Declawing

kibasgirl

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I've heard nothing but bad about this, and for awhile now I've been wondering if all of that negativity is really true or not. To be honest, I'm an inexperienced cat owner with plenty of research to back me up. During my research, I found many articles about Declawing, all which came done quite harsh on the subject.

Before I make the choice to either declaw or not, I'd like to know the truth. Originally, since my kitten is indoors, I was planning on declawing, until I came across some articles. I've heard everything bad about it, and my question is: Declawing: Good, or Bad?
 

mzjazz2u

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Declawing is nothing less then mutilation, in my opinion. It's not necessary for indoor or any cats. Have plenty of scratching posts for them and if you do have a scratcher, get soft paws to put over the claws. I've never had any trouble with my indoor cats though. They use their cat trees/scratching posts.
 

urbantigers

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Bear in mind that in a lot of countries declawing is illegal or, effectively, banned. Where I live it is considered animal abuse to decalaw a cat for anything other than medical reasons, and any vet who carried out such a procedure would be struck off. So I think you can guess where I stand on the subject - very, very bad! I would never declaw a cat unless it was a medical necessity.
 

kai bengals

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Originally Posted by Kibasgirl

Before I make the choice to either declaw or not, I'd like to know the truth. Originally, since my kitten is indoors, I was planning on declawing, until I came across some articles. I've heard everything bad about it, and my question is: Declawing: Good, or Bad?
If you really want the truth, you can get some first hand knowledge by doing this:

Place your own hand flat on a sturdy table. Draw a line with a Sharpie or similar marker on your index finger between the first knuckle and your fingernail.
Take a very sharp knife or meat cutting scissors and cut completely through the line you drew, removing that portion of your finger. Then repeat as many times as needed until you feel the truth come to you.

This is what is done to cats during a declaw.

Now I'm of course not suggesting that you really do this, I'm just making a point.

Really, it's an amputation for the cats. Very traumatic and painful. Don't do it, please.
 

renovia

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Declawing: Bad

It is a painful cutting off of the first joint of a cat's paw to remove the claw so it won't continue to grow. All cat's can be trained at a young age to exercise their claws on appropriate furniture. Older cats or cats who have already had multiple owners at a young age may have more issues and take longer to adjust than others.

Clipping your cats claws is the easiest way to keep them trimmed to a manageable length. Cats with extremely long claws pose a hazard to themselves and not just furniture. They can get caught up in carpets, like berber, and pull their claw. Also claws can get so long they grow back into their foot pads. In my experience, regular cats keep their claws from doing that just from day to day walking/playing.

Soft Paws is another alternative to declawing. You'll still need to trim your cat's claws to put them on. And after one falls off, you'll need to trim again. But they really keep them under control.

Cat's with declawed paws are more likely to develop arthritis because they have to adjust the way they walk - and it's not the way they were meant to walk.

They often have more litter box problems as that scratching motion is done with the declawed paws. Members here have also been told from their vets that litter boxes can be painful to use with declawed cats.

They also have NO defense at all if they should ever accidentally get out. I remember just reading the other day on this site about that. Also - having no defense can instill bad habits when the cat plays with your or other household cats. They can feel threatened and turn to more hurtful forms of letting someone know (ie, biting).

Declawing cats is a painful punishment instead of taking the time to teach cats to behave in a human approved way.
 

goldenkitty45

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90% Bad IMO. I will admit that my first cat Mitten was declawed (parents order if I was gonna keep him). He was an adult when it was done. I cried when he came home with feet bandaged tight and couldn't walk right and at first didn't want to use the litter pan (even tho there was newspaper in it instead of litter.

Now Mitten was an exceptional cat in a lot of ways - this is NOT the typical reactions of a declawed cat. He never resorted to fear biting, used the litter box faithfully and even went outside during the day and still caught birds/rabbits and killed them without claws.

BUT this is not to say go ahead and do it because my cat had no problem. I also show cats and many times in the household pets (CFA doesn't allow any declawed cats; other associations will allow them) when a cat got upset and was attempting to fear bite, not want to be handled, etc. it was found out that the cat in question had been declawed.

I've seen clawed cats act up too in the rings, but usually the fear biters were declawed ones.

Also I've talked to many owners at shows and they might mention litter box problems - we would ask them many general questions including "is your cat declawed?" - many times the answer was yes.

If your cat didn't have problems with using the box before, didn't fear bite or hide; and many of these problems started occuring AFTER the cat was declawed.........well you tell me if declawing didn't start this behavior.

I've seen SOOOO many ads in the newspapers and craigslist of people trying to find new homes for their cats and the majority of them are declawed cats. I don't have the time to call everyone and ask them if they are having problems in biting, litter box, etc. - but can almost quarentee THAT is the real reason they want to now get rid of the cat........not their excuses of "I don't have the time to spend with Fluffy anymore; what him/her to have a good home with more attention"

So they had no problems with this cat for some time, all of a sudden they have problems they can't cope with cause they declawed a cat and now want someone else to deal with something THEY created!

So I tell people IF you've tried every other method on clawing issues, etc. and nothing has resolved the problem, and you still feel you must declaw the cat, THEN you should be willing to keep the cat the rest of its life no matter what happens, or if you have more problems - cause YOU created more problems when there was none.

Imagine the thoughts of a cat/kitten. They are born with claws, use them growing up - feeling fine. Then one day they wake up and come home from the vets with their feet hurting and in pain. They had NOTHING wrong when going in the vet's but now they do - they are confused cause they can't flex claws, they can't "scratch" anymore - where did their defense go???? So they start hiding in fear or if someone approaches them they go into attack mode.........but the problem is they have no real defense against the attacker and then have to resort to the 2nd defense of biting.

