|Purred: Fri Jul 6, '07 11:29pm PST |
|That's true, Winnie and Chester! With regular trimming, a cat's claws wouldn't be much sharper than a puppy's nails.
I was one of the lucky older kitties who was adopted, and I was already declawed. It's so hard to find homes for older cats, but we really are much more laid-back than kittens, who can be terrors even aside from their claws!
It is important to take into account, though, that some of the cats who are declawed and then find themselves back at the shelter are there because, after the procedure that was imposed on them, they developed problems like resorting to biting because they didn't have their claws for defense anymore or not using the litter box because they found it too painful to dig in the litter with their stumps. They aren't all there for that reason, of course--I wound up needing a new home because my original humans were very elderly and gave me up when they went to a nursing home--but it is a definite possibility.
In a home with a dog, I can imagine it could encourage a declawed cat to develop a biting habit as hierarchy skirmishes ensue since he will be unable to use claws. Cat bites, if they break the skin, are puncture wounds that can be much more serious to a human than superficial scratches.
If I were to give my advice, my first choice would be to adopt an adult cat, who's already outgrown the playful biting and scratching of a kitten, who isn't declawed and use soft paws to prevent scratches. Second choice would be to adopt a cat who's already declawed but be prepared for the possibility of re-training in litter box use and not biting (though the latter might be tougher with a dog in the house since the cat need to be able to use his teeth for self-defense). Third choice would be to adopt a kitten and trim his nails or use soft-paws (I'm not sure what the smallest size is, but they might not fit a very small kitten), but be prepared for a kitten's playful biting. Last choice would be to get a kitten and declaw him (which could in turn cause biting and litter-box avoidance, but I hope that wouldn't result in him being sent back to kitty death row--aka the shelter).
Ultimately, there are advantages and disadvantages to any adoption, but the most important thing is that you are able to provide a responsible, loving home to a kitty who really needs it.
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