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JKC27 July 5th, 2004 10:42 AM

Cat declawing
Sorry if this is posted elsewhere, but I am new to this board.

Looking for input/advice on wether to declaw my kitten or not once he is old enough. He is getting *fixed*, and have tenatively booked to have him front declawed. I am starting to doubt wether or not to get the declawing done. My vet says it is up to me, but that is extremely painful for the cat.

He doesn't scratch, and is really friendly. He will scratch a little while playing, but uses his teeth more. :) I have a 5 yr old at home, but she is really good with the cat too (4 month old).

The biggest problem I have with his claws is him scaling my new screens on my windows (see other post regarding this).

I have this booked for mid August, so any input/advice would be super.


Luba July 5th, 2004 11:02 AM

Good question to ask before doing it!

DON'T!! It's cruel and very painful to the cats. Others with cat knowledge more extensive then my little bit of info can give you the graphic details of what they have to endure and go through.

It's not necessary, so pls dont' do it!

Spoiled July 5th, 2004 11:06 AM

I agree. If he doesn't bother much except the screens, then I'd say it isn't worth it.

Lucky Rescue July 5th, 2004 11:08 AM

First of all, welcome to the board!!:)

Many people think that declawing cats is merely like cutting our nails. It is not. Other people will also tell you that cats come through this surgery just fine. Some do, but others have infection, complications and great pain. Sometimes a deformed nail regrows, and must be surgically removed again. Some cats will take to biting, some will stop using the litterbox. Most probably don't, but this is a chance you take.

This is a mutilation that is done ONLY for human convenience, has NO benefit to the cat, and as such, I simply cannot condone it, and our rescue expressly forbids it for our adopted cats.

As for climbing the screen, this is something kittens do and he should outgrow it as it would be very uncomfortable for an adult cat to be hanging by his nails from a screen.

Learn to clip his nails. I clip my cats' nails regularly and keep them short.

Get a scratch post and some catnip. Make sure the scratchpost is VERY solid and doesn't move when your cat uses it. Rub some catnip on the post and dangle a toy in front of it to encourage him to stand and scratch.

Never play with your kitten with your hands, and don't allow your child to either. Always use a toy to play with cats, so they never think it's o.k. to grab and scratch hands.

Here is an article on declawing.


glasslass July 5th, 2004 12:22 PM

Now is a perfect time to start clipping his nails. He'll grow up used to it and it will be easy. When my cat scratches something, she does it right in front of me and I know it's her way of telling me she needs me to do it. She sits very calmly in my lap and watches while I do it. :p

JKC27 July 5th, 2004 12:29 PM

Thank you to everyone for your input and advice. I read the article LuckyRescue linked me to and I was very shocked. I have trimmed his claws twice, and while it isn't Tucker's favourite activity, he doesn't mind. Plus his vet trims him too. I usually have to catch him when he is dozey. ;)

I priced out and looked at some cat houses (I think they are called) for climbing and scratching and such. Some are rather expensive, but others are reasonable. I think I could probably make something really cool for my cat, if not I'll buy one. He has outgrown his scratching post I made for him when I first got him.

Thank you all again. I am glad I found this site!

glasslass July 5th, 2004 01:18 PM

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We built this cathouse using scrap plywood and carpet remnants which we bought for about $20 (U.S.). You can't see it, but there's another round hole on the top just to the right of Puss-Puss' tail.

jenjen July 5th, 2004 03:45 PM

Please don't have the little guy declawed. As LR said it is very painful for them and if the blinds are the only thing your worried about its not worth it. One of my cats is a year old now and not once has she ever scratched me. We do keep her claws short and if you start at a young age they come to expect it. She doesn't mind having her feet handled at all. I don't let my cats out but its a little comforting to know that if she did get out and she needed to climb something to get away whether it be from a dog or something she would still be able too. Hope all these posts made it easier to make you decision.GOOD LUCK with the litte guy

chico2 July 5th, 2004 03:58 PM

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I agree with everything that has been said about declawing it's nothing but mutilation and not fair to the cat.
A cat-tree is simple to make,we used a 4x4 piece of lumber we already had,attached 3 shelves covered in left-over carpeting and sisal-rope.
I have 3 cats all with claws,2 cats we trim ourselves,my feisty tabby gets trimmed by the vet.
Here's the cat-tree.

JKC27 July 6th, 2004 07:23 AM

I have come to the conclusion that Tucker will not be declawed.

