Upset over Declawing
I am so upset, I'm in tears. My son and his wife went to the SPCA (good thing) and let my 9-year-old grandson choose a cat for himself (also a good thing). They insist upon mutilating this baby's feet by having her declawed, and I can't change their minds. They "don't want the furniture scratched." :rolleyes: I was speaking with my daughter-in-law's mother a while ago, and she agrees with them; that was no surprise, since that's where my daughter-in-law was taught that furniture is more important than a living, sentient being. I asked her if she realizes that declawing a cat is amputating bone, like amputating the last digit of your fingers, and she said yes - and has no problem with that! These are otherwise nice people who've been very good to me - well off, well educated. I feel so damn helpless. I don't want to see the kitten (she's not home yet - waiting on spaying) because I can't stand to look at her and know what's coming.
I know there are no answers, but I just had to express how depressed and helpless I feel over this. How can an intelligent person be so uncompassionate, so shallow as to put inanimate objects before a loving being? Once my own furchildren are safe at Rainbow Bridge, I want out - there's far too much cruelty in this world.
How very sad. :( I know they have made up their mind to declaw the cat, but do you think there's a chance they could get one who is already declawed?
You could also try to print out some articles about cats' reaction to being declawed and how it often affect their behaviour in a very bad way, throughout their lives.
I know exactly how you feel. I have a family member that is actually ok with this procedure as well. They say there are wrong ways and right ways for it to be done. They work in the veterinary field. But I say it's ALL wrong! There's no changing minds either. I am so sorry. :(
If I were you and lived close enough I'd volunteer to come over weekly to clip the kittens claws. Also suggest the nail caps (can't remember the name) to go on.
I would also think that when you adopt a cat from the SPCA that you'd have to sign a form stating that you won't declaw the cat. I think that you have to do this with the Humane Society but I'm not sure. I do know that you have to do this when you adopt from rescue groups. I sure hope that you'll be able to change their minds about this. I know that my mom also thought that this procedure was the thing to do and she talked me into doing this to my RB Pepper when he was still a very young kitten. I will never ever do this again. He had complications and he wouldn't even walk on one of his front paws. My vet had to put a splint on his front paw for a while. My vet couldn't understand why this happened. Well I sure know. Because the poor little kitten was in pain.:mad: It also changed his personality so he was much more timid than before. I learned my lesson the hard way and will never do this again. People who want a declawed cat should adopt one that it already declawed.
Listen, I am against declawing and before I was informed about the options, I, too, declawed two of my cats, years ago. Do not fret over it. It doesn't usually bother them beyond the initial surgery. Lots of people have opinions much different from mine. Both of my cats lived long, happy lives. One was 21 and one was 18 when they died. I would NOW never ever do it and would encourage people to buy scratching posts to help prevent them from scratching things.
I know that many folks here are rabid about this topic.
Can you call the SPCA and ask if they have a policy on declawing?
Here's a couple of links to the Soft Paws page:
They even have a page on trimming claws. I mean - I have 3 cats and it takes about 5 minutes every week or two!
You should talk to your son again, and stress the problems declawing can cause if it has not been done yet, and tell them you can talk to your grandson about teaching him to use a scratching post, and not scratching up the furniture! Maybe you can visit some times and bring some "soft paws" on his nails and show your grandson how to do it, and that can be one of his jobs with his new kitty! That and emphasizing to him how important play is for kitties, and how much fun he can have teaching it tricks and stuff!
Thank you all so very much for the compassionate replies. My grandson has already chosen this kitten and named her Nya, so there's no chance of adopting a different one - and at least it's better than the alternative, the SPCA not being a no-kill shelter.
As for behavior problems with declawed cats - we've been through this before. Eleven years ago, they adopted, from a rescuer, sibling kittens whom they named Linus and Lucy. When my grandson was about 4 (my memory's not so good here), Linus started threatening him and actually attacked him once, scratching Cameron with his hind claws. (I saw the scars.) My daughter-in-law's decision was either rehome Linus or euathanize him. (She actually contacted the vet about this, but wasn't going to go; she would have made my son go alone.) I knew the only chance Linus had was if I fostered him until I could find him another home -and that's what I did. He found a good home with a family whose only child was then 12; I would not have placed him with a young child.) I told them at the time that Linus' being declawed may have contributed to the problem. So, been there, done that - makes no difference. Nothing is more important than having a perfect-looking house.
My daughter-in-law doesn't want to have her house "cluttered" I guess she would say, with cat furniture. She and her parents seem to think of cats as animate decorations. I feel sorry for Lucy; they do NOT abuse her in any way at all - absolutely not - but her food, water, and litterbox are all in the dark basement. There is no natural light in there at all, my son thinking that "cats can see in the dark." When they first asked me to catsit years ago, I got a night light and put it in the basement and explained to them why; they hadn't known that cats need *some* light to see! There are no birds or squirrels for Lucy to watch all day while they're at work and school; she has nothing at all to do all day. When their power went out one winter, they went to my daughter-in-law's parents, but left Lucy (with a blanket "nest") in the cold, dark house all alone. They're not cruel, but Lucy isn't treated as a member of the family - and history is about to repeat itself. I hope Lucy will accept Nya, but if she doesn't. . . I hate to think what might happen.
I'm trying not to stress over this, but I can't get it out of my mind - and I know I need to. I had planned to go over there on Sunday and meet Nya, but I simply cannot face meeting her knowing the pain she's in for. Somehow, I failed to instill sufficient compassion into my son (who'll surely be voting for the animal abuser next month.) I need to become a hermit; I wish I could.
