An American’s comment about declawing and other things
Introduction from Michael
This is a comment from Ann to the claw caps webpage so it is about declawing but provides some background information as well and refers to other incidents. I think it is interesting – thank you Ann for sharing – as a snapshot of American cat/human life in relation to declawing. I don’t know if it is typical but is probably fairly reflective of a segment of American society.
Sometimes l like to turn comments into articles if they provide some insights beyond the normal.
I have cleaned up the text as Ann had difficulty in getting the words down into the comment box. Ann refers to Marri a person who also commented on the same page.
Hi Marri, Let me tell you my story, then I will get to the point: we have had all rescue dogs and cats for about 30 years; from new born to terminally ill with leukaemia or FIV (feline immunodeficiency disease). At the time of writing our eldest kitty is 15 years old and still plays like a young kitten in all senses of the word.
Spaz came to us as an orphan – a very feral young kitten. I watched an elderly neighbor shoot Spaz’s mother point-blank in a wood pile.
I had Spaz declawed on the front only because it “was the thing to do” at the time. Next is 11-year-old Simon. He was abandoned by someone in a nearby neighborhood, adopted by a neighbor (he was a little kitten) and when the kids decided they didn’t like him so they put him out the door only to be shot by another neighbor.
I took him in and we got him neutered and the bullet taken out of him where it landed on his spine. He died on the operating table and they brought him back to life. I did not have him declawed at all. He’s been through enough. He hasn’t let me down either!!
Then comes Missy out of the corn field who made friends with Annie, our rescue therapy dog (another wonderful story for another time). We made a living space on our porch for Missy and all was well until a family of foxes moved in and started to kill the outside cats so we brought Missy in.
She provoked herself to be a dangerous boxer with a strong right hook. We had to declaw. Our vet suggested a new procedure of laser declaw, but there’s NO decapitation AT ALL!!! The nail and nailbed are the only things removed!! She doesn’t walk around with only 1/2 a foot!!!
Next is our Gideon, he was found in an engine as a wee tiny kitten. We adopted him after being uncommitted for a while after our Bobby passed over the Rainbow Bridge. We really wanted to adopt an older hard to adopt cat….we did NOT declaw Gideon. We decided to wait and see how he was; he is REALLY SMART.
We found these things worked: spending time with our cats, talking to them, real words, not baby talk, being PATIENT, training them well (we clicker train) and do not ever raise the voice!! Well, except to call for dinner or something FUN! Otherwise, if you need them in a dire emergency, they will run and hide ( same thing true for dogs!!)
Cats thrive on praise, pets, and permanence. They need stability. With a drastic change in the cat’s environment and/or life, including moving furniture, we need to add the word perception…we need to be especially sensitive to the needs of our cat.
Your cat Marri, I agree, did not mean to scratch you, whatever happened only he knows and if he meant it for wrong/evil/anger whatever, he WOULD NOT be curled against you at the same time..cat and dogs are not hypocrites, nor are they liars, it isn’t in them like it is human, that is what separates us.
Keep an eye on your precious boy, I know you will be fine. The rest of my story..remember Missy with strong right hook we had lasered in front? Five years later she has developed some kind of allergy to food, flea meds or all the above or SOMETHING!!
The vet is stumped, she has tried everything, and we are trying all we can, Missy has a bald neck and I’m even making a “cozy” for her to wear instead of e-collars all her life, the others are all too big. And, yes, she is on grain-free food. All the cats are inside only, shoes off when come in, etc…I will not laser-declaw her just so she won’t keep shredding her neck and ears, (flea meds orally) and causing infections. I wash her often, as per vet instructions. So we are trying the KITTY CAPS. Now, wouldn’t some of you nay-sayers think this is a better alternative (to declawing)??