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Another owner who wants to declaw

June 21st, 2010, 03:29 PM

I'm working on a tough customer right now. There's this girl whose father runs an animal shelter. They took in two young cats (1 or 2 years old.), and the girl is thinking of fostering the cats.

The only thing is, both the father and daughter seem pretty dead set on declawing them. She has a dog, and she's worried about the dog getting scratched. She says the dog is her baby and wouldn't tolerate the slightest scratch.

I told her what declawing entails. She didn't know and seemed shocked, but even so she still would rather have the cats mutilated than have her "precious baby" scratched.:yell:

I tried explaining to her that cats are not demon spawn who scratch for the fun of it. If her puppy gets scratched, it's because he cornered the cats. They'll hiss and run away before they actually scratch. One of my cats has all her claws, and I've never had a bloody swipe! And they fight all the time!

I did convince her to do some research, and she did, but I don't know if it will have much of an effect. Not only that, both cats are unaltered, and apparently the dad is more interested in the declawing than the neutering.:wall:

She kept saying how her dad knows so much about animals and all that. Come on! Declawing is illegal in over 37 countries! Doesn't that tell her something?

Please send me some good vibes on this. I want to save these kitties' toes! I can't afford to take them in myself, or I would have done so in a heartbeat. Heck, I'll eat peanut butter sandwiches and kraft dinner if she remains dead set on the delcawing so I can take them in.

Sorry, it makes me mad when people want to declaw cats.

Here's a few links you might want to share if you encounter this problem(Warning, the first one has very graphic images):

June 21st, 2010, 04:03 PM
Here's a few links you might want to share if you encounter this problem(Warning, the first one has very graphic images):

Did you show her those pictures ? She needs to see this , and her father also needs to see this !! :wall:

also tell her .... if the cats are declawed and can't defend themselves from the dog , they'll bite the dog :shrug:

June 21st, 2010, 04:04 PM
They shouldn't be getting cats if they're so overwhelming concerned about them scratching that they're willing to mutilate them (causing them extreme pain and long-term harm) to suit their own needs. :wall:

My favorite website on the topic of declawing:

Maybe this part will help in their decision:

Is declawing a painful procedure?
Declawing is actually a very painful procedure in which each front toe of the cat is amputated at the first joint. Declawing a cat is equivalent in a person to amputating the entire tip of every finger at the first knuckle. Declaw surgery is so predictably painful that it is used to test the effectiveness of pain medications. Initial recovery takes a few weeks, but even after the surgical wounds have healed, there are often other long-term physical complications and negative psychological effects.

In DVM Best Practices, August 2002, veterinarian Kip Lemke illustrates typical levels of post-surgical pain using common surgical procedures. Declawing is associated with "severe pain," compared to spaying ("moderate pain") and neutering ("mild pain"). Pollari states in JAVMA (June 1, 1996), "Because these procedures are so routine, they are often trivialized by clients as well as veterinarians." "Declawing is very painful – there's no question about that…" says Dr. Katherine Houpt, professor and director of the Animal Behavior Clinic at Cornell University's College of Veterinary Medicine.

Carroll, et al., in JAVMA (July 15, 1998) report, "Typically, cats undergoing onychectomy (declawing) are not given any analgesics (pain medication) or are only given a single dose of analgesic before or after surgery…. There is a physiological cost associated with uncontrolled pain. Thus, provision of adequate analgesia…would be of benefit." However, the investigators go on to report that veterinarians often have misconceptions regarding the degree and duration of pain following declawing as well as the safety of analgesic use in cats despite the abundance of published data documenting the efficacy of these drugs. The article also points out the challenges in assessing pain in cats, who instinctively hide signs of pain. The difficulties of clinically recognizing pain in cats is reported by a number of other authors, including Winkler ( J Am Anim Hosp Assoc 1997), Franks (JAVMA 2000) Cambridge (JAVMA 2000), and Gellasch (JAVMA 2002). Although cats typically are sent home one to two days after declawing surgery without pain medication, Carroll points out that "the optimal duration of post-operative analgesic treatment for cats is unknown." A cat's behavior may be misinterpreted, because not all cats show outward signs of pain after surgery, such as crying, whining, or licking at a paw. "What they'll often do is curl up and go to sleep in the back of the cage," says Dr. Karen Tobias, an associate professor in small animal surgery at the University of Tennessee College of Veterinary Medicine, who conducted a study on pain in cats after declawing surgery. "Owners or veterinarians may think they're sleeping comfortably and not in any pain."

It appears that undermedicating cats after declawing is the norm. A survey of over 1000 veterinarians by Wagner and Hellyer (JAVMA Dec. 1, 2002) found that 44% administered no pain medication after declaw surgery. For those animals receiving pain medication there are potential problems. Some veterinarians have proposed the use of fentanyl patches. The patches, which are placed on the skin, contain a powerful narcotic. Their use in humans for post-operative pain was abandoned after several deaths occurred from accidental overdose.

