To declaw or not to declaw???

  1. I know, declawing is seen as inhumane by many people, but I am at my wits end with my cat!!!

    No matter how many times I tell her not to scratch, she does. She attacks my children leaving many scratches across legs, arms and even faces. She won't even sit still long enough for me to brush her so I don't anticipate that she will be very open to letting me trim her nails.

    I just don't know what else I can do to get her to stop hurting my little girls. I have spent the last hour or so researching declawing online and there are far more anti-declawing sites than pro-declawing. Unfortunately all of the anti declawing only talk about training your cat not to scratch furniture and that is not where my problem lies.

    So, any advice ya'll can give me on what to do would be greatly appreciated.

    Any stories about your cats, whether you declawed or not, how they handled it, alternatives to declawing that may help me would be great.

    Thanks so much

    Leigh
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  2. 37 Comments

  3. by   memphispanda
    Why is the cat clawing your kids? Are they bothering her when she is eating/resting/using the litter box? There are an awful lot of cats that just don't do well with kids. I would make sure the kids are not causing a problem before I declawed my cat.

    Have you tried squirting her with water from a spray bottle or squirt gun when she misbehaves? Some people have good luck with that approach.

    Our cats do scratch the kids every once in a while, but without fail it is because the kids have refused to let them go even though the cat has been struggling to get away.
  4. by   kittyw
    Go for it ... declaw if she is an indoor cat. My cats handled it just fine (had it done the same time as the spaying so there wasn't an additional surgery) and are just as happy as they were before. I would rather see a cat declawed than see a cat go to the pound due to injuries inflicted on the owners and their furniture.

    How to trim a cat's nails (if declawing isn't an option).... grab the cat and wrap in a towel snuggly. Have one person hold the cat while the other person trims the nails. Push the nails out and snip, snip, snip. I also trim nails while they're taking their nap - can usually get a paw done at a time.

    Also - lots of scratching posts around and a spray water bottle to squirt if they scratch furniture. Cats don't like water.
    Last edit by kittyw on Dec 8, '02
  5. by   legsmalone
    Well, I am in the don't declaw boat, a friend of mine has a cat she adopted that had to have kitty physical therapy to return his little paws to normal after he was declawed, the vet stretched the tendons out so much, the kitty could hardly walk
    I have the same problem with ine, and something the same friend suggested to me (although I haven't done it yet) is to talk to your vet about these soft claw covers. They come in different colors and are applied with a small drop of nail glue, having to be replaced only as often as the kitties claws grow and the covers fall off. You can either have the vet apply them, or if feeling brave, you can also. It may be worth looking into, I'm just lazy and haven't checked into them yet, though I should, my kitty is a sweetie, but when he wants to play, I take the brunt of it!
  6. by   tugbird
    All three of my cats are declawed. I do feel bad for doing it but I don't have any problems with scratching. I use to work in an aniaml hospital and I saw my one cat getting declawed. It's a pretty ugly surgery. I try not to think about that too much because that makes me really feel bad. They recover really quick from it though.
    Sam
  7. by   Ortho_RN
    I am all for declawing depending on age.... Being a Certified Vet Tech I have seen the surgery and it can be a lil stressful.. But mainly on older cats b/c they bleed more and tend to be a lil more sore...

    And I hope you are only wanting to declaw the front.. Most vets won't do the whole cat... Good Luck and if you have any questions feel free to PM me
  8. by   emily_mom
    I also used to work for a vet, and I second what nurs2b said. How old is the cat? You can end up with worse behavioral problems if you wait too long.
  9. by   kristi915
    Originally posted by kittyw
    How to trim a cat's nails (if declawing isn't an option).... grab the cat and wrap in a towel snuggly. Have one person hold the cat while the other person trims the nails. Push the nails out and snip, snip, snip. I also trim nails while they're taking their nap - can usually get a paw done at a time.

    Also - lots of scratching posts around and a spray water bottle to squirt if they scratch furniture. Cats don't like water.
    First off, nurseleigh I PM'd you.

    2nd, I agree with on how to clip your cats claws, but also if they bleed, just put a little flower on them to stop the bleeding.

    And, we have tried squirting them w/ water and it does help, but for some reason they just don't learn and go back to scratching.
  10. by   hoolahan
    I vote not to declaw, and to teah the kids they MUST not try to hold the cat when it gives that little warning growl, I have never met a cat that didn't give that little growl as if to say you let me go or you're gonna get it!

    Do you have a big scratching post? I got a cat house covered in carpet and on three dorrs in the house I have dorrnob hanging scatching pads, one in twine, which some cats prefer, and two in carpet.

    But I would never fault anyone for doing what they feel they have to do in order to keep peace and harmony. Put it this way if you had to choose between declwing or putting them up for adoption, I think declawing is what you should do.
  11. by   nurseleigh
    First off, thanks to all of you for the great comments.

    Hoolahan - I have never heard her make any noise before attacking, but she is across the room and just runs at my daughters head. It is kinda funny to watch if she doesn't scratch in the process, but more often than not she scratches.

    Garfield is about 8 months old. My husband is really pushing to get her declawed and I have been putting it off because of all the controversy about it.

    Thank you all so much, you have given me alot to think about, and my husband now has leverage to get me to do it. LOL

    Leigh

    p.s. she has scratched the girls when they are tormenting her, but I don't fault Garfield for that.
  12. by   Rustyhammer
    Throw the cat outside and make her an outdoor cat.
    Once you declaw them then they have to stay inside all the time.
    That isn't right.
    -Russell
  13. by   nurseleigh
    Russell-

    Garfield is inside 98% of the time anyway. She is scared of the neighborhood stray cat that comes around. She goes out for about an hour or so a day and that is it. Plus I have a fenced back yard that she could still roam around in that the strays don't come into, at least not that I have seen.

    Leigh
  14. by   2banurse
    Hi Leigh, I can definitely understand how you feel. I, however, am in the declaw group. When I got my first little cat, she was already declawed and when I got my other two, I needed to make sure that they didn't hurt each other...believe me, if they had kept their claws, I'd be cleaning up blood all the time the way they play fight!

    I would suggest that if you have a vet that you feel comfortable with, you talk with them. Since your cat is an indoor cat and you plan to keep her as such, I think you should do it.

    I totally disagree with Russell's opinion to just make the cat an outside pet...life expectancy is quite shortened when keeping a cat outside between other varmints, dangers and humans who can be quite monstrous. I have heard way to many stories of cruelty to cats than dogs.

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