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Thinking of getting a strictly indoor cat/kitten
WDYT about de-clawing? Cruel or not?

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#1 Coffeegirl

Posted 03 December 2012 - 06:27 PM

So we want a pet, but due to me working part time, we've decided that a puppy/dog may not be the best fit.

We are considering getting a rescue cat. If we get a cat it will be strictly indoors, or within a run as we have lots of wild birds and lizards in our area and I've seen enough destruction from a couple of neighbourhood cats that are allowed to roam sad.gif   We have a large home, so lots of room for the cat to roam safely indoors.

But DH is worried about the damage to our wooden floors and/or furniture.  

My parents had a beautiful Russian Blue while we were growing up and they had to get it declawed due to the damage it caused from scratching (table legs, sofa corners etc) even with a number of good scratching poles.   At first they only declawed the front paws, but Mischief later learned how to open door knobs by swinging side to side while hanging from the doors, so he scratched arcs into their doors  tongue.gif and they had the back claws removed.  He lived until he was about 12-14 and travelled with my parents.  Mum even taught him to walk on a lead.  

But I digress.

WDYT about de-clawing a strictly indoor cat?  Is this cruel?

#2 Acidulous Osprey

Posted 03 December 2012 - 06:30 PM

Yes it's cruel and I am pretty sure it is now illegal in Australia.

Not all cats scratch furniture though.

#3 slvhwke

Posted 03 December 2012 - 06:32 PM

Yes it's horribly cruel.

Please don't do it. I think it's illegal now though thank god.

#4 Furfeathersfleece

Posted 03 December 2012 - 06:35 PM

Cat declawing is most definitely cruel. I have 2 indoor only cats. They are perfectly happy and much safer being indoors, not to mention better for the local wildlife.

If they have space, somewhere high to climb on, can sun themselves by a window etc, then they are fine indoors.

As for the scratching, I have a scratch post they use but they do still scratch tHe furniture . I just accept it as natural cat behaviour that I was aware of when I made the commitment to my cats.

You can also trim their nails like you would a dog - that might minimize the damage.

#5 Kalota

Posted 03 December 2012 - 06:35 PM

I used to live with a roommate who had 2 cats. They both had gorgeous natures and plenty of cat toys/scratching posts but yet they still managed to ruin every piece of furniture in the house!

Having said that though, I would never de-claw. It's far too cruel in my opinion (and I think illegal?!).

DF and I want to get a puppy/dog but are worried about not having enough time to spend with it either. We are going to rescue an older puppy/dog that doesn't need as much attention and I'm going to make sure we adopt it during my holidays when I have ample time to help it settle in!

#6 Fantales

Posted 03 December 2012 - 06:37 PM

my cat has this huge scratching tower I got off ebay... he doesn't claw anything else but that.

#7 Guest_Sunnycat_*

Posted 03 December 2012 - 06:37 PM

Declawing is awful and I hope it is banned.

If you're worried about furniture getting ruined I wouldn't get a pet.

I have 6 indoor cats and there is always some destruction involved.

#8 aidensmum

Posted 03 December 2012 - 06:38 PM

Ours doesn't scratch. She does kill flyscreens but she does that by biting a hole with her teeth to weaken it and then shoving her head thru to escape outside.

#9 Mousky

Posted 03 December 2012 - 06:42 PM

De- clawing is horribly cruel, i doubt you'd find a vet willing to do it.

You can try these cat claw caps.  My ex's cat had them on and she didn't even know it.


Bad spelling edit as per usual.

Edