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Old September 9th, 2011, 12:13 AM
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sugarcatmom sugarcatmom is offline
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Join Date: May 2007
Location: Calgary, AB
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Originally Posted by jweiss View Post
Bianca was declawed when she was about 6 months old and had no negative reaction towards it at all. She acted as though nothing happened.
Declawing isn't just about the immediate after effects (although cats are also masterful at hiding pain), there can be issues later on. Arthritis is almost inevitable.

Joint Stiffness.

In declawed (and tendonectomizedized) cats, the tendons that control the toe joints retract after the surgery because they are no longer anchored to the bones, and over time these joints become essentially "frozen." The toes can no longer be extended, but remain fully contracted for the lifetime of the cat. The toes become like hammer toes. Cats may continue to "scratch" after they are declawed, this is probably explained by the cat's desperate desire to stretch those stiff, contracted joints and not evidence that the cat does not miss its claws.


Researchers have shown that in the immediate post-operative period, newly declawed cats shift their body weight backward onto the large central pad (the three-lobed pad on the palm) of the front feet and off the toes. This effect was significant even when strong pain medication was given, and remained apparent for the duration of the study (up to 40 hours after surgery). This altered gait may persist over time, and can cause stress on the leg joints and spine, and could lead to damage and arthritic changes in multiple joints. X ray images of declawed cats confirm this theory.
This isn't to make you feel bad, just to be aware down the road of potential health issues. If they were my cats, I'd start giving them joint supplements like Cosequin or Platinum Performance.

Originally Posted by jweiss View Post
Bianca does go up onto the dresser and bar table (which are pretty high) every so often, but the other two usually follow her anyway and chase her until they lose interest or are distracted by the other one.
As the others have mentioned, Bianca needs to be able to have some downtime away from their harassment. If the youngsters are pestering her, can you intervene, maybe by either giving them a time out in another room or taking her there for some one-on-one special time? Does she like getting brushed? Maybe a good play session with a wand or fishing rod style toy away from the others so they can't barge in and take over.

Originally Posted by jweiss View Post
Age wise - Bianca is 4 (she'll be 5 in Dec), Cash is about 1 year 2 months (adopted Dec 2010), Annica is 1 year 1 month (adopted Apr 2011).
Oy, the newbies are in their most rambunctious phase! I know cuz I have a couple of orange boys the same age and they're off the hook crazy. I also have an 18 yr old cat who barely tolerates them when they're sitting still, and hates them passionately when they aren't. They unfortunately think it's hilarious to try to get a rise out of him. The old guy was here first and not in a million years would I consider rehoming him. Instead, we juggle the situation so that the kittens have other things to focus on instead of him, and that he gets quality peaceful time away from their craziness.

Originally Posted by jweiss View Post
I noticed after I got Cash she started missing the liter box, I assumed that was all it was, but now I wonder if maybe she was spraying to mark her territory.
Could have been that, or could have been that she felt vulnerable in the litter box. She may have been ambushed at some point. What is the litter box situation now? Do you have 4 boxes in different areas of the apartment (which would be ideal)?

Originally Posted by jweiss View Post
I don't have a lot of money, so I'm not sure I will be able to buy cat towers and whatnot,
Something as simple as a shelf or 2 in front of some windows could help. Even if she doesn't use them, perhaps the kittens will and it could distract them from pursuing her. Aztec (the 18 yr old) has a chair that only he's allowed to go on. If I see one of the other cats on it, I take them off. They've learnt that it's his safe zone and he's not to be bugged when he's on it.

The kittens may also need another outlet for all their energy, so some toys like a Turbo Track or a Cat Dancer attached to a doorknob that they can play with ad nauseum would be good if they don't have that already. You may also have to wear them out a bit by actively playing with them.

I know how stressful it can be to have cats that don't entirely get along. But if they aren't full out fighting, then there is hope. Like pattymac said, it just might take some time.
"To close your eyes will not ease another's pain." ~ Chinese Proverb

“We must not refuse to see with our eyes what they must endure with their bodies.” ~ Gretchen Wyler
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