I have a question to those who've posted their pics of their cat perches. How do you attach the carpeting and sisal rope? Is it a problem to use staples, or nails, or certain types of glue?

I have priced them out at PetSmart and Pet Valu, as well as other Windsor pet stores. I think I will end up making my own.

Thanks for all the input on the declawing issue.

chico2 July 6th, 2004 07:49 AM

The rope,we used hot-glue and a nail at the beginning and end.
I was a little worried about staples,but we used longer ones for the carpeting and so far no misshaps.To keep the shelves up,we used a couple of left-over shelf-brackets we had.Good Luck!!

Lucky Rescue July 6th, 2004 08:05 AM

chico, that cat tree is magnificent!!:)

JKC27 - you can make a very simple and good scratch post by using sisal, like on chico's pic, and wrapping it very tighly around a piece of thin plywood - about 5 inches wide and 3 feet tall. Then you can bolt it into the wall, and make another to put elsewhere. Cats really love to scratch this stuff!

And for the nail clipping, don't attempt this in the middle of your cat's play session. Wait until he is deeply asleep and gently start with one paw. If he objects, leave the rest until another day! I clip my cats' nails when they are curled up on my lap.

chico2 July 6th, 2004 08:21 AM

Thank's Lucky! Hubby will be proud :D
The cats use the tree all the time,even sleep on it...the sisal-rope is the best to use,with carpeting on the perches.
I agree with clipping nails when they are very calm,if they struggle don't attempt to trim nails,accidents can happen.
I usually hold and cuddle the cat,while hubby trims.Vinnie is no problem,we started on him right from cats also have the advantage of being outside with me and scratch up against real trees,they are never outside alone.

glasslass July 6th, 2004 09:16 AM

We used hot glue also. To reinforce the edges, you'll notice there are narrow pieces of carpet wrapped wood strips that are attached with more hot glue and wood screws. Only the front legs are carpeted. You can't see them but the back legs are regular 2x4s that fit closer to the wall and are covered with wallpaper to match the wall. :)

Shae July 8th, 2004 02:46 AM

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[I][B]TO DECLAW or NOT to DECLAW, THAT IS THE QUESTION.........In my opinion,, it's not that difficult to answer. [/B] [/I]

Well, 1st I'd like to express that I am against declawing, even though it doesn't interfere will normal daily activities,in MOST cases, and I'll tell you why.
Cats NEED to scratch. It's natural feline behavior, not to mention exercises back,shoulder and leg muscles and even sheds the dead outer layer of skin on the claws. It's also a way of communication and a way to defend themselves should that occassion arise. Can prevent them to becomming prey to other creatures as dogs,raccoons,coyotes, other cats and even humans! All this and I haven't even mentioned the pain it causes them.
Ok, aside from that, it can be extremely frustrating when your new curtains or sofa is being shredded by your little friend.
Another term for declawing is,"onychectomy" and as I mentioned, it is a painful procedure and on normal situations usually takes a week to 10 days for recovery during which time antibiotics should be given as well as pain reliever. Some vets bandage up the feet while others choose not to. From experience, the cats waking from anesthesia are not only in distress/pain from surgery but also don't like these huge padded bandages on their feet and most will begin to shake their legs and bite in attempt to free their paws from these bandages which usually results in what I would class as a small blood bath. I walked in many times to find the felines covered in their blood the walls of the kennels full of blood....a major mess.After the bandages are off the cats I suspect are not only in pain ( which is obvious) but confused. Often they will start licking and chewing at feet.
many veterinarians will usually suggest removing only the claws on the front feet, however in this day and age, there are a few vets who now refuse to declaw at all. Contrary to what I find most people believe, declawing is not just a basic removal of the nails only. truth be known, declawing actually consists of amputation of the end toe joint.
So, what to do????
Well, you could start off by one or 2 or more scratching posts in your home near the furniture that your cats enjoys to scratch on. Spray cat repellant if you need to onto the sofa itself to deter them onto their post(or unpleasant smelling odor, vinegar or perfume can work too) and an idea, would be sprinkle a small amt of catnip onto the post. Make sure the post is strong and sturdy and should be failry tall for your cat. You can show your cat how to scratch at the post if he appears uninterested or confused by this new contraption by simply extending his/her claws onto the post to scratch. And always praise him or her when they use it!
Artificial nails are also available from your local vet now too. They are like little plastic caps that need replacing as they break or fall off. They are softer and do little if any damage at all.***********PLEASE NOTE.......IF YOU CHOOSE THIS OPTION, YOUR CAT SHOULD REMAIN INDOORS AT ALL TIMES AS HE WILL NOT BE ABLE TO PROTECT HIMSELF.*********
A simple alternative and one I rec. is a pedicure. We would trim nails everyday at the hospital which can be very effective as it's the hook of the nails that usually create the damage....these are snipped off during the pedicure. Doing this often every week or 2 will not only keep the nails short but your cat will also get used to this procedure and be quite comfortable having it done on a regular basis.. Again, rewards for him can actually make him look forward to the task!
Declawed cats NEED to be kept INDOORS!!! It is not safe for them anymore outside and if the choice is made to declaw, YOU are responsible for protecting him/her. Try other methods before opting to declaw.
Have a great evening!

