look here, what you've got to do with a problem like this is....." and explain a remedy that none of us have thought of LOL! :D Wouldn't that be something?

One of my best friends is 86 years old (I am 36). Her name is Verley and she's one tough old cowgirl. She's also a walking encyclopedia of knowledge (as most seniors are, having spent many years in the School of Life). When I am stumped, I ask Verley. More often than not she has some old-time remedy or advice I hadn't come close to thinking of. If nothing else she can tell me lots of stories related to my problem, and let me cipher what I will from them.

I know I'm getting off-topic here, but let me close by saying that you are very lucky to have your Grandmother in your life for so long.

Ok ok I'll shut up now :p

sammiec
August 8th, 2004, 02:38 PM
I don't know about Chico, but when you first posted and you said that your grandmother was "legally blind" I did not know that it meant only that she has lost some of her vision. I thought that you meant she was BLIND!! In that case having a cat would be dangerous as Chico said. Call me ignorant/stupid all you want. I thought that's what you meant.

I feel for your grandmother,but a cat is not what she should have..how will she feed it,do the litter,make sure the cat does not run outside?? No,it's an all around bad idea!!!

RuffNTumble
August 8th, 2004, 03:05 PM
Chico,

I agree with you, don't get me wrong. That's what the board is for, pets, I agree. otherwise it would be petowners.ca, I suppose. All I'm saying is, this community can be intimidating at best, with so many knowledgeable "posters" on here, and to have a whole lot of people accuse each other of saying, meaning, inferring or assuming things gets AWAY from the pets, in my opinion. The whole point of this was to discuss alternatives to declawing, but it digressed into pictures of a surgery and threats of euthanasia! For crying out loud, a ripped up couch isn't the end of the world! My couch is caving in on itself because my dane, and now my neo mastiff. It was a gift from my grandmother, but so what? I decide to have pets, so I live with the consequence. I've seen enough limping cats to know declawing is painful, and don't even get me STARTED on cropped ears. That makes me FURIOUS, and yet, if someone asked me about it, I'd recommend they read about it, talk to their breeder (or rescue operation) or their vet, I wouldn't outright accuse them of being inhumane for *asking* about it. If they're misinformed, they've come to one of the best places for information, and I think it should stay that way. :rolleyes:
I guess the bigger picture is, SweetPea, is perhaps to have a conversation with your grandmother. The first one being, does she actually want a cat? I don't remember reading that, but then again, I have the memory powers of cottage cheese! And if so, how much time and money can she devote to her care? Will she brave the bites and hiss and trim the nails herself? Will she take her to a vet or groomer? Before you make any decisions for her, you may want to make sure she's ready to assume the responsability. She's obviously able to, but is she willing to?
I can sense sarcasm in your tone, and it's really not the approach to have here. (I am oft sarcastic myself, so I can smell my own!) The bottom line is everyone here, however passionate and seemingly strong-willed (and that includes me, I don't like declawing, slashing tendons, cropping ears, docking tails, debarking, defanging, the whole bit. LEAVE THE PET WHOLE!!!) everyone is trying to help. No problem about the sticking up, we just need to get to the bigger picture, and the original question: What are your options with Fluffy. How old is she? Do you know anything about her background? Was she attacked? Mistreated? Beaten? Do you have any history on her?

Thanks for reading everyone. I get really long-winded. I think it's because English is my second language and I am making up for 12 years of missing out!

Ruff

Sweetpea3
August 8th, 2004, 03:10 PM
To respond to Cactus Flower - That is a very logical assumtion, but you are WRONG WRONG WRONG! (please take that in the jovial nature it was intended).
My grandmother has never had pets, and has no valuable life experience that would be of any help. In fact, she drives the family absolutely up the wall because she always wants to do things "her way". That's fine, except that her way never makes sense and is always a huge hassle for everyone involved.

Let me give you an example:
My grandmother has a very nice, spacious apartment that she owns. The walls hadn't been painted since she moved in 15 years ago(they badly needed it), the carpets were old, worn out, and had stains in some places. The kitchen was also just OLD. Ever since she moved in, she has been talking about how she wants to paint the walls, put in new carpeting, redesign the kitchen, etc. But she can't pick what she wants, "she can't decide what color to get, the carpet/wall guys willl damage her things, she doesn't know what to do".... yada yada yada. She annoys the heck out of everyone talking about the subject and never doing anything. Please note that money is not an issue at all.
So this past winter, while my grandmother was in Florida, my uncle who is a high priced attorney, takes the time out of his life to do the whole job and orchestrate everything. He picked premium, top of the line items and put down new carpeting, painted the walls, and built her a deluxe gourmet kitchen with top of the line stainless steel appliances, built-in refrigerator, granite floors and countertops, and premium wood cabinets, etc.
He and my aunt even tricked her into helping them pick the colors and stuff by saying they were redoing their apartment and wanted her opinion.
All this was at his expense, and when we surprised her and she saw it, all she could do was complain that she might have wanted different colors or a different stove, etc.... We've told her that anything she wants can be changed, but still "she doesn't know what to do...."

