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Old 01-04-2009, 11:39 PM
 
1 posts, read 4,190 times
Reputation: 18

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Some say declawing is cruel - I say letting cats die outside is crueler. I have rescued almost a dozen cats and taken them into my home where they had good lives - I have one laying next to me as I write this.

I subject my cats to a day or two of pain when I get them declawed - but they get over it. They use the litter box with no problems - assuming its clean. I suspect that those who talk of studies showing that declawed cats have litter box problems are full of beans. Not so in my experience or in the experience of many others.

Actually, I don't declaw my cats - I have it done by a Vet. What people go to college then spend another 4 years training to take care of animals? People who don't care about animals? Hardly - if trained and dedicated professionals are willing to do the operation, what does that tell you.

If you would rather a rescued cat dies instead of being given to me to declaw and then love and cherish - well I am glad I won't be there when you meet your maker.
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Old 01-05-2009, 02:09 AM
 
Location: Mid-West Willamette Valley Oregon
113 posts, read 528,251 times
Reputation: 62
I have never, and will never, declaw a cat. My reasons are obvious.
I read some of the posts, for and against. One comment I need to remark on was about
"they are indoors, and don't need them anyway".
How does the cat clean itself? Claws are used for scratching that "spot" near the ear that cats do often, or as most indoor cats are obese, hold on to the carpet to reach that spot "below". Cats like to dig. Like in the litterbox, which is the only place indoor cats get to dig.
Scratch you head, or arm when it is itchy for some reason without using your nails, and see how much satisfaction you get from "rubbing" an itch with soft fingertips. Won't be very satisfying I'm sure.
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Old 01-05-2009, 02:16 PM
 
161 posts, read 451,634 times
Reputation: 95
I have two cats, one is declawed and one is not. I got my cat when I was 10 and my parents just assumed that's what you do is declaw them. So they did. By the time our second cat came around, I had learned what the procedure actually is and begged and pleaded with my parents to not declaw him. They listened. He is not declawed.

I have to say that there is a huge difference between my two cats. I think the declawing kind of hindered my cat in a way. She isn't as built in her upper body like my other cat, and she's a little on the weak side. But she doesn't have litter issues and she wasn't noticeably upset by her operation.

Either way, I'm against declawing. Cats need their claws and, God forbid, if my cat ever got outside she would be virtually defenseless. It may be a pain to have your cat scratch up your furniture or rip your hands up during play but seriously...buy a claw trimmer. It's just not worth the time, $$ and potential repercussions on the cat in my opinion.
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Old 01-08-2009, 11:20 PM
 
Location: Some place very cold
5,503 posts, read 14,080,173 times
Reputation: 3941
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bigg Mann View Post
I have two adult female cats that I purchased at Humane society and they were spayed and front paws declawed and are indoor kitties.

I have a 4 month old male kitten that is also indoor and is sexualy assaulting my girls and he is going to get fixed. Have not told him yet. Question is we need to get him declawed also cause Candy and Smudge are getting scratched up by Little Bit and his claws. I was always told getting declawed was cruel.

Is this because they would not be able to defend themselves if outside and was confronted by another clawed kitty or is it cruel because it is a painfull experience all together. Also have to wait to six months old and he will have all tests to see if he can handle surgery along with shots. Total cost is high I think, which is 250.00 but has to be done.

Thanks for any replies.
I would get the male fixed. He'll probably settle down once the testosterone works its way out of his system. (It doesn't happen immediately.)

I doubt he is scratching them. He's probably just punching them with his claws retracted.

Get him fixed and let him mature a bit. My guess is you won't need to declaw him.
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Old 01-18-2009, 10:01 PM
 
Location: CA
830 posts, read 1,552,795 times
Reputation: 937
Quote:
Some say declawing is cruel - I say letting cats die outside is crueler. I have rescued almost a dozen cats and taken them into my home where they had good lives - I have one laying next to me as I write this.
There aren't just two choices: the cruel outdoors or indoors and declawed. Mine are rescued too, indoors, and they sure aren't declawed. And though I keep mine inside, I don't consider it cruel for a cat to be or even live outside, either. Watch a feral climbing straight up walls and peeing in terror and you'll quickly see that such a cat does not consider the outdoors cruel.

The problem with the "better declawed than killed in a shelter" argument is that so often I find it is the declawed cats that ARE in the shelters. It could be the controversial "declawed cat" behavior, which some people claim doesn't exist. I think a large part of it has to do with the expectations of the owner though. If you're the type of person who can't stand to have your furniture scratched at, then how the heck are you going to put up with the myriad of other cat behaviors? A lot of people don't. They get the cat declawed and they decide that the biting, stinky litterbox, or whatever else, is intolerable. So off the cat goes.

When I adopt out a cat people sign a contract that they will not declaw. I use the applicant's stance on declawing as a kind of barometer of commitment to the cat. A person who can't tolerate a cat scratching is a high risk foir the cat's well being, in my opinion. It's not that common in my part of the country anyway (and many vets DO refuse to - I won't refer people to any vet who doesn't). But we did have a case recently where one lady (big, fancy house - that type) did declaw my foster kitten. Then, 3 months after adoption, she is returning the kitten to us because it peed on the kid's bed. I'm sorry my sweet little kitten is mutilated but glad we have her back in custody! We'll get her better than that next time.
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Old 01-18-2009, 10:10 PM
 
Location: CA
830 posts, read 1,552,795 times
Reputation: 937
Quote:
cat scratch fever. One woman came very close to dying. So when she shows up at the vet clinic asking us to declaw her cat because she doesn’t want to risk winding up in the hospital again
Yes. You tell her "Once you've contracted bartonella hensalae once, you have life- long immunity. Even if you didn't, taking the cat's claws off wouldn't do any good. You could also get it via a cat bite".

I've had cat scratch disease. I wouldn't consider taking the claws of the cat who infected me off. They are an integral part of her.
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Old 01-18-2009, 10:16 PM
 
Location: AZ
2,277 posts, read 3,846,190 times
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I say declaw. I dont think declawing is cruel. I have three persian cats who are declawed and actually one of them is declawed on all four paws only because she is very difficult to comb because of her personality she is very sweet otherwise if you arent trying to comb her. The other two are just front paw declawed.
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Old 01-23-2009, 01:09 PM
 
Location: In a cat house! ;)
1,397 posts, read 2,369,809 times
Reputation: 1407
Do NOT declaw!

Quote:
Before you make the decision to declaw your cat, there are some important facts you should know. Declawing is not like a manicure. It is serious surgery. Your cat's claw is not a toenail. It is actually closely adhered to the bone. So closely adhered that to remove the claw, the last bone of your the cat's claw has to be removed. Declawing is actually an amputation of the last joint of your cat's "toes". When you envision that, it becomes clear why declawing is not a humane act. It is a painful surgery, with a painful recovery period.
DECLAWING: What You Need to Know
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Old 03-02-2009, 06:31 PM
 
1 posts, read 3,999 times
Reputation: 18
Default Declawing your cat successfully with positive outcome