JKC27 July 8th, 2004 07:55 AM

I have made to decision to NOT declaw Tucker. I really have no problem trimming his claws when needed. Although he likes to play with the clippers, so I have to get him when he is dozy.

Once he is older and mellows out it will be easier also.

chico2 July 8th, 2004 08:55 AM

Great first post Shae and you have a little beauty,did he come with the tree? :D :D :D Welcome to the Forum :p

glasslass July 8th, 2004 09:48 AM

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Welcome Shae! Good post and love the Xmas Kitty! Can't resist - just have to show off my Xmas Puss-Puss! :D

Princesss04 July 8th, 2004 09:51 AM

I am so glad that you decided not to have your baby declawed. You sound like a very good pet owner. Welcome! :D

heidiho July 8th, 2004 10:01 AM

So what would you say is more effective tape on couches or spray??

JKC27 July 8th, 2004 11:17 AM

Thanks Princess. :) Tucker is my little buddy. He sleeps on my bed at night with his little teddy bear, which I think is pretty funny, although the wife jokes that he is kind of fruity. ;)

I was also wondering about the tape vs. spray issue, since it has been brought up. :)

buriedinfur July 8th, 2004 11:18 AM

another good product
Another good spray to keep your kitties from chewing (and once they get a taste of it they generally will not go near something sprayed with it) is Variton spray, it is a bandage protectant that you can purchase through your vet. Works lovely on plants too. Mind you it is very bitter and cats froth a lot of saliva if they have something bitter in thier mouth so do not become alarmed if that happens, it will not harm them, it just tastes disgusting. I have used it in areas that my cats would scratch and now they leave it alone (they only make the mistake once and that is enough for them). As well I have a couple of "natural wood" scratch posts - just find a nice thick beach log with the bark worn off and cut a chunk of it out and nail it on a base and voila! My cats LOVE it and the best thing is it doesn't look worn quickly (just a bit of wood shavings at the base to vaccum up)

Shae July 8th, 2004 12:03 PM

[QUOTE=heidiho]So what would you say is more effective tape on couches or spray??[/QUOTE]
Hi and thanks for the welcome. Wow, this place has a TON of members.
It depends on the cat. Of course with spray, they may still go for it and be successful if they don't concentrate on the odor or don't bother sniffing at it. The tape seems to work. I recall doing that to my parents sofa and her cat attempted to stretch out at claw at it. Well, she "slid" down the front of it. She tried again, same thing. She sat there and just stared at the couch looking so perplexed, but she's smart as a whip....rather than concentrating on scratching the was a new game! Playing, "Get the tape off the couch" It was actually very cute. She had a blast! But all on all it works as long as you dont mind having tape on your furniture. Someone here mentioned wood posts? They do enjoy that usually but we've seen cats come into the clinic with chunks in their feet....splinters. Not often mind you , but it's happened. So, be careful with that. Also,somebody mentioned Variton Spray. Yes, I don't know why I didn't mention that. We use it on splints and badages to discourage licking. It works on most but some cats are VERY determined It will create frothing and drooling etc. I always feel guilty about using it when the animal ends up getting a mouthful. I prefer products with a bad odour that deter so the might sense it before licking.
But, what it comes down to, is that declawing is an extremely painful recovery/procedure. And god forbid your kitty ever gets out or in a bad situation, they'd be prey b/c of a choice you made. Trimming nails is easy. You can do it yourself. Buy a good pair of cat trimmers. Have someone hold your cat and have their leg extended for you. You take the paw and press gently to extend their nails. Now, just snip off the rounded hooks. You just have to be careful not to hit the quicks. Which on cats are usually far back. So, as long as you just take the hook, you're safe. OR, the vet will do it for you on a regular basis, OR go into your vet and request they "show" you how. We'd do that often for clients. Well, thanks for all the replies. I'm heading back to the Animal Rights cafe now. I had to keep scrolling up to see make sure I ws posting in the right one. The set up is almost exactly the same! Thanks again for the welcome ....Go hug your cats!!!!!!!

