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Thread: Help! Adopting a declawed cat

  1. #1
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    Jun 2003
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    Help! Adopting a declawed cat

    A few days ago, I saw a beautiful kitty lying in a cage at my vet's, and asked what's wrong with her. He replied she's an abandoned cat referred to him from another vet. She's a purebred cat, and at the time the vet wanted to see if he could sell the cat or possibly get kittens from her. Unfortunately, as it turns out, while she was in a cage she scratched a customer's dog, causing him to repay the customer. In a rage, the vet declawed all four claws of this poor cat.

    The vet said if we wanted the cat, we could have her for free after the treatments are over. I am so saddened by this poor thing lying there with all her paws maimed. She refuses to eat, and hisses whenever anyone comes near. She's in a cage right beside dogs, which make her nervous with all their barking.

    She's a young cat who's had an unfortunate beginning in her life. My husband wants to adopt her, but I'm not sure. I've never seen a declawed cat; I just heard horror stories about what a cruel procedure it is and how it changes the cat forever. Besides, I already have two cats who have all their paws.

    My question is, assuming the cat wasn't exeptionally timid to begin with,

    Will the cat be okay living with my two clawed cats? Will she be forever timid and defensive towards my other cats, due to her lack of claws?

    How much of a normal "cat" life would she be able to lead? I don't allow my cats to go outdoors, but will she be able to run and climb cat towers, at least?

    Are there complications with declawing, in the long term--as cats live for more than 10 years?

    Anyone with experience in having clawed & declawed cats together -- or with declawed cats in general-- please help me out. My heart breaks just thinking about her.

  2. #2
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    The poor thing! I would never patronize that vet again, and would tell everyone you know the same thing. I have never personally known a kitty declawed on all four feet. She may still be able to leap onto a cat tree - if her feet ever stop hurting, that is, but she won't be able to climb. She may b able to run just fine. Again, it depends on if her feet still hurt after she is theoretically healed. I hope she heals, and isn't scarred for life physically or mentally any more than necessary, and that her feet stop hurting.

    Remember that, if your cats act aggressively toward her, her only defense any more is her teeth, and as cat bites can be nasty to both humans and other cats, so I'd introduce them very carefully, and have a spray bottle handy.
    I've Been Frosted

  3. #3
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    Hi and welcome to PT. I'm so sorry to hear that the vet declawed her and that he did it to all four of her paws. I don't know much about cats that have all four paws declawed but I have had one of my cats front paws declawed before and this was before I knew any better and I would never do it again.
    He was able to climb and jump up on things and he lived with two other cats that had all of their claws without any problems. He was a big cat and looked like he had Maine Coon in him but I did notice that when he tried doing certain things that he was clumpsy and he'd fall easily. I had him declawed when he was still a young kitten so maybe this is why he adapted fairly well. I've heard older cats might not adapt as well. I'm sure that there may be some other people on this site that may have some experience with a cat that's been totally declawed so they'll be able to help you out more.

    When I was growing up my insisted that our cat be declawed on her front paws. She was also an indoor/outdoor cat and she was still able to climb trees. I don't think that she even knew that she didn't have her front claws.
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  4. #4
    I have a mixture since the ones (Emily and Eliot) I have had longest, I had declawed as babies. Then we adopted adult Dylan who had been all four declawed. The most recent kitties (4 year old Lizzie and Robbie) we adopted as babies from kimlovescats - and they have all their claws. Dylan will nip if he is angry, but still manages to be the calm alpha. Dylan was already an adult so I don't know when he was declawed. My vet says his tender paws are from a hatchet job

    Honestly, there have been no real problems with the 5 of them relating, except for personality things. The two that are front declawed can climb higher than anyone. Dylan *is* a little clumsy and sometimes I can tell his paws hurt. The scratches I *have* sustained were all from back claws and were accidental. The biters, curiously, are fully clawed Lizzie and Robbie.

    For a year or so, we kept our daughter's kitty Boomer and he came declawed. Again, I doubt if anyone would know who had claws and who didn't - Boomer also managed to stay high in the heirarchy. He would swat at the others and warn them off with hisses. They would always back off. I don't think cats use claws much on each other do they? When mine fight - it is mostly play wrestling with biting.

    So, hopefully you will not have problems if you decide to adopt this kitty w/o claws. This kitty is probably hissy because she is so scared. I hope you might consider giving it a chance. Sweet declawed Dylan is my heart kitty. I do not know why anyone gave him up as an adult, but their loss is MY gain!! He is as happy as can be in this "mixed-claw" cat family. While I would not ever declaw another cat myself, I have not seen problems with bringing a declawed sibling into an established kitty family.
    Good luck!
    Last edited by sirrahbed; 08-19-2008 at 09:09 AM. Reason: clarification - hopefully

  5. #5
    We have had a declawed cat. She was the sweetest kitty, who lived to be 19-1/2. She was the boss of 3 other clawed cats - they didn't mess with her. My daughter has one now that she adopted. He can certainly hold his own with his clawed "brother."

    I think once that poor cat gets over her fear of being at the stupid vet's, she will be fine. I'm sure she will lead a normal life jumping on cat towers.

    What kind of vet is this? He certainly does not sound like an animal lover.

  6. #6
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    a form of torture

    a form of torture, that is what having ones fingernails pulled out is. i am horrified at reading on this site about declawed cats. here in the uk where i live this practice is banned & illegal & so it should be. its mutilation & im so surprised this is still being done in america, or maybe im not surprised at all. i would rather have shredded furniture & a few scratches on my arms & a happy cat. eva, mrs cat

  7. #7
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    Firstly, your vet is a JERK. Plain and simple. Their is absolutely NO reason to declaw on two paws, much less four! My neighbor has a very sweet kitty, all four declaw, and he is outside only He gets beat up constantly by strays, and God help him if a dog chases him, he has no chance.