[FONT=Verdana]I recognize that currently it isn't "politically correct" to declaw a cat. But I wanted to express my opinion and experiences for consideration by people considering the option to declaw their cat. On my review of websites and internet blogs concerning declawed cats I felt that some of the arguments against declawing were myths, but that perhaps it would be good for there to be improved distribution of information for how successful declaw of cats can be made. Perhaps some of the failures for declawed cats were due to myths and lack of information. I have maintained multiple cat household for over 50 years and from my perspective, the arguments against declawing cats in general presented myths. I also felt that the concerns and problems that seemed valid might be artificially created by lack of better understanding in how to effectively care for a declawed cat. My position on declawing cats relate to the following issues:[/FONT]
[FONT=Verdana] [/FONT]
[FONT=Verdana]1) [/FONT][FONT=Verdana]The Risks Per Intact Claws risk[/FONT][FONT=Verdana]—[/FONT]
[FONT=Verdana] [/FONT]
[FONT=Verdana]A. [/FONT][FONT=Verdana]Cat Scratches General[/FONT][FONT=Verdana]--Till I was in my 30’s none of the cats I had owned (from age 4 on) were declawed. I regularly clipped their claws and used behavioral methods to reinforce retracting claws during play with varied success (some cats are consistent but most aren’t). Though very manageable and friendly cats, I have plenty of scars on my hands and legs from their inadvertent play scratches over the years. Till my late 20’s I played the violin and piano till accidently during play, one of my cats fore foot claws punctured and tore into the base of my little finger, severing a tiny nerve which left me permanently unable to have full control of that finger and thus unable to play my instruments. Cat scratches aren’t always minor issue. It’s like playing with a walking pin cushion—hoping that training to retract claws will be remembered. [/FONT]
[FONT=Verdana]B. [/FONT][FONT=Verdana]Cat Scratches and Sanitation[/FONT][FONT=Verdana]—There are a number of zoonotic diseases that can be acquired from cat scratches, the most common being Cat S[/FONT][FONT=Verdana]cratch Disease (Bartonella henselae). Studies have shown that almost half of all cats have a Bartonella henselae infection at some time in their lives. Guidelines from infections disease experts for how to avoid zoonotic diseases from cats list as the first and most important preventative measure to “avoid being scratched or bitten by a cat”. (see--http://www.cats-and-behavior.com/articles/cat-owners/zoonotic-diseases.php) Cat bites are far rarer and easier (and with greater consistent success rate) to train than cat scratches, which almost every owner will experience occasionally if they own a cat for any length of time and playing with their cat (which is important for bonding). [/FONT]
[FONT=Verdana]C. [/FONT][FONT=Verdana]Cat Scratches to Eyes and Face--[/FONT][FONT=Verdana]A check through the internet per statements submitted by cat owners (even on “soft-paw” blog) report numerous (as rather common for a cat owner at some point) accidental scratching of owners eyes and face. Most of the time people are lucky, but not always. Unlike dogs, cats have high startle response that can prove dangerous when cats have intact claws. This potential danger can’t be trained away. I worked at a day care center for some years and recall an incident where someone inadvertently dropped a glass (making a loud unexpected noise) while an older child happened to be holding one of the centers cats. The cat was very well socialized to children, yet startled and scratched the child’s eye which lead to hospitalization and surgery for the child. The cats claws were clipped and sanded—but only one of the centers cats would tolerate glue on caps for the claws (the other cats chewed them off). In the end the center had to get other homes for their cats to avoid liability risk. This led me to investigate the possibility of declaw for cats. I notice that most sites which advocate against declawing cats promote clipping the cats claws as an alternative, saying this will give adequate protection to the owner, but in the next sentence then relate that the cat needs its claws intact to provide adequate protection. This isn’t consistent—if clipping a cats claws is supposed to give the cat ability to protect themselves on a par with other cats who have unclipped claws, then it is implied that clipping claws is not supposed to reduce their ability to inflict a meaningful cat scratch sufficient to drive their attacker away. That would mean that either the supposition that altered cats (spayed or neutered) need claws for protection, or that clipping a cats claws isn’t very effective in minimizing the dangers their claws present. The latter has been my experience. [/FONT]
[FONT=Verdana]D. [/FONT][FONT=Verdana]Furniture and Carpet—[/FONT][FONT=Verdana] The issue of furniture and carpets damage is also relevant. Most cat owners do not have reasonable success in teaching their cat to use only a cat post for scratching. Cats have a natural desire to mark by pawing on furniture—it isn’t just for paw muscle exercise—it is instinctual marking behavior. Go on the internet (again even to “Soft Paw” which represents dedicated cat owners, willing to invest time and money in their pet) and there are massive testimonials that the majority (representative cat owners) have limited success in training their cat not to scratch their owners or to stop scratching their furniture in a manner that creates financial damages—often substantial. [/FONT]
[FONT=Verdana] [/FONT]
[FONT=Verdana]The movement against declawing cats recommends clipping claws and caps rather than declawing. The problem is that realistically claw clipping doesn’t provide adequate prevention per health issues and injury dangers to owners, nor reduce the risk of financial damage to furniture and carpets, etc. From a realistic standpoint, the number of cat owners of primarily indoor cats who achieve the behavioral goals of reducing cat scratches and damage to the home furnishings is comparatively small. That means the a large majority of cat owners will either resort to putting their cat outdoors or have a less than satisfactory or safe ownership with their cats. In my opinion, the drive against declawing cats then has a secondary effect in reducing the population of people who invest in cat ownership, and increase the chance for cats to be left as outdoor pets. Outdoor only or primarily outdoor cats typically have reduced quality of care (medical, quality of food, disease risk, etc.). One of the dividing lines between investment by owners of dog vs cat is fueled by the difference between maintenance as primarily indoor or outdoor pet. Indoor pets gets better quality of care and owner investment overall. It is unrealistic to expect that the general population of pet owners will invest the time to train their cat from engaging in behaviors that have a strong instinctual pull (such as scratching furniture) and scratching during play. These problems create daily tension between the pet and owner of most cat owners—that is only realistic as reality for most cats and owners. [/FONT]