chico2 July 8th, 2004 03:40 PM

Shae,you are wonderful,please come back and see us :D
Glasslass your black/white kitty is just adorable,his fur is just gorgeous,it looks like he has a black furcoat on... :)

Shae July 9th, 2004 03:18 AM

Thanks Chico....I will :o

3mzo05 July 21st, 2004 05:23 PM

Declawing Is As Inhumane As Neutering/Spaying!
I don't understand how people can say that declawing is mutilation/inhumane etc etc. and then turn around and promote neutering and spaying. When a cat is "fixed", that can also be considered mutilation. It is a surgery done to prevent unwanted kittens, spraying, among other problems. This is also for [I]human convience[/I]! Declawing is no different. As long as you have a good vet that doesn't butcher the cat's paws, there is no issue. Both of my cats are declawed and both recovered immediately. In fact, I saw neither of them experience any pain, even when their paws were touched. They were both playing, scratching at things...basically, they were fine. The same went for their neutering. Also, this alternative solution, with capping the nails with plastic sounds much worse. The cat would then think they had claws and attempt to jump up on things using their claws, only to slide down. My cats are now 3 and 5 years old and, having been declawed as a kitten, have never fallen/hurt themselves due to not having claws. So, I ask you, if neutering is fine, why isn't declawing? Both are for human convience, so people could argue that having a cat as a pet at all is inhumane and cruel! It simply isn't. Declawing and neutering are both your choice.

Freyja July 21st, 2004 05:28 PM


Lucky Rescue July 21st, 2004 05:37 PM

[QUOTE]I don't understand how people can say that declawing is mutilation/inhumane etc etc. and then turn around and promote neutering and spaying. When a cat is "fixed", that can also be considered mutilation. It is a surgery done to prevent unwanted kittens, spraying, among other problems. This is also for human convience![/QUOTE]

Let me explain. Spaying and neutering not only prevents mammary cancer, testicular cancer, male cats wandering and getting in fights, pyometra and false pregnancies, it prevents UNWANTED LITTERS. It would prevent suffering of countless unwanted animals.

Cats and dogs are extremely overpopulated and dying in record numbers in shelters, being dumped on roads and overloading all rescues. Right now, I know of 32 kittens needing homes. They are sitting in cages in vet's offices, and THEY are the lucky ones. The others are born outside and live and die with no one ever knowing. Spaying and neutering would have prevented this.

Right now, there are 100,000 homeless dogs and many more homeless cats listed on Petfinder. These are the direct result of people who are too irresponsible to s/n their pets.

This is what spaying and neutering is for.

It is NOT for convenience. Amputating the ends of a cat's toes so it can't scratch furniture is for convenience. Do you see the difference?

3mzo05 July 21st, 2004 05:40 PM

If That Was In Response To Me...
I understand all the benefits of neutering. Both my cats are also neutered. Almost all of the benefits listed are for human convience once again:

Prevents pregnancy
Prevents false pregnancy
Prevents the complications of pregnancy and delivery
Eliminates heat cycles and stops the bloody discharge
Ends crying, nervous pacing, and frantic efforts to get out and find a mate
Reduces the urge to roam, thus reducing the risk of losing a pet, infectious diseases, fights, injury, trapping, cruelty, poisoning, or death in traffic
Prevents visits from unwelcome males attracted to the scent of a female in heat
Eliminates or reduces the incidence of disease, infection, and cancer of the reproductive system
Reduces stress, which can lead to increased susceptibility to disease

The last two seem sort of ridiculous to me. For the disease and cancer part, that means that maybe human beings should get spayed and neutered too. Stress?! Stress because they want a mate, right? So then why keep them as a pet? It is just for our convience, period. I am not against that, we want our kitties to be happy and we want to be happy with our kitties. Still, no different than declawing.

Lucky Rescue July 21st, 2004 05:43 PM

You don't seem to be reading what you are writing!
[QUOTE]Reduces the urge to roam, thus reducing the risk of losing a pet, infectious diseases, fights, injury, trapping, cruelty, poisoning, or death in traffic [/QUOTE]

Is preventing these horrible things from happening to your pets for convenience?

Spaying and neutering has many benefits for the ANIMAL.

Declawing has absolutely NO benefit for the cat.

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