    Declawing is cruel, inhumane and completely unacceptable in my opinion...

    As for kitty, I believe if your kitties are friendly- there should be no problem with them sharing the house.

    Cats CAN and sometimes DO have emotional problems after being declawed. They lose what is natural, normal and needed. It is one of their only 2 defenses. So some, DEF not all, are more "mouthy" after the surgery. But with care, patience and love, I think this kitty could live a lovely life. So no worries!

    Thank you for taking this cat away from this "vet" and I use that term lightly.

    If he could do this to a cat he owns, I can only imagine what he does to other peoples animals when noone is looking!

    And he has no right to breed this cat either. Like their arent enough animals in this world already, without an idiot breeding them for money. DISGUSTING

    I am glad you stepped in. God bless you, and this poor kitty!


    Thank you so much Michelle!

    Please be responsible, spay and neuter your pets!


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  8. #8
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    You tell 'em Katie!! I have a combination also. My oldest cat, Mollie Rose, 16, is declawed and she is the most loveable, sweet cat I've ever had (aside from MooShoo that is).

    I'd say give this poor kitty a test drive. Ask the vet to take her home and love the heck out of her. Gradually introduce your cats to her (or him) like you're supposed to. You might be pleasantly surprized. The reason why she's hissing at people is becasue of what your jerk of a vet did. He should be ashamed of himself. It was not his decision to make. It should've been the new owner's that decide. Then if they did have her declawed, shame on them.

    MrsCat,

    Declawing is not just plucking out the claw, it's chopping off the the nail at the first digit. That vet should burn in hell for what he did.

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  9. #9
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    i do know what declawing involves, i was just making the point that just pulling out someones fingernails is/was considered a form of torture with humans so imagine how much worse what is done to the cat. that doesnt explain why the practice still goes on in the usa, or does it? eva

  10. #10
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    I have eight cats and only one is declawed (I got him that way). He is a big guy and very laid back, but he does just fine in a houseful of clawed cats. The only thing is that he can not "climb" but he jumps just fine

    The only thing you may have to experiment with is the type of litter. Because their paws are very sensitive, declawed cats can have problems with the feel of certain types of litter.

    Please take this cat and find yourself another vet (if possible)
    Last edited by emily_the_spoiled; 08-19-2008 at 07:36 AM. Reason: added more

  11. #11
    I have no experience w/declawed cats so I have nothing to add here except encouragement to give the cat a test drive, as Donna suggested. Any vet that would disfigure a cat in such a way in a rage, as you say, should be reported. There is a vet here that doesn't like cats and I wouldn't let him near mine and I tell everyone I know to stay away from him. I guess this is rather off subject but when I read stories like this, I break into a sweat. Because I haven't had experience w/declawed cats, as I mentioned, I can't in good conscience tell you to give this one a home but others here do have the experience, as you can see, and I would trust what they say. This little one deserves a good life, especially since he had such a miserable start.
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    Mary



    "Time and unforeseen occurrence befall us all." Ecclesiastes 9:11

  12. #12
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    You have enough answers on the declawed kitty mixed in with clawed ones.

    My thoughts on that vet is that if he was any kind of vet at ALL, he would have known the cat was extreemly nervous at it's new situation and not even put it anywhere near the dogs. To me, it is HIS fault the cat scratched the dog to begin with and HE is the one who should have had his nail ripped out! He sure would never get another dime of my money!

    Please get the kitty before that vet does more harm to it!

    Special Needs Pets just leave bigger imprints on your heart!

  13. #13
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    Mrs. Cat, unfortunately there are no laws against declawing in this country. many people are against it, but the laws haven't been put in place to prevent it.

    Annkim83, if in the US, I think that vet should be reported, this is a horrible thing for a vet to do "in a rage!"

    Please open your home and your heart do this poor cat, who needs love and an indoor only home. get her away from that torturer!

    I have one cat who was front declawed (she arrived here that way, as I don't believe in it). She had no problem interacting with the other cats here.

  14. #14
    I agree that the vet should be reported!

    What an ass.

    I would take the cat in. If it doesn't work out I'm sure someone on here would take the cat. I almost thought I could take the cat but I'm probably in the middle of a divorce right now so that wouldn't be too smart.

    But please try to take her in and love her and love your other guys and introduce them slowly.

    I think the vet should be reported though.

    Melissa


    Quote Originally Posted by Medusa View Post
    I have no experience w/declawed cats so I have nothing to add here except encouragement to give the cat a test drive, as Donna suggested. Any vet that would disfigure a cat in such a way in a rage, as you say, should be reported. There is a vet here that doesn't like cats and I wouldn't let him near mine and I tell everyone I know to stay away from him. I guess this is rather off subject but when I read stories like this, I break into a sweat. Because I haven't had experience w/declawed cats, as I mentioned, I can't in good conscience tell you to give this one a home but others here do have the experience, as you can see, and I would trust what they say. This little one deserves a good life, especially since he had such a miserable start.

  15. #15
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    That poor cat! It's outrageous that a vet can behave like that, his licence to practise should be taken, and he should have all his fingernails pulled out!

    It seems that many here have declawed cats, along with non declawed, and I think you should try to take this kitty in and see how it goes. If you're patient, it will probably work out. This kitty needs lots of love, after a bad start in life!
    Randi



    "I don't know which weapons will be used in the third World war, but in the fourth, it will be sticks and stones" --- Albert Einstein.


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