To Declaw or not declaw.
(Orange, TX USA)
We have 2 cats that are 6 months old. We adopted their Mommie, she is an indoor/outdoor cat & she is very happy w/ that arrangement. They on the other hand don't want anything to do w/ going outside. The problems isn't just that they are clawing the furniture (I have those claw toys & the snub them), but they (I guess out of love) come flying, literally through the air, at our backsides. As funny as it sounds, it looks funny, but causing us great pain. I have tried the spray bottle of water to discourage clawing the furniture, it kind of works, as when they see the bottle, they stop. But, it hasn't stopped them from doing it.
I have heard that declawing is the equivalent of us getting the tips of our fingers chopped off. Is this true? Are we bad cat parents for considering this alternative to the painful yet funny show of their love?
Answer from KAte
I live in the Uk and declawing is illegal here and for good reason. I have spoken to vets about this issue and this is what they have told me.
Yes it is like having your fingers amputated down to the knuckle on your finger. It can be very painful for cats afterwards and some never loss the pain. It also affects their ability to climb meaning that they fall more often and if they do go outside are at danger from other animals as they can no longer defend themselves. Here it is considered cruel to have this procedure down.
What can I
say to you that wont offend you. i dont want to offend you at all but my view has always been that if you have cats you are also excepting what they do naturally and clawing things to keep their claws in good condition is one of those things.
There are things you can attach to the arms of your chairs and you can also clip your cats nails regularly too to keep them less sharp.
Please see my page here about both of these things
I have always found spraying water at cats for discipline to rarely work as they just don't understand the connection and it can often make them afraid of you in the long run.
I find a clap of the hands stops them in their tracks followed by picking them up and putting them outside the room and leaving them. this is a negative response which they do understand.
I do understand you predicament as my sister had a cat who used his claws all the time. She got used to him as he was semi feral and never lost his really wild streak. i have two cats who both use those cat trees for their claws, i did have to place them at first right in front of the arm of the sofa for awhile so that he got the idea but know they never use the sofa arm. i have two cat trees in the house for them, I find that if they have options of other places to scratch then the furniture gets less attention.
best wishes Kate