The point of all that? She is incapable of making decisions. She is more than capable of feeding, and loving the cat, but she cannot be involved in any of the decision making processes. If we let her pick the cat, she would never get one! She would never be able to pick a cat. The problem is, she doesn't understand "you can't take it with you". She doesn't understand that her time is growing short (I'd say about 15 years) and that if she doesn't do some of this stuff now, she will never get what she wants. Then we will end up doing all the stuff she always talks about, just so we can sell her apartment.

sammiec
August 8th, 2004, 03:11 PM
Nice post RNT. What's your first language? I would have never guessed, your english is VERY good!

Sweetpea3
August 8th, 2004, 03:13 PM
By the way, grams is nuts about cats. I'm sure the kitty would be very happy with her, otherwise I wouldn't have gotten involved with this. Everytime my grandma sees my cats, she just goes nuts for them. And as stated previously, money is not an object, so it would get the best food and veterinary care around. Not to mention that we have a vet on 24 hour call for our questions(one of my aunts is a vet ;) )

That's why I feel like even if the cat were to be fully declawed (I'm not saying I'm doing it, just stating a hypothetical), I still feel it would be incredibly happy for the rest of it's life. No doubt, the cat would own her. And I think that's better than euthanasia.

sammiec
August 8th, 2004, 03:18 PM
She is incapable of making decisions. She is more than capable of feeding, and loving the cat, but she cannot be involved in any of the decision making processes. If we let her pick the cat, she would never get one! She would never be able to pick a cat.

Was she even aware that there was a potential that she would be caring for a cat? I just hope that she doesn't recent it after a while if Fluffy is wrecking her stuff. What does she say about when she plays with the cat and it scratches and bites. Has she made any comment at all? She might not even worry about it. You haven't told us what she thinks about the situation!

Sweetpea3
August 8th, 2004, 03:27 PM
Hi RuffTime and money are not issues, but mobility is. This thread has been long and hard to follow, so I'll restate a few key points:

She has lots of time and unlimited funds to devote to the cat. However, since she can no longer drive, it would not be posible for her to drag a 12 pound cat to the vet on public transportation. The cat was heavy for me to carry, and my grandmother is only 5 feet tall. certainly, someone else in the family can easily take the cat and my grandmother to the vet for annual checkups or if there is anything wrong with her, but not on a weekly or bi-weekly basis since no one lives THAT close to my grandmother.

Fluffy was a give up and "supposedly" came from a very loving home where she was never beaten. According to the story she came with, she had to be given up for circumstances beyond the owners control. She is a real cuddler and a lap cat. So I am inclined to believe the story. She is obviously used to receiving lots of affection. That's why she didn't present well at the shelter. She has never been around other animals and was shy and scared as a result. I don't think her former family ever abused her and they had her from kittenhood.

Sweetpea3
August 8th, 2004, 03:38 PM
You haven't told us what she thinks about the situation!

That's because if she knew about the situation or any potential problems, there would be many 2 hour long telephone conversations explaining the problem to her and telling her why her way won't work or is not a reasonable option. That's why I picked the cat and am "test driving" her for the first 3 weeks or so. So that any problems or health problems can be fixed or treated before Grams gets her.

Problems cannot be easily solved once Fluffy is given to Grandma. Also, the "legal blindness" is a recent thing(this year). She is still having trouble accept that she just can't do certain things like pay her bills or balance her checkbook anymore.(we take care of almost everything for her now). Little by little, she is relinquishing control and accepting reality, but if we brought her in on the decision making process, it might open a new can of worms. She might think she is capable of more than we feel she is, and then it would be problematic to try to make her understand, without hurting her feelings. Plus she's just dang stubborn.

Fluffy's first day biting would have been a problem. But now she's settled down fine. She might have some health issues (sneezing and diarrhea) that will require veterinary care and access to a car.