June 21st, 2010, 04:09 PM
[QUOTE=Frenchy;929857] Did you show her those pictures ? [QUOTE]

I sure did! I hope she sees the light. There was this other guy, ususally sweet, who recently adopted a kitten. He wanted to have it declawed and I tried to convince him otherwise, but I failed. :sad: He even had the gall to laugh in my face saying that he couldn't be bothered with training the cat. He was just happy not to have to worry about his furniture getting destroyed.

Sorry, I must scream. :yell::yell::yell::yell::yell::yell::yell::yell:

June 21st, 2010, 04:17 PM
He was just happy not to have to worry about his furniture getting destroyed.

Hoping the cat will pee all over his furnitures :evil:

June 21st, 2010, 04:31 PM
Bluedrake,I don't understand why these people even want cats,would they pull out their dogs teeth if he bites:confused:.
I just find it sickening anyone would mutilate a precious little cat,the thought would not even occur to me.
My son got a little female cat from a sister-inlaw,declawed on all four paws:evil:
this little girl-kitty is terrified of everyone,except my son,hides under the bed when he's not at home:(
My vet has a beautiful large orange male cat,who someone dumped at the door,also declawed on all four paws,not only will they not be able to scratch furniture,but they are often not able to grab toys,or climb a fence or tree,should they be chased.
It's pure animal-cruelty and should have been banned here,a long time ago.
Good luck trying to convince these people:fingerscr

June 21st, 2010, 04:47 PM
I hear you Chico2.

There was a time I didn't know about declawing and what it meant. I got a kitten then, and I named him Casimir. I intended to have him declawed at all four paws. I am ashamed to this day I ever considered it. :loser:

Casimir died within four days of feline panleukopemia (a pneumonia like disease). I think it was fate that he died before the surgery could happen. His death prompted me to research everything I could about proper cat care, and that's how I found out about declawing and pet nutrition. It's also how I found this forum.

Since then, Chinook came into my life. She suffered from bloody stool and painful elimination. A grain-free diet solved it. Then it was Erin, with all her claws intact. She never had any problems, because I got her as a kitten. :laughing:

Then came Mimi, who weighted 16 pounds. Grain-free food brought her back to 10.

One vet recommended MORE fiber for Chinook, declawing for Erin and a grain-heavy prescription diet for Mimi. To that vet, I say F*** YOU! :evil:

The other vet in the same clinic said :"I know you watch your cats carefully, so I'll trust you to do what's best". To that vet, I say THANK YOU. :thumbs up

June 21st, 2010, 05:09 PM
You have gotten some very good info!

I would like to add, that I have a friend who has had his arm partially amputated and have spoken to him about the "phantom" pain. He will be on painkillers for the rest of his life :(. If anybody tells her that cats don't feel the pain of amputation, then I would simply ask her "How do you know?, a cat can't communicate what they feel." Cats are notorious for hiding pain, an animal in pain in the wild is one that is hunted.

Good luck!!!

June 21st, 2010, 06:07 PM
I truly hope they do not decide to foster these two cats. If they do a declawed cat can still wreck furniture and do some damage to a dog's face. I had a kitty for 19 years who was declawed. He still went after the couch as if he had claws. It eventually wore down the fibers and the couch split. Not a biggie. Furniture is replacable.
As for her precious dog being scratched - it doesn't sound like she should have the responsibility of fostering these cats if she is worried about that. With proper introductions and training they should not fight. Ask her to have some high shelves available for the cats. That way if the dog comes after them they have a place to hide. Proper intros usually lead to a happy family. :fingerscr As Frenchy said - if the dog harassess' them they will bite. I would be more concerned with that than scratches. :shrug:

June 21st, 2010, 08:18 PM
Get some stick on claw caps like Soft Paws, that way the cat can be observed to see if it even goes after furniture/the dog etc. The caps are pretty cheap and if you get nice bright ones they are easy enough to find a glue back on when they fall off. Saves pain, money and a surgery.

June 23rd, 2010, 11:06 AM
I've found just clipping the cats nails is enough... Granted, my cat doesn't scratch anything other than his cat trees.

Why doesn't Canada follow so many other countries and ban this un-necessary procedure, already?

June 23rd, 2010, 11:46 AM
It's disturbing to know that the father runs an animal shelter. Honestly, I can't think of anyone who could run a shelter knowing what cats go through when left outside, knowing the enemies they have to contend with, and still want to declaw.

June 23rd, 2010, 12:03 PM
I am curious, what are the countries where declawing is illegal? Why isn't the US among them? How does a country go about banning this?

June 23rd, 2010, 01:10 PM
To BrownEyedGirl,

declawing is illegal in England, Scotland, Sweden, Australia and most European countries.

The USA still does it because it is a very lucrative procedure for the vets.