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Alternatives for Declawing

Good grooming practices are essential for maintaining health and happiness for you and your cat. This is a forum to exchange tips and advice for proper care of your cat's hygiene needs.

  
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Buffy

lucky to be- here!
 
 
Purred: Tue Oct 16, '07 7:52am PST 
We have a new kitten on the way (Buffy) she should be able to come home in a week and a half. HOWEVER my hubby is concerned about the furniture and carpet and suggested declawing. I FLIPPED out at the idea and said absolutely not, however we do have to do something about the claws, I am scared that clipping just won't be enough...any ideas?
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Munky

I'm kneady
 
 
Purred: Tue Oct 16, '07 1:35pm PST 
There are a whole bunch of alternatives to declawing. I think there are even some groups about it here on Catster. There's the Softpaws, which are like nail coverings that dull the claws, there's clipping, there's training, there's scratching posts-- all kinds of stuff. I know there are kitties out there who are a lot more knowledgeable than me about this stuff, but i just really really want to put in a word for not de-clawing. This might sound far-fetched, but what if you, in all your Orange curiosity, escape and get lost , and you're de-clawed? You have no defenses against the outdoor animals. Like i said, it sounds far-fetched, but i've seen it happen, right here in Catsterland, and it makes me mrowl with sadness every time. cry Please look into the other options.

I used to be a "mean kitty" when i was little (and my mama's hands are all scarred up from it), and my mama says that i'm the worst-behaved kitty in North America, but i rarely claw anything that i'm not supposed to. I get clipped often (because i like to knead my mama), and i have a scratching post, and i like to scratch my mama's backpack.

So i hope your mama looks into the other options before she decides to de-claw you.
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Princess

Pet me now!!!!!
 
 
Purred: Tue Oct 16, '07 1:52pm PST 
deffinately consider other options. i speak from experience with both clawed and declawed cats and they both do the same amount of damage.

training is essential to curb bad clawing, use a spray bottle with water every time kitty starts clawing at something she shouldn't and soo enough she'll inderstand that that's a bad thing. also when kitty scratches on the right stuff(like their scratching post) give a few treats and praise to reinforce that it is a good thing to scratch There.

depending on the cat you can use double sided tape on furniture to make it unpleasant to touch(though it didn't bother any of mine).

there are various scent sprays that work on some cats that can help keep them away from it.

soft paws/claws are Wonderful. i use them on my clawed cats and they are great. they allow cats to claw and detract/retract claws with no issues while protecting skin and furniture from sharp nails. they come in fun colors and take about 5-10 minutes to apply and last about 4-6 weeks(don't leave them on longer than 6 weeks since by then kitty will need a nail trim anyway).

nail clipping is essential when kitty is young so there is less of a fuss when it needs to be done. start clipping nails every week, even if just the tips need to come off so they he/she gets used to it. don't forget praise and treats at the end either!

oh, and i don't mean to over load you with too much stuff, but a few things to think about for declawing is; even if cats don't have front claws they still can do quite a lot of damage with their back ones( especially since the hind legs are more powerful), they are more likely to bite first if they feel threatened/angry(and believe me cat bites are a lot more painful than a scratch), declawed cats tend to stop using hte litter box more frequently than clawed cats(and we all know how hard it is to get rid of cat urin smell), declawing can cause deformations and life time sensitivity in the operated on paws which may hinder the cats ability to walk/play/jump/ect.

now as i said i have both clawed and declawed(my older cats were declawed before i was properly educated on it and now i regret the decision) and my declawed ones are perfectly healthy, well adjusted mature adults. but i also know that i could have gotten all of the above problems with them, i just got lucky.

hope i didn't over do it will all the info and i hope some of it helped!
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Oliver

646474
 
 
Purred: Tue Oct 16, '07 6:09pm PST 
I have had cats all my life and never had one declawed. They were indoor and outdoor cats. Now that I am older and have my own house I believe in having indoor cats. My husband wanted our cat declawed in the front and I was against it! But he won and we have never had a problem with him using his litter box or anything else but I still am not keen on declawing. Our next I will try and train it
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Winter

Did I just hear- the treat jar- rattle?
 