She's a very mellow cat and only plays with strings/feathers, so I don't think biting while playing is a concern.

chico2
August 8th, 2004, 03:42 PM
Sammiec,I am glad you mentioned the"legally blind"comment,in fact SP only mentioned that fact about the grandmother and that she was 86yrs old,nothing else(in the first post)and my alarmbells went off!!
But if your 86yr old grandmother is like a 50yr old,like you say..good for her!
The fact that she likes cats,does not necessarily mean,she wants one...did you ask?
The cat WILL jump onto the expensive antic sofa nobody is allowed to sit on..
RNT,I agree with you completely,we love cats and dogs for what they are,nails,tails and all.The fact is,cats come with nails,cats scratch,cats want to cuddle when you least want them too,ie:while reading the paper,trying to sleep,writing e-mails and they usually win.But that is what cats are all about,wonderful little creatures :D
If what they are all about does not suit your lifestyle without mutilation,you do not get a live cat,a stuffed one would be ideal.
In the heat of the moment,my english also sometimes gets fumbled,since English is my second language too,at least I have an excuse for misspelling words :D

sammiec
August 8th, 2004, 03:45 PM
That's because if she knew about the situation or any potential problems, there would be many 2 hour long telephone conversations explaining the problem to her and telling her why her way won't work or is not a reasonable option. That's why I picked the cat and am "test driving" her for the first 3 weeks or so. So that any problems or health problems can be fixed or treated before Grams gets her.

Problems cannot be easily solved once Fluffy is given to Grandma. Also, the "legal blindness" is a recent thing(this year). She is still having trouble accept that she just can't do certain things like pay her bills or balance her checkbook anymore.(we take care of almost everything for her now). Little by little, she is relinquishing control and accepting reality, but if we brought her in on the decision making process, it might open a new can of worms. She might think she is capable of more than we feel she is, and then it would be problematic to try to make her understand, without hurting her feelings. Plus she's just dang stubborn.

I am getting really confused... does she even know about Fluffy yet?!? Have you thought about the potential "problems" that could come of this. What if the cat meows when it gets there? She'll be calling and you'll have a 2 hour conversation about why it's not a big deal, there's nothing wrong.
I know you said that she's been around cats before, but she has never cared for one herself, that's a big difference. What if she hates it because the litter stinks or Fluffy knocks over a plant and gets the carpet dirty?!?

Sweetpea3
August 8th, 2004, 03:54 PM
Chico -

Actually, your spelling is pretty good. But do you mind one correction? It's not "Antic", it's "Antique"

And believe me, I know. I have one cat sleeping on the computer monitor(tail dangling in front of the screen. I keep trying to read/type in between the tail wags), and one cat that keeps jumping on the litle mouse stand I have to my right (she's trying to get into my lap and keeps scratching my hand.) I just wanna kill the little bugger, but all I seem to be able to do is give her a big , a kiss and tell her what a naughty girl she is as I waggle my finger at her(of course she thinks it's a wonderfully fun game and tries to play "attack" with my waggling finger).

So you really think that death is preferable to exploring options?

chico2
August 8th, 2004, 03:55 PM
Fluffy has now happily settled in,in your home.Being moved again,will undoubtedly cause her stress and she might missbehave,then what???
Are you washing your hands of her completely,or would you step in and take her back?
I am still puzzled at why you would get your grandmother a pet at 86,if she's never had one before.I can see disaster in the future of poor Fluffy :(

Sweetpea3
August 8th, 2004, 03:56 PM
Sammie

LIVE PLANT IN HER APARTMENT!!????!! With DIRT?!?!? What are you crazy?

(Again, please note the jovial/playful sarcasm)

Sweetpea3
August 8th, 2004, 03:59 PM
Sammie

Yes she knows about Fluffy.

She's a pain in the A**, but she's not a moron. She won't be worried if the cat meows. She'll just think it's cute.

Litterboxes don't stink, humans do. If you don't clean a litterbox for a week, of course it will stink. If you clean it every day or two, or even 3 - there should be no odor.

Sweetpea3
August 8th, 2004, 04:03 PM
Fluffy has now happily settled in,in your home.Being moved again,will undoubtedly cause her stress and she might missbehave,then what??? Are you washing your hands of her completely,or would you step in and take her back?
I am still puzzled at why you would get your grandmother a pet at 86,if she's never had one before.I can see disaster in the future of poor Fluffy

Of course we wouldn't abandon her or "wash our hands of her". Actually, I think she would be fine with the move. She seems to adapt pretty easily to change and new situations, as long as she's not at a shelter. I think the shelter was just too much for her to handle.

We are getting her a cat, because she has always wanted one. Are you telling me that when you are 86, you are going to cut yourself off and stop having pets?

sammiec
August 8th, 2004, 04:07 PM
She's a pain in the A**, but she's not a moron. She won't be worried if the cat meows. She'll just think it's cute.

I wasn't saying that your grandmother was stupid, but cats do have a tendancy to MEOW for a long period of time and even in the middle of the night... she might not enjoy that...

Litterboxes don't stink, humans do. If you don't clean a litterbox for a week, of course it will stink. If you clean it every day or two, or even 3 - there should be no odor.