Thank you all again; I knew you all would understand - and I appreciate that more than I can express.:love:
Years ago, when I had my cats declawed, they sailed right through the procedure. The male cat didn't have any problem as he was a kitten but the other cat was a little older and kept a low profile for a couple of days. They both had no other issues as others may have experienced.
As I said, I would NOT do that to my cats now, but I was uninformed then.
Sounds as though you daughter in law and family don't treat pets like we do! :rolleyes: I don't think they should have any pets at all, but hey, what do I know? And guess what, they are going to keep getting pets - we have no control over it. I wonder how often they take them to the vets? My pets go more often than I do!!!! I bet your d.i.l. would never spend $700 to have a cat's teeth cleaned etc. would she? She would have the cat put down and then get another one with clean teeth! Am I right?
Edwina is front declawed. I know better now and would never do it again. But it has not affected her personality. If you are not Eddie she is sweet and friendly...okay - that might be a little bit of hyperbole but she has never exhibited the behaviors people worry about. It is largely from PetTalk that I have come to the decision to never do it again. Eddie is intact - his claws anyway!;)
I have lots of opinions how people should treat their animals - their children too for that matter. Heck...I have lots of opinions about lots of things people do or don't do. I have learned most people are not all that interested in my opinions so I know how you feel.
But at the end of the day...the only person I can control is me (and sometimes my husband.;))
Working at a clinic where we regularly declaw cats, it was really trying on me at first. I, personally, will never have my cats declawed. I have never had issues with cats scratching inappropriately when they have been supplied with plenty of their own furniture to use.
However, I have to look at it this way. If declawing a cat means the difference between that cat having (and keeping) a home versus sitting in a shelter or being euthanized... I will opt for the cat to be declawed. But if you're going to do it, DO IT EARLY!!!!!!!!!!!!! Younger cats recover MUCH faster and with less complications than older cats.
I guess, being in this field, I have a different way of looking at it... AGAIN, I DO NOT agree with it, nor will I ever voluntarily have it done on my own cats, but it if means the difference between a pet having a home or being given up... I've come to terms with it being a good thing.
Plus, on rare occasions, owners with clotting disorders or auto immune diseases who have to give their pets up unless they're declawed (on all 4 legs) because if they get scratched, it can kill them...
AGAIN, not condoning it, but just trying to give a different insight to it........
That is what my favorite vets (my brother and his wife) said as well.
Originally Posted by Jessika
<sigh> You're right: Lucy (their current cat) is not treated as part of the family, as ours are. I wonder, now that Lucy is 11 years old, what will happen if she develops arthritis and can no longer do the steps down to the basement to eat. Will she be confined to the basement? Or euthanized?
Since the 3-year combo shot came out, Lucy is not taken to the vet each year. I mentioned to my son that she should be seen by a doctor at least annually, and he got angry with me, so I shut up. The last time she had blood work done was some years ago; I was cat-sitting while they were away for a week, and I took her (and paid for it) myself. For some reason, she was taken to the vet for a "checkup" (I guess) a few months ago, and no blood work was done! I'm not surprised that my d.i.l. didn't ask for it, but I am appalled that a vet didn't suggest it for an 11-year-old cat.
It's good that my grandson is at least being taught some responsibility for a pet; I have no argument with that. The SPCA from which they adopted Nya is, I think, a kill shelter, so having a sort-of good home is better than the alternative, even with the mutilation. I'm hanging on to that thought.
Jessika, I fully agree with you: there are times when declawing may be called for; my objection is to routine declawing, doing it purely for the convenience of the caregivers who don't want to take the time/effort to teach the cat properly. Some years ago, I trapped stray, had her tested,vaccinated, and spayed, and adopted her out to a woman who had pugs. I specified that the cat was not to be declawed, and the lady agreed. However, after some months, it became obvious that the pug's protruding eyes were in danger if the cat swiped at them, so the lady wrote to me that she was having the cat declawed. I didn't like it, but I understood it and didn't argue with her.
Thank you all for your input; I can see that I'm probably over-reacting, but I can't seem to help that. I think at least part of my problem is that I feel I somehow failed to instill sufficient compassion into my son - but he's 40 years old now, so it is what it is. And he bows to his wife in this, so there's nothing I can do. I should remember what I used to tell my late husband: there's no point in getting upset over things that you can't influence. I just wish I could stop thinking about this.
hugs to you all for your understanding,
I, like Sasvermont, had Mollie Rose and Casey declawed when I got new furniture. It was LONG before I knew what declawing was all about.
I know how you feel. All you can do is educate them as to what to expect. Declawed cats can develop litterbox issues, biting issues (since their only other defense, claws, is gone), arthritis, etc. Cats, when they have claws, walk on their toes. Once the claws are gone, it forces the cat to walk on the balls of their feet, which throws off their balance.
What angers me the most about declawing is the veterinarians who see it as a money maker. I always thought they took an oath to care for and protect animals. :(
Groucho decided he was coming home with us when he was 7 weeks old. My first call was to the vet to be sure this little guy got off to a good start. My very first question to the vet was about having him neutered. The second question was about declawing. Our vet explained the proceedure and it was very clear that she does NOT condone declawing unless it's medically necessary. One of the things she emphasized is even though he's strictly an indoor cat, if he should get outside he'd have no way to defend himself. Since Groucho is our first kitty I didn't know about declawing and was curious about it. After hearing our vet's response and what's involved, there's no way I was going to do that to our adorable little baby.
While I'm very much aware some vets will do it without a second thought, I pray they take this baby to a vet that will graphically inform them of what the procedure involves, the effect it could have on the kitty, the many other options available to avoid scratching things up, then either talks them out of it or refuses to do it on a healthy kitty.