Saturday, April 12, 2008

Declawing a cat-- is it cruel?

Princess Elizabeth!

I'm considering getting Libby declawed. Her claws, or actually I call them nails, are vicious! I have taken her to PetSmart once so far to get them clipped down as far as possible. She is a kitten though and she's growing F-A-S-T! I try to clip them myself and I cannot get her to sit down long enough, the most I have gotten clipped was four at one time. I really don't want to have to take her to PetSmart every couple weeks for $10, that seems ridiculous to me!

When I adopted her I signed paperwork for her stating that I would not get her declawed. The shelter that I got her at finds that cruel to animals, and I agree. Although, I don't plan on taking her outside very often and she will never be outside without a leash. Libby pretty much has a life to look forward to in the comforts of my home, which is pretty comfy if I don't say so myself! ;)

I'm sick of her sharp claws though! She hasn't ripped any furniture (thank God!) but she does tend to use my leg as a scratching post when I'm standing. She doesn't realize when she's playing that she's scratching me and it hurts! :( The other day at work one of my co-workers commented on the scratches on my arm! It's that bad.. I do think that after awhile she will end up putting a rip in my furniture as well. I have all new furniture and I really want it to stay nice for a long time-- who wouldn't?!

Do ya'll think I just need a few more scratching posts for her? I don't have any actually scratching posts, I just have the ones that sit on the floor and she does use them. Or do you think I should just go ahead and get her declawed? I know I signed something saying I wouldn't, but seriously, how would they know?!

I cannot make up my mind. I keep going back and forth on the idea, one minute I think it's cruel and the next minute I think f**k it, I'm getting it done! What does everyone think I should do? How do you feel about declawing animals?


Lys said...

Welcome back, Ms. Amber *LOL*

Here are my thoughts - and again, this is just my own - I will never, ever ever declaw a cat - ever. Yes, Shadow scratches me but I look at it like why would I rip her nails out that she was born with because they are uncomfortable to me or my furniture. To me, I just could never do it. They have little sheaths that help minimize the damage according to a friend of mine. However, I still could never do that to a cat.

I turned down a GORGEOUS apartment because their rule was they wanted her paws declawed - at least her front paws. I told them thank you but no thank you. My cat's well-being is not up for sale. Shadow's a scratcher so I know that by getting her a boogie mat that scratches - she loves it. And I have her nails clipped regularly - we call it her manicure. Yeah, it's expensive but she's happy about it and I know that should she ever happen to get out of the house, she can protect herself.

Again, just my opinion. And Libby is gorgeous - :)

SM said...

Pretty kitty!!

I used to be pretty undecided either way about cats being declawed until I found out exactly how they do it. It's not like they just pull the nail out. No, they acutally clip the "finger" to the first joint.

So, my suggestion for an alternative? Soft paws. In the long run, it's cheaper than going to PetSmart every few weeks and it's something you'd be able to do yourself (maybe have the people at PetSmart show you how the first time, etc.).

Lesli said...

I have SUCH mixed feelings about this. Two of my cats are not declawed and the rest are. The two who are not declawed are not mainly because, like you, I signed a form saying I would not declaw them because it is considered cruel. However, I have paid the price by having my gorgeous, custom made furniture shredded & no scratching posts have helped. Of course, I love my cats way more than I could love any furniture and next time I will buy a different kind of fabric or keep the cats out of the living room, or something! But I do have mixed feelings--I mean, is it as cruel as some people say? They do compare it to pulling out our fingernails. But my cats who have been declawed adjusted just fine and none of them ever go outside. Brie and Trista still have their claws and I have to take them in on a regular basis to be trimmed because I can't do it myself. So I don't really have any advice--I guess follow your heart or your conscience. They do make caps that you can put on their nails that supposedly work for awhile. Good luck with this dilemma. It is definitely a moral dilemma. I love my cats and the two who are not declawed are going to keep their claws forever--i can't bring myself to declaw them. But the ones who are declawed--well, like I say, they seem perfectly normal and happy and well adjusted and they are not ruining my furniture like the other two. I guess I would have to say I have more information now so declawing is not the humane way to go, but cats who have been declawed do seem to adjust. Wow, this is a long comment from me!

Caz said...

I also have mixed feelings on this. In general we don't declaw our cats. But one of our kitty's (Star) we just had to declaw. We were able to teach the rest of them to use scratching posts etc. but poor Star had a few issues. He didn't like to be without you and hated closed doors. He's scratch and scratch on any closed door, keeping us all awake and not to mention destroyed our house. We declawed his front paws only. He was never an outdoor cat and was too scared to ever try to run out of the house so we weren't worried about him needing to defend himself.

Overall I wouldn't declaw a cat just because, but I understand some circumstances it's unavoidable.

Amber @ A Little Pink in the Cornfields said...

There are some strong feelings about this! I totally understand why too... I don't think I could live with myself if I hurt Libby, I love her too much!

I'm going to check into the Soft Paws that Sicilian Mama suggested! Those look cool! I would love to put some pink ones on Libby! Thanks Mama! :)

When I do get 'em I will be sure to post pictures, cause I think it will be hilarious!! =)