If you love your cat, please don't declaw him. If you really think you can't cope with clawing, nail trimming, then adopt a cat that is already declawed; don't ruin another cat. But be prepared for possible "problems" with that declawed cat.
 

AbbysMom

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Welcome to TCS.


You will not find many people here in favor of declawing. TCS's official position is part of the Forum Rules:

3. This website considers declawing a drastic way to curb cat behavior. A painful ordeal for your kitty we would suggest that declawing never be considered for any behavioral issue. Health issues are entirely different. It is up to you as a responsible pet owner to explore all the different options available instead of declawing. Your cat is dependant on you to make wise choices for her, and not put her into any more stress or discomfort. Please be a responsible pet owner and research this subject thoroughly. Understand that if you are pro-declaw in your posts, you will encounter opposition. Please learn more about alternatives for declawing here in our forums as well as on our website itself. Declaw - More than Just a Manicure. Hopefully those of you with claw-related problems will find solutions by spending time in our Behavior Forum.
Here are a few links you should read:

http://www.thecatsite.com/Care/216/W...-Declawed.html

http://www.thecatsite.com/Care/34/De...-Manicure.html

http://www.thecatsite.com/Care/33/De...ernatives.html

http://www.thecatsite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=41954
 

buzbyjlc10

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Welcome to the boards and thanks so much for doing research first!!! It's nice to come across responsible pet owners! (We are all really nice here, but definitely have our stances on the declaw issue and things can get heated talking about it, hehehe).... you've gotta add me to the "absolutely not" column when it comes to declaw! Most of the previous posts explain why and I agree... I used to be a kennel nurse at my animal hospital, which included caring for pre- and post-op animals as well as occasionally assisting on some surgeries. Unfortunately, I've witnessed way too many declaw procedures during that work experience. It is exactly what one other person suggested: declawing is like amputating your fingers! Cats are in an extreme amount of pain afterwards and it often leads to behavioral problems much worse than scratching (ie: pooing/peeing outside the litter box because litter irritates declawed feet)... my 15 pound boy has all his claws and I use soft paws (on his front feet) very effectively along with clipping and provide him with several appropriate scratching places and we don't have any problems...

Obviously, you can make your own decision... but the articles you've come across are negative for a reason, and I don't think you'll be getting any positive views on the subject here either. I highly agree with countries that have made this procedure illigal and wish our own country would get its butt in gear when it comes to animal cruelty!

Again, welcome to the site and check often for any other advice you may need as a fairly new cat owner!
 

graciecat

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I can't really add anything to the wonderful comments made by the others members.
All I can add is that I would never have a cat declawed.
I wouldn't have the first joint of my "skin kids" fingers amputed and I wouldn't do it to my "fur kids" either.
 

laureen227

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i have 2 declawed cats, & 3 clawed cats. my oldest, Pixel, i had declawed [i was ignorant]. Chip was adopted that way, & he does tend to bite. Cable, Java & Firefox all have [& will continue to keep] their claws. Cable & Java wear soft claws - really cuts down on the damage & the 'accidental' scratches i occasionally receive.
Welcome to TCS!
 

bab-ush-niik

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Puppy was declawed when we adopted him. He is a biter. He also hates his previous owners. They gave him to us because he was hissing at them. He has never hissed at any other person.

Bunny wears Soft Paws. They work great. She's not to happy when they go on because she doesn't like her paws to be touched. However, she isn't bothered by them once they're on.
 

catnip

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This is going to sound harsh but I don't understand why anyone would even bother having a cat if they're going to do something like de-claw them. It is a cruel, painful and totally unnecessary procedure. Thankfully it is not done over here. Cats have claws; that's the way nature made them.
 
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kibasgirl

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Okay, thank you your information. It's safe to say that I think declawing is unhumane, drastic and cruel, and that I will never declaw any of my cats.
 

paulena

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I have 1 declawed kitty, because that is the way she came from the previous owner, my other two are clawed. I would never declaw a kitty just because it may have a few scratching issues. I think all that can be worked through! For me, NO WAY!!
 

fraggles

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I was wondering, since I've seen everyone mention "medical issues" the only real reason why cats may be declawed.

What would a medical reason be? I just can't think of one besides something drastic like an infection or a ripped out claw.
 
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kibasgirl

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Originally Posted by Fraggles

I was wondering, since I've seen everyone mention "medical issues" the only real reason why cats may be declawed.

What would a medical reason be? I just can't think of one besides something drastic like an infection or a ripped out claw.
To be honest, I can't think of a condition. I could understand an infection or if that section of the toe was severly damaged in an accident, but otherwise...?
 

missymotus

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Originally Posted by Kibasgirl

Okay, thank you your information. It's safe to say that I think declawing is unhumane, drastic and cruel, and that I will never declaw any of my cats.
I'm so glad you decided against it. If you clip your kitties claws from a young age s/he will get used to it.
 

goldenkitty45

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Yes I would think the medical would involve an infection type or a partially ripped out nail - something kinda drastic.

I've heard of a very few occasions where the polydactal cats had to have one or two of the claws taken out. They can have problems with the extra nails growing too thick and growing into the pads - so removal of that particular nail would be necessary - not the entire foot declawed.
 

laureen227

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babyharley's newest cat, Bayley, had to have some claws removed due to infection. also, if the person/owner has a some type of medical condition, where cat scratches could be life-threatening, [hemophilia, AIDS, etc.] i can see where a declawed cat would be better. however, there are plenty already available - even if that were the preference, one could simpley adopt an already declawed cat, like my Chip.
 
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