I don't know about you , but when my cat has a fresh stinky poop, it stinks ALOT!! Guess mine's different.
if she doesn't want a plant with dirt in her apartment, do you think that she'll be happy with cleaning up a litter box?

sammiec
August 8th, 2004, 04:08 PM
We are getting her a cat, because she has always wanted one. Are you telling me that when you are 86, you are going to cut yourself off and stop having pets?

Chico has had pets forever. It's not like she's 86 now and just got her first ever pet - there's really no comparison there...

Sweetpea3
August 8th, 2004, 04:16 PM
I wasn't saying that your grandmother was stupid, but cats do have a tendancy to MEOW for a long period of time and even in the middle of the night... she might not enjoy that...

I haven't heard a single peep from this cat. I'm not sure she knows how to meow. Actually, I'm wondering if she might be deaf.


I don't know about you , but when my cat has a fresh stinky poop, it stinks ALOT!! Guess mine's different.

Ok, good point. But it usually only stinks for a few minutes. I really don't think the litterbox is an issue.

Sweetpea3
August 8th, 2004, 04:19 PM
Chico has had pets forever. It's not like she's 86 now and just got her first ever pet - there's really no comparison there...

This is one of those things, like re-decorating, the my grandmother has always wanted but been incapable of actually "doing". She has trouble with following-through. I still don't see how being 86 disqualifies her from having a pet. In fact, they say that when the elderly get pets, it helps them to live longer and healthier lives.

chico2
August 8th, 2004, 04:35 PM
Yes,I've had cats since I was 11,exactly 49yrs.....oops.
No,I will not stop having cats,not that anyone ever knows everything about anything,but I do know about cats and what their needs are.
I have never dealt with situations like Lucky,with feral cats,misstreated abandonned cats,starving,freezing cats.Lucky sees the ugly side of human treatment of cats and dogs.
I only know,that any cat coming to my home will be loved and cared for.
There is a big difference in your grandmother and me and by the way,I have about 30 houseplants,a little misshap ever now and then does not bother me.Did you also mention the shedding to your grandmother,I use the Swiffer twice a day on my floor,3 times if I get visitors :D
Also,Sammiec....my cats poop stinks too,even if I pick it out right away,it leaves a lingering odor :D
There are many hurdles stacked against Fluffy,but hopefully she'll behave and have a longhappy life.

chico2
August 8th, 2004, 04:39 PM
Sweetpea,there is a possibility she might be deaf,having two blue eyes.I have a white cat,Vinnie,he has one blue and one greenish eye.
It's easily checked if she's deaf or not..it's common in blueyed,white cats.

glasslass
August 8th, 2004, 05:22 PM
If Fluffy should experience any health problems, which all cats do at one time or another, would your grandmother be able to take immediate action to give her the necessary proper care? Would she recognize the problem and take action immediately? I believe you indicated your grandmother lives in a different state than yourself. Who is nearby to monitor the continued well-being of Fluffy?

Lucky Rescue
August 8th, 2004, 05:46 PM
Glasslass raises excellent points. NO ONE is saying your grandmother is stupid, but there are certain limitations that come with advanced age.

When we adopt a cat out to someone elderly, we make sure they understand that the cat will very likely outlive them. Therefore, the adoption contract must also be signed by a younger family member, who will agree to assume responsibilty for the cat should the adopter become unable to care for it.

They must also agree to perform routine care - like litterbox cleaning, vet visits, etc. if the elderly person cannot do this.

If there is no one who can assume responsibility, then we cannot in good conscience adopt the cat out, since it may be inadvertantly neglected or abused by someone with failing sight, hearing or mobility.

We would never adopt a cat to someone who is 86 yrs of age and who is legally blind UNLESS a family member lives very close by and could care for the cat.

We also try and pair older animals with older people.

sujean
August 8th, 2004, 10:20 PM
When I was a first time cat owner, my vet suggested that I wrap my cats up in a towel or blanket when trimming my cat's claws. He also suggested that as soon as I get done trimming, to give them treats. After 3 years of this, I don't need a blanket or towel and of course, the treats remain!

Also, I pet and played with my cat's paws every chance i got! I have one cat that hates her paws touched. When I first got her, we FOUGHT with her and her nails. Now, although she doesn't *like* to get her nails trimmed, she tolerates it. It is a long process to "play" with the cat's paws but eventually, she will be ok with it.

If your grandmother goes with the towel method, i would suggest she cover the cat's head also... (you wrap the cat up like a little baby tucking in their paws and only exposing the clipping paw) hope that helps.

iRONKNiGHT
August 19th, 2004, 11:19 AM
If you're ever a "TRUE" pet lover you would NEVER do this to any ANIMAL..
it's OUT of the Question...
if you know that one day you would "even think that "declawing" is an Option" then you should not even be the Owner of any animal...