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Declawing

- - - - - declaw cat spay neuter pain bite

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14 replies to this topic

#1
Amanda

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I was just wondering what everyone's view is on this subject. I've personally never had any of my cats declawed, and I've seen a few declaw surgeries and it just makes me cringe. I'm going to school to be a vet tech and it is a routine surgery done with most spays and neuters. What is your opinion on this surgery? Does everyone know what the surgery does? Who has had their cats declawed and who hasn't? Just front paws or all paws? Why did or didn't you decide on the surgery? Personality differences between declawed and non declawed? 



#2
amkuska

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My parents got their cat declawed when my sister and I were little. They chose to declaw him on the front feet because he loved nothing more than to wrap his claws around us and bite away. I still have a dozen or more scars on my arms because of him, as does my mother and sister. I'm not sure why they actually kept him, really.

 

The poor cat was miserable for weeks after the surgery. He would sit on his hind legs to avoid putting his front feet on the ground, and would even walk around that way, even with extra pain medication. It took months for him to recover. When he finally did, he turned into the nicest cat ever and never once bit or pounced on anyone ever again. He was also able to do all the things an ordinary cat can do like climb trees and even catch mice.

 

Based on his experience however, I don't think I would ever have an animal of my own declawed. I don't know if Sam was unique, but it seems like an extraordinarly painful surgery, and why put your cat through it?



#3
naturalfeddogs

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To me, declawing is cruel and unnecessary. I worked for an all cat vet briefly, and the pain the cats were in when they first woke up trying to stand up was awful. They all screamed and would fall down again. The vet would even try to discourage clients from having it done by having a mandatory consultation first, and she offered other options like soft paws to be put on. She also had the price for declawing set REALLY high as well. I personally think she should have just quit doing declaws  all together. 

 

What declawing is, is removing the whole first knuckle of the toe, not just the claw.


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#4
taquitos

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Never ever ever EVER will do that to any of my cats.

 

Cats are just as trainable as dogs. You can teach cats to not scratch up furniture. Anyone who declaws their cats are lazy and cruel. It's basically amputating and mutilating your pet for the person's own convenience.

 

Also, if you can't stand cats' claws.. .well, don't get a cat LOL.



#5
GoingPostal

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Around here it drives me nuts that declaws are considered normal, you get your cat fixed and declawed at the same time.  My sister just had both done to her new kitten, poor thing almost died in surgery and they've had it for several months already so claws couldn't have been that big of a deal.  She kept talking about declawing the other cat and didn't even have a reason why, wasn't scratching things up or anything, just something my family has always done with their cats.  My cat is front declawed but she was dumped that way and spayed as well so I don't agree with "it helps them keep homes" crap either.  I have ferrets and they are 10x as destructive as a cat, nobody declaws them.  My dogs chew and bark and I wouldn't consider debarking or removing their teeth, you manage it, you train, you offer outlets, it's part of owning an animal. 



#6
taquitos

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Around here it drives me nuts that declaws are considered normal, you get your cat fixed and declawed at the same time.  My sister just had both done to her new kitten, poor thing almost died in surgery and they've had it for several months already so claws couldn't have been that big of a deal.  She kept talking about declawing the other cat and didn't even have a reason why, wasn't scratching things up or anything, just something my family has always done with their cats.  My cat is front declawed but she was dumped that way and spayed as well so I don't agree with "it helps them keep homes" crap either.  I have ferrets and they are 10x as destructive as a cat, nobody declaws them.  My dogs chew and bark and I wouldn't consider debarking or removing their teeth, you manage it, you train, you offer outlets, it's part of owning an animal. 

That's so sad that it's considered the "norm" :(

 

The rescues I work with here specifically forbid declawing cats in their contracts... I wish it was illegal though :(



#7
Amanda

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I think alot of people just think that if you get a cat you need to get it declawed. People don't know its an amputation, they just think the claws are gone. I've met many declawed cats and they are relatively well mannered, but at least 50% I've met bite way too much. They always have a slightly different gate then normal cats too.

 

I do wish they would outlaw it. If owners would learn how to trim the cats nails it does much less damage if they can't be discouraged from scratching up stuff. Scratching posts are a must too. There are many ways to discourage or manage scratching, I'd rather my cats scratched and I keep their claws trimmed than get bit.



#8
blacksheep

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I think it is cruel and not needed with a few exceptions.  Those exceptions are polydactyly cats where claws can potentially grow into other toes causing pain and infection.  In that case, I'm all for declawing those extra toes to keep the others healthy.  The other exception would be for cats that just don't have healthy toes.  I didn't think it was possible but I saw a declaw on a tiger because his nails always grew funny and were causing him pain.

 

I do partially support declawing though.  I have also seen cats stay in hospitals after the surgery.  It sucks.  Even before their pain wears off, they are irritated with the fact they have those bandages on.  The cats that I have seen come in were on their last straw.  It was either declaw, the shelter, or euthanasia.  The shelter is already full of cats...a good portion of kittens don't stay very long, let alone a full adult.  I hate to say it but sending most adult cats to a shelter is a death sentence.  In that case, I'd take some toes off to save that cat's life.  

 

With that said there are still declawed cats that get dumped.  At least we can say we tried.


Edited by blacksheep, 28 September 2013 - 01:04 PM.


#9
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I HATE declaw surgeries. I always feel so awful during them, and even more terrible for the poor kitties after. They try to stand and just topple over because their feet hurt so bad from the removal of their toes. 

 

That said, just like blacksheep posted......it's common for people to give an ultimatum of either declaw or euthanasia or dump at a shelter. In which case, declaw is the far better option because most cats recover fairly well and fairly quickly. We always have cats come back to the clinic 10-14 days post surgery for a recheck and most if not 99% are almost back to normal. 


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#10
GimMom

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I worked in a vet clinic, I saw how they do declawing. I'll never do that to my cats. I trained one of my senior cats to scratch a scratching post and she always used one as long as she had it. I got her trained as a kitten. I'm going to try with these two, though the couch they're scratching is crap anyway, so at the moment, I'm m'eh.



#11
Sprocket

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I despise declawing.  Had one in the hospital recently and it didn't help change my mind.  The poor cat.



#12
amkuska

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To me, declawing is cruel and unnecessary. I worked for an all cat vet briefly, and the pain the cats were in when they first woke up trying to stand up was awful. They all screamed and would fall down again. The vet would even try to discourage clients from having it done by having a mandatory consultation first, and she offered other options like soft paws to be put on. She also had the price for declawing set REALLY high as well. I personally think she should have just quit doing declaws  all together. 

 

What declawing is, is removing the whole first knuckle of the toe, not just the claw.

 

I think if your all cat vet took a video of the cats crying in agony and unwilling to put pressure on the paws, and showed it to people considering a declaw...no one would. It's difficult to understand if you have no understanding of what is happening to the cat.


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#13
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Agreed, I think there should be a process that people are required to go through to do the surgery on their cat. Watching a video of the procedure and recovery. Seeing pictures of declaws "gone bad" etc. 

 

Kinda like the warning pictures on the packages of cigarettes. 


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#14
kathylcsw

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I have had cats longer than I have had dogs and would NEVER declaw. It is cruel and inhumane to me. I mean on humans it is considered torture to pull off your fingernails. My cats aren't especially trained not to scratch my furniture but it is something I live iwth. It is what happens when you have a cat.



#15
naturalfeddogs

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I think if your all cat vet took a video of the cats crying in agony and unwilling to put pressure on the paws, and showed it to people considering a declaw...no one would. It's difficult to understand if you have no understanding of what is happening to the cat.

 

Yep, even though she consulted with them on it, I still don't think they got it most of the time. They needed to be there and actually see what happens. Then maybe their minds would change. 


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