 
Purred: Wed Oct 17, '07 5:28am PST 
Train your kitten young to scratch on a scratching post. Some cats prefer vertical surfaces and some prefer horizontal surfaces so until you know which your kitty prefers you may want to have both on hand. A real easy fix (if you or your spouse/relative is handy) is take a square piece of plywood (2ft x 2ft) and staple/nail/screw a piece of carpet to the top of it. Then bolt a piece of 2x4 (about 3 ft high) to the center of it and wrap a piece of carpet around that. And there ya go - a cheap scratching post. You can, of course, just buy one and put it together, but if you have the scraps in your basement to do this, why spend the money? Show your kitten where the post is and gently take her paws and make the scratching motion with them. She will understand what it is. When you see her using it afterwards praise her. Give her a treat and pet her. Let her know that she is being a good girl. On the other hand, if you see her scratching whereshe isn't supposed to, keep a squirty bottle handy and use that. She will learn quickly.
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Lady Hidalgo

Hot Stuff
 
 
Purred: Wed Oct 17, '07 7:24am PST 
We use Softpaws and it works great. I don't claw anything except my daddy, he's nice and soft. I don't like being on the couch so mommy doesn't have to worry about me scratching it but I do like to scratch on the doors until they open them for me. I absolutely hate when they leave me outside of the room to sleep. Please tell your mommy not to declaw you and promise that you'll be good.
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Jewel

Treat me like- the princess I- am
 
 
Purred: Wed Oct 17, '07 10:25am PST 
I hate having softpaws on all my nails - i cant pick up my toy mice with them stupid softpaws on! I usually rip as many as I can off right away. Within a few hours, any that are still on I forget about and they stay on untill they fall off on their own. I only started using them last month though - some kitties take a while to get used to them and mom is DETERMINED to make it work

Mom just got me the christmas colored package. I sat like a good girl and let her put them all on. She held me for about 10 minutes and as soon as i was free i hid under the bed and pulled most of them off. Now everytime mom catches me trying to pull one off she claps or makes some other awful noise and if she finds a softpaw on the floor she scoops me up and lays me on her knee and puts it right back on me!

Harley, is front delcawed. He got it done when he was a kitten, at the same time he got neutered. Mom had made an appointment for me to be declawed but then cancled becuase i was almost 2 when she got me and had been an outdoor kitty before i was rescued. I was already used to my nails so she felt horrible having them removed. Some people say that a front declawed cat will resort to biting since it cant use his claws. Harley doesn't. He still swats at me, but hes also REALLY good at using his back paws to kick me off of him.
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Princess

Pet me now!!!!!
 
 
Purred: Wed Oct 17, '07 10:45am PST 
hey Jewel- something you can do to keep from pulling them off is spritz your nail caps with bitter apple spray or somethig else aweful tasting. that way everytime you try to pull them off you get an icky tast and remember to leave them alone(like for people who bite thier nails or suck their thumbs)
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Buffy

lucky to be- here!
 
 
Purred: Wed Oct 17, '07 11:56am PST 
MoM and Dad have come to an agreement that if I take to the soft paws well, I won't have to be declawed! YAY! Thanks for all your advice. That is what conviced dad to seek out other options. They only want the best for their new addition!!
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Boris

I'm cute and I- know how to use- that :)
 
 
Purred: Wed Oct 17, '07 6:23pm PST 
Yay! For all you know, you might not be the scratching type at all. When mommy was adopting me, she had to promise never to declaw me. She thought it was barbaric anyway, so that wasn't a problem. But she did worry I might scratch places I wasn't supposed to. As it turns out, after a few days of training me to use a vertical scratchpost (she held my favorite feather toy over it, so I got used to the scratchpost's feel, and loved it almost as soon as it got enough of my smell on it), I've never used anything else.smile

So I would tell your new daddy not to worry about you scratching things a lot before you even get used to being at home. You might have no interest in scratching furniture, and if you do, you have plenty of suggestions aside for the softpaws: something will work, I'm sure.
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