[FONT=Verdana] [/FONT]
[FONT=Times New Roman][/FONT][FONT=Times New Roman][/FONT]
[FONT=Verdana]REAL TO LIFE EXPERIENCES FOR THIS OWNER OF DECLAWED CATS[/FONT][FONT=Verdana]: I found the following information on a site titled “Declawing and its Alternatives”. As a cat owner of declawed cats I wanted to comment on my experiences per some of the myths presented. It was my opinion that some of the “myths” may have some validity, but to the extent they do, that these problems were due to artificial induction primarily by adherence to a myth (in my opinion) that even this list did not identify. I hope that perhaps sharing my experiences might help someone else who is weighing the choice for whether or not to declaw their cat. [/FONT]
[FONT=Verdana] [/FONT]
[FONT=Times New Roman]“MYTHS AND RUMORS: WHAT PEOPLE HEAR ABOUT DECLAWING[/FONT]
[FONT=Times New Roman]“Declawing has probably become the most controversial of all the elective surgical procedures commonly performed by veterinarians. While it is normal for cats to scratch things (to mark territory as well as to condition their claws) this behavior can destroy the bond between an owner and pet cat. Cats, especially adolescent cats, have a tendency to "play rough," scratching their owners sometimes violently in play. The declaw surgery represents a permanent solution to these problems; however, it is popularly held that a number of adverse conditions result from declawing, that it is a form of mutilation. Pet owners need to sort out the facts from the rumors surrounding this procedure, as well as understanding all of the options involved.[/FONT][FONT=Times New Roman] [/FONT]
[FONT=Times New Roman][SIZE=3] [/SIZE][/FONT]
[FONT=Times New Roman]MYTH #1: AFTER DECLAWING A CAT IS LIKELY TO BECOME FEARFUL OR EXPERIENCE BEHAVIOR CHANGES IMPAIRING AN AFFECTIONATE RELATIONSHIP WITH ITS OWNER[/FONT]
[FONT=Times New Roman]Numerous scientific studies have been unable to document any behavior changes post-declaw. In fact, in one survey 70% of owners of declawed cats reported an improved relationship with their cat after the procedure.[/FONT]
[FONT=Times New Roman]My Experience: I feel much less concern for my children and grandchildren to play with my cats. I know that even if startled unexpectedly the kids are safe so have less concern for inadvertent injury. None of my declawed cats have ever bitten me or my family, but almost all cats scratch at times. I enjoy playing with my declawed cats more and thus spend more time playing with them. I can pick up any item to play with (including playing as I fold the laundry) because I don’t have to worry about them snagging items with their claws. They also get along better among each other than my non-declawed cats did and I have less concern about damage between cats when rough housing. All methods of training to use a cat post require some negatives that can create distaste and/or fear of objects in a cat. So my experience is that my cats are less fearful and more confident. Previously I spent considerable time teaching and reinforcing rules about clawing furniture, carpet, etc.(with mixed success—which is average) but now they exercise their paws on whatever they wish in the natural way cats instinctively feel impelled to mark, by “clawing/pawing” at furniture.[/FONT]
[FONT=Times New Roman]MYTH #2: A DECLAWED CAT CANNOT CLIMB TREES[/FONT]
[FONT=Times New Roman]Declawed cats are not as effective at climbing trees as cats with claws but declawing does not prevent tree climbing.[/FONT]
[FONT=Times New Roman]My Experience: All my declawed cats climb trees just fine. My cats are primarily indoors but go outside to play as well. My cats climb our fences, trees, and in short, unless you were told they were declawed, nothing about their ability to navigate the environment would give away that they were declawed. People who have played with our cats sometimes ask how I managed to train them not claw furniture and retract their claws while playing, but have never mention noticing any impairment in their environmental navigation abilities. Unless I share that they are declawed, no one has ever noticed that they were. [/FONT]
[FONT=Times New Roman]MYTH #3: A DECLAWED CAT CANNOT CATCH PREY[/FONT]
[FONT=Times New Roman]Declawed cats are not as effective at catching prey as cats with claws but declawing does not prevent effective hunting.[/FONT]
[FONT=Times New Roman]My Experience: Our declawed cats (same as the cats I had before with claws) are great mousers and regularly bring us” presents” from their catch in the woods behind our house and also (sadly) catch birds as well. When our cats play their ability to pounce and hold prey doesn’t look noticeably different. I do notice that our declawed cats have greater muscles in their fore arms. It seems this is due to their practiced ability to strike with greater force and probably developed this adaptation to strike their prey, rather than rely on claws to hold them. I also notice that in general they are more quick to strike—their skills appear to be more honed (faster and stronger) than my clawed cats even during play. Again I think this is likely an adaptation that has given them ability to catch prey on a par with our previous clawed cats. When playing with our declawed cat it is amazing how well they use their paws to catch and hold on. Visitors who have played with our cats notice that they don’t scratch them, but unless the cat brushes them during play with their paws, none of our visitors has ever expressed noticing that our cats were declawed by playing with them, or watching them climb trees, fences, etc. I think the fact that our cats were always allowed to go out (through their cat door) whenever they wished, and so had time outside and thus normal exercise, that their adaptation and strength is much greater than a cat (declawed or not) who was forced to remain indoors. Just as we kick our kids outside to exercise, cats need exercise as well. My guess is that lack of exercise and stimulation on a par of clawed cats by owners who erroneously think they can’t let their declawed cat have a normal life, would understandably create a situation where the cats muscles and abilities to balance would be impaired. This could even cause problems for the cats paws later, which would not have been subject to normed opportunity for exercise and strength development. I believe that cats (declawed or not) must have normed option to exercise out doors for cognitive and physical development. The myth that a declawed cat must remain exclusively indoors for its own safety I believe raises physical health risk for any cat. Chasing prey—bugs and mice, etc. are all part of the cognitive and physical needs for a cat. [/FONT]
[FONT=Times New Roman] [/FONT]
[FONT=Times New Roman] [/FONT]
[FONT=Times New Roman]MYTH #4: A DECLAWED CAT HAS LOST ITS ABILITY TO DEFEND ITSELF AND SHOULD NOT BE ALLOWED OUTSIDE[/FONT]
[FONT=Times New Roman]This one is actually true. Without claws a cat has indeed lost an important part of its defense system. The Mar Vista Animal Medical Center feels strongly that declawed cats should be housed indoors only.[/FONT]
[FONT=Times New Roman]My Experience: I totally disagree with this author. This is the one myth that in my opinion underlies most, if not all, of the perhaps genuine problems people express concerning declawed cats. Most indoor cat owners permit their cats to go outdoors. Although our cats primarily stay indoors, they all go outside periodically. Cats like to go out often for only minutes at a time—to check out their domain. But this is part of normed cognitive experience and has huge benefits behaviorally and medically. Its true that a exclusive indoor cat is exposed to less germs, but in the long run, the difference is deadly for indoor cats per other health issues. Like people who don’t exercise adequately or exercise their minds adequately—the long term advantages in leaving our houses far outweighs the benefits of locking ourselves inside to avoid germs. Our declawed cats were raised with a large dog (German Sheppard and years later a Golden Retriever) and we have family who regularly visit with their large dogs—so our cats are all well socialized to dogs and have no fear of them. I recall once when a strange Black Lab found its way into our back yard. This stray Lab charged growling and barking at our Golden Retriever, who immediately rolled over. But one of our declawed cats was watching from a tree and became very angry and jumped down and charged at this Lab. The Lab at first started to go for the cat but when the cat kept charging him, he then backed down confused and stopped but kept barking and growling as our cat jumped onto his face biting and raking with his back claws and then chased the dog from our yard. One of our neighbors said—“ it looks like your dog isn’t much of a guard dog, but I sure as hell wouldn’t want to mess with that cat”. The neighbor was very surprised when I informed him that the cat was declawed and about 10 yrs old. My cats hold their own with other cats and dogs at the same rate as any clawed cat. They know how to use their back feet well for protection, balance, and traction. They have no trouble escaping up trees or a fence in the normed way any cat can if they so choose, and their reaction to dogs is the same as any other cat—the reaction is based on socialization and experience. My declawed cats don’t run from dogs due to socialization (and in this manner are the same as my past clawed cats) and this lack of running from the dog actually reduces the chance for their danger. My cats also, from experience, know how to handle dogs better than some—but the key is that they have the exact same chance to escape a dog as any intact cat, and they know how to use their back claws very effectively for protection. They also hold their own with visiting cats, showing the normed behaviors that altered pets (spayed and neutered) demonstrate (ie: less aggressive and territorial). [/FONT]
[FONT=Times New Roman]MYTH #7: A DECLAWED CAT WILL NOT USE A LITTER BOX AGAIN[/FONT]
[FONT=Times New Roman]It is very important that litter not get impacted in the declaw incisions during the recovery period. Shredded paper is the usual recommendation during recovery and some cats simply will not use shredded paper. The recycled newspaper litters are an excellent alternative. The only litter problem one might expect would be lack of acceptance of a new litter during the recovery period. Declawed cats do not loose their litter box instinct.”[/FONT]
[FONT=Times New Roman]My Experience: I think this myth may have some truth if the post operative experience was not handled correctly. Once a cat starts urinating at other places than its litter box, this habit can begin. This is true also for people who don’t clean their cats litter box regularly enough—the cat often will seek another spot to urinate and this reduces the training to a litter box. One of my declawed cats will urinate on my fresh laundry if I leave it on the floor unfolded. However, I had an intact cat years ago who did this too—so I don’t know that this is correlated to his being declawed—rather preference. But since I clean their litter box daily, none of my declawed cats go anywhere but their litter box—(I don’t leave any piles of clothes unfolded and unsupervised around the one cat who is tempted by this). When I declawed my cats (at the same time they were spayed and neutered) I then kept them isolated from eachother in a large crate (the giant crate size we used to potty train our large dog) or in the bathroom. They each had soft litter and were kept contained for two weeks when not being held or directly with us. Those two week it would be more difficult for the cat to walk back any distance to its litter box and so if an owner were not vigilant during that time period, it is reasonable that potty training habits could be disrupted. I continued the soft litter for a full month thereafter and cleaned it several times a day for that month to make sure my cats did not develop any infections and then gradually introduced their regular litter, that way they had no chance to develop any different litter habits. Once a cat begins to use another spot, it is difficult to hide the odor from them and that can confuse their litter box habits. The cat owners I have heard from report more litter box difficulties due to lack neuter than declaw. Neutering and spaying cats at the earliest appropriate age is the best guarantee I know for good litter box training. For an altered declawed cat—the second best guarantee for litter box success is to prevention during the post-operative recovery. Two of my declawed cats are now respectively 11 and 14 years of age and none of my declawed cats have litter box problems that create any furniture or carpet damage. My declawed cats have all lived to at least age 13, and none of my present or past (now deceased) declawed cats showed litter box problems (apart from the one female I already mentioned).I also think the fact that my declawed cats were permitted to roam outdoors may have played a part in their litter box habits remaining intact—not only do cats who exercise daily outdoors get better muscle strength, but the textures of things exercise their paws more. That natural strength and toughening of their paws could prevent problems with paw soreness (lameness). Physical and occupational therapists stress the need to rub the site of an injury scar soon after surgery or it will remain tender permanently thereafter. Also the exercise program after surgery whenever tendons are involved is very important. Later exercise long after surgery doesn’t have the same effect. My cats were moving around the house in a regular way after two weeks and were allowed to explore in our yard after one month. Cat exercise is stimulus induced—they move to check things out and explore. A strictly indoor cat is not going to move around (especially after surgery) to the same degree as a cat permitted outdoor exploration that has things which compel (due to curiosity) the cat to move. This is likely very important for the cats recovery from surgery and desensitation to paws. Although our declawed cats were going outside after one month, it was several months before we let them go outside at night again, so their reintroduction to the outdoors was gradual. [/FONT]
[FONT=Times New Roman]I found the following by a cat behavioralist trainer, on the a site against declawing cats, it states:[/FONT]
[FONT=Arial]“What can I do? My declawed cat is urinating outside the box?![/FONT]

[FONT=Arial]Assuming[/FONT][FONT=Arial] your cat has NO other medical conditions that could be causing his problem (again, ANY cat who urinates outside the litter box should see a veterinarian, a medical issue should be ruled out because cat-pee is a sign of illness). Here are some additional tips that may help get a declawed cat back to using his litter box:[/FONT]
[FONT=Symbol] [/FONT][FONT=Arial]Make sure his feet are checked regularly by the veterinarian for loose bone or infection which could cause pain for him while using the litter box. [/FONT][FONT=Times New Roman] [/FONT]
[FONT=Symbol] [/FONT][FONT=Arial]Never hit, spank or squirt any cat, this will only make matters worse. Gently direct the cat to his litter box. [/FONT][FONT=Times New Roman] [/FONT]
[FONT=Symbol] [/FONT][FONT=Arial]Put less litter in the litter box. Then slide the litter to one end so that half the box is bare.[/FONT][FONT=Times New Roman] [/FONT]
[FONT=Symbol] [/FONT][FONT=Arial]Give the declawed cat some stress vitamins found at many health food stores. [/FONT][FONT=Times New Roman] [/FONT]
[FONT=Symbol] [/FONT][FONT=Arial]Organic catnip twice a week may helps some declawed cats. [/FONT][FONT=Times New Roman] [/FONT]
[FONT=Symbol] [/FONT][FONT=Arial]If you've tried all, try taking a peeing declawed cat on daily, supervised, outdoor walks[/FONT][FONT=Arial]. [/FONT][FONT=Times New Roman][/FONT]
[FONT=Symbol] [/FONT][FONT=Arial]Going outside stops most behavior problems of cats.[/FONT][FONT=Arial] Outside only is next to 'last' resort (death.) [/FONT][FONT=Times New Roman][/FONT]
[FONT=Symbol] [/FONT][FONT=Arial]Please note: these walks must be EVERY day[/FONT][FONT=Arial] and supervised. Going outside occasionally and [/FONT][FONT=Times New Roman][/FONT]
[FONT=Symbol] [/FONT][FONT=Arial]without supervision could lead to more health problems. Declawed cats don’t have adequate means for self protection and escape due to lack of claws—they can be attacked by clawed cat or a dog and unable to defend or escape. [/FONT][FONT=Times New Roman][/FONT]
[FONT=Times New Roman]Although this behavioralist advise contains many myths promoted by the movement against declawing cats, I agree that the single biggest problem for owners of declawed cats is that they are more likely to be kept indoors (although I strongly disagree that this is at all necessary). I can see that using catnip twice a week for an indoor only cat would help it litter train, as an indoor cat is not getting the stimulation necessary to induce it to move. No wonder these cats go lame and don’t want to use their litter box. Any occupational or physical therapist could tell you that lack of contact rubbing at the site of surgery would leave the wound permanently over sensitive, and although catnip can help, nothing gets a cat moving the way outdoor stimulus inducement will. Past the first month it is critical, in my opinion, for the cat to be going outdoors to stimulate the paws and muscles in the paws if the cat is to have proper healing. Many years ago my neighbor had an intact cat (neutered but not declawed) that kept attacking the owner, biting and clawing and was destroying her house by urinating all over to the point that the carpets had to be taken out. I agreed to take the cat to my house while the carpets were removed and see if I could do anything to fix this problem, as the owner was considering having it put to sleep. After a weeks at my house (to adjust) I began letting it go outside with my other cats (which at that time were clawed cats). The biting, clawing and litter box problems completely disappeared. A month later I informed the neighbor of this and she agreed to take the cat back home, give it freedom to go outside every day (despite it being an expensive pedigreed cat). Most cat owners aren’t going to take their declawed cat for daily walks, and I don’t think that would be optimal anyway. Cats want to crawl through the bushes and sneak around in a way that would be difficult, if not impossible, for any owner to navigate with a leash on a cat. It is my opinion that if declawed cats are showing added litter box and aggression problem, as some of the sites against declawing claim, that this is it most likely due to not letting the cat go outdoors. I agree with the behavioralist above, that “going outside stops most behavior problems of cat”—which means that declawing a cat has nothing to do with these reported behavioral problems—keeping a cat exclusively indoors with or without claws is a formula for severe behavioral problems. It’s true that there are risks outdoors for cats (with our without claws). But this is also true of our children—certainly there would be less illness from germ transmission, and fewer accidents (including fatal ones) if we locked our kids in the house and never let them go outside except when on a leash. But what about the quality of life? It is, in my opinion, a myth that a declawed cat must be kept indoors and not let outside except when on a leash. Most cats, when declawed at a young age and thus at the time when best able to adapt, are not cripples or handicapped—they are fully functioning cats, equally able to hold their own. The only exception to that would be if the cat is not neutered or spayed. A male cat that isn’t neutered will fight with neighbor cats in a way won’t it the cat is fixed at the appropriate age. Neutered cats don’t have the urge to fight in order to mate and spayed female cats don’t have the same contact with other cats as their unspayed counterparts. So long as a declawed cat is neutered/ spayed and declawed during the first year (preferably at 6 to 7 months) there is no reason to imprison your cat to the house. It is my opinion that the problems some studies link to declawing cats are almost exclusively due to this myth that the declawed cat must be confined to the house for its safety. [/FONT]
[FONT=Times New Roman]MYTH #5: DECLAWED CATS ARE MORE LIKELY TO BITE SINCE THEY CAN NO LONGER CLAW[/FONT]
[FONT=Times New Roman]Declawed cats do not seem to realize they have no claws. They will continue to scratch ineffectively as if they did not know the difference. Studies have shown no increased biting tendency after declawing.[/FONT]
[FONT=Times New Roman]My Experience: My intact and declawed cats have never bitten me. I used the same training methods to extinguish biting (during their kitten days) for my clawed cats as I did my declawed cats. I found no difference. It is my belief that this report for biting by declawed cats may relate to cat frustration and anger over being confined to the house because the owners has bought into the myth that the declawed cat must remain an indoors only cat. Cats with and without claws has significant risk for behavioral problems, including biting, when forced to stay indoors. I do believe that declawed cats should not be exclusively outdoor cats and most won’t if given option to come and go. Most cats want to stay indoors much of the time. My declawed cats go out for several hours a day and then return home. Currently I don’t let my 13 yrs old cat go outside at night during winter, but only due to his age, not his declaw. Years ago I didn’t let my old clawed cats out at night and especially in winter, as their immune system is impaired by old age and they were less able to escape up a tree as they got old—but this was due to age, not declaw. It is my opinion that a biting cat or one that is not staying house trained, is telling its owner as loudly as it can that something is very much upsetting it. A cat that is confined to the house is almost always going to develop behavioral problems (see myth #4). Letting the declawed cat outdoors gradually, in the normed way, while it is growing up and then gradually again after its surgery post injury site healing of the open wounds, gives it opportunity to learn how to navigate and survive and develop the adaptations to do so. I have three handicapped children—and one thing every parent of a handicapped child must accept is that they can’t lock up their child to protect him—that in fact, to prevent and not foster in every way, transition to a normal life is damaging to your child. Cat owners of declawed cats need to rethink the adaptation abilities and capabilities of their cat. The people who state that taking off a cats claws is akin to taking off the tips of our fingers, need to remember just how much a person with only stubs for fingers can do, if given a chance to adapt. That is also true for declawed cats. Your declawed cat is not a cripple—it is fully able to adapt and live a life on par with other clawed cats in all but very rare circumstance. I would never force a young declawed cat to remain indoors—that is the critical time to desensitize its surgery cite, exercise and build paw and leg muscle strength, learn how to climb trees and fences and interact with its environment. The only cat I have ever had injured in 50 years of cat ownership, was one cat in my teens (which wasn’t declawed) which was hit by a car. If a cat gets in front of a car—its claws won’t make any difference at all in protecting it. I think when reasonable conditions are there, the quality of life is more important than guarantee for longevity. I can die in a car accident too, but I chose to go outdoors anyway—the same for my clawed and declawed cats. [/FONT]
[FONT=Times New Roman]MYTH #6: THE POST-OPERATIVE PERIOD INVOLVES TREMENDOUS PAIN[/FONT]
[FONT=Times New Roman]The declawed cat will indeed have sore feet after surgery. The larger the cat the more the discomfort and reluctance to bear weight. Pain relievers are often prescribed. However, this recovery period should not last longer than a week or so. Healing should be complete by two weeks.[/FONT]
[FONT=Times New Roman]My Experience: My cats were declawed at 6 to 7 months of age. In my opinion, I think it is important for a cat to be declawed at an early age for this procedure to turn out optimal for the cat. Personally I wouldn’t declaw a cat past one year of age and the older the cat the less chance for good outcome in my opinion. First the cat heals more quickly and thoroughly while young (just like people). Second, the cat will adapt more readily and thoroughly at a young age. If the declawed cat is to be allowed outdoors some every day, this needs to be done while it is young and not set in its navigation and developmental ways. I have had 7 cats now over the years which were declawed. Each of them recovered by two weeks, though they were less active for the first month. The first week we gave them pain meds from the vet so that their pain and discomfort were reduced. We gave them lots of attention during their healing time and my cats never showed any extra sensitivity in their paws after a month. I do believe that the post operative period is more painful than just “sore feet”. A cats paws are one of the most sensitive sites on its body. That said, that pain must be weighed against the positives the owner hopes to achieve not just for themselves but for the cat. Our German Sheppard was a trained police dog—and it’s training did have some painful elements for the dog. I recall a neighbor with a chocolate lab who resisted the instruction that our trainer gave for how to prevent certain behavioral problems for large dogs, because she thought these would be too painful. Months later, when the dog was out of control she left it at the animal shelter. Many large dogs become outdoor pets because someone was “too kind” to train it appropriately. A very large portion of cats become outdoor only cats because people are “too kind” to do what it takes to do the painful things to help the cat be successful in becoming part of the family. Training a cat to not claw furniture isn’t the same as training a dog to sit or stay. Training a cat to retract claws when playing not only can’t address injury from startle, it isn’t the same as training a dog to stop barking or digging—cats are cats and that is why most owners have far less success in training their cat than their dog. There is reality and fantasy—in fantasy, all cat owners would invest the extra time (far greater than needed to train their dog) to train their cats and in fantasy, they would be reasonably successful. But the reality is that this outcome is difficult to achieve and often impossible. Cat fore claws create a major obstacle to daily management and pet/owner interactions. For those who want a cat with claws and have the ability to make this work—that is good for them. For those cat owners who opt to declaw their cat, this gives the cat a chance for what it wants most—a home, with owners who feed and love it, and a chance for life. Too many cats are being euthanized. I think the focus needs to be less on fighting about whether to declaw or not, and more on helping cats get good homes with people—whether or not they way to declaw their cat. Teaching owners who choose to declaw their cat how to best make this a positive outcome for them and their cat is a win for the owner and the cat. [/FONT]
[FONT=Arial][SIZE=3](see-www.marvistavet.com/html/body_declawing_and_its_alternatives.html - 35k)[/SIZE][/FONT]
[FONT=Arial][SIZE=3] [/SIZE][/FONT]
[FONT=Times New Roman]Conclusion:[/FONT]
[FONT=Times New Roman]My Experience: The improved relationship between owner and cat over the life time (15-20 yrs) was a small price to pay for the choice to declaw. Yes, I didn’t undergo the surgery, but as a parent who’s child had heart surgery, and a wife who had two emergency c-sections, I can say that my cats surgeries weren’t nearly as painful and just as they went through this to obtain a positive outcome, so did my cats. They are free to paw at anything they want and play in their natural and instinctual manner without risk to eachother, us, or our household. I notice they almost never bite at eachother and less frequently than my former clawed cats did years ago, when rough housing. I think this might be because their play is less apt to produce accidental pain per scratches even among themselves. I see them run up to and check out cats that visit our yard, but because they are all spay and neutered they don’t have instinct to attack other cats the same as my previous clawed cats. Almost all significant aggressive and territorial behavior among cats (sufficient for them to need claws and fight rather than retreat) is hormone induced. The best safety investment for any cat is to spay and neuter—there are less litter box problems, less injury due to fighting, and less disease transmission problems—these are far more relevant to the cats longevity and safety than the issue for whether or not to declaw a cat. A declawed cat that is spayed and neutered doesn’t have any difficulty navigating the outside environment in the same manner as any clawed cat, so long as they were declawed during the first year and given normed chance to adapt. My guess is that a cat who is declawed after the first year might not have a good adjustment—I don’t know as I have never declawed any cat past 8 months of age. I do believe that declawing a cat can work out to be very positive for both the cat and owner—I am certainly glad I did, and I would never want to own a clawed cat after our experiences with our declawed cats. I think it is important for better information for optimal recovery for the cat post surgery to be disseminated. It is my opinion that lack of better post operative stimulation to the cat and adherence to keeping declawed cats indoors past the optimal adaptation time frame may contributed to problems for declawed cats and unnecessary failures. [/FONT]
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Old 04-17-2009, 11:54 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ShelbyGirl1 View Post
Sorry, I don't buy any of it for a second. I will once again, use your own words. And they can not be edited:

" let me just simply say - it's not as bad as you think it is."

Which was followed by:
"
Declawing is without a doubt a highly painful surgery, and yes, it is akin to removing the tips of their fingers. Declawing is also a surgery with a really high "whoops!" factor, so much of the long-lasting effects you may see or hear about are because of bad/poorly trained surgeons. If they don't get the entire claw - it can grow back many years later and cause the cat excruciating pain. If the surgery is done poorly or sloppily - it can lead to arthritis in later years."

Your examples certainly are the extreme....I was bit as a child by a dog...actually attacked...spent considerable time in the hospital....does that mean every dog I own from here on in I should have it's teeth removed? God forbid I get bit again!
My daughter at one time worked for a Wild Life Sanctuary rescue. Mostly big cats that were brought in from Wild Life Fish and Game....Tigers and lions that had their teeth literally pulled from their mouths and paws so deformed because of the de-clawing. All because some idiot wanted a "big cat". How this any different from you yanking your pets claws out. Any one who wants a cat certainly knows that have claws. If you don't want your furniture scratched or your arms scratched, DON'T GET one.
You've used your own rescue cats as an example. Are you going to tell me every single one of them HAD to be declawed because of some sort of problem????? ALL of them????? No...once you started with one, you had them all de-clawed...You suffered an eye injury as a child...and felt uncomfortable? So why go get more cats? Yanking out the claws made you feel more comfortable.
My daughter has a 10 week rescue puppy right now...guess I need to go tell her to pull those teeth...he chewed on her cabinets yesterday.
Thankfully, most people are doing their research...and with a little heart, realize it is a cruel mutilization of our pets.
That little video says it all! So tell me again how it is not that bad".
I will first say that I am totally against declawing. I am actually doing research right now to speak out against it as being inhumane to do and absolulty elective for the comfort of the owner. Now that said, there are times and places for declawing. In my research I have found that even the AVMA ([FONT=Calibri]American Veterinarian Medical Association) [/FONT]is going in the direction of not promoting declawing and instead promoting that owners should try everything first to get them to alter their behavior. Now I will agree with the AVMA that if the cat poses a health risk then it is can be deemed necessary. You got attacked by a dog, so what. That is not the dogs fault but the owner. I was mauled by a dog when I was 5 and had to have grafts on my arm. I do not blame the dog but the owner. The owners have to be responsible for thier animals. If your cat has a desease that can transfer to humans through scratching, then I would consider that an acceptable answer. If it is being done because they want to protect their furniture, then you need a slap in the face or not have a cat to being with. Declawing is illegal or reserved only for extreme cases in 23 countries around the world and is right now viewed as an american procedure. As with everthing in the world, there is a time and a place for it, but not in the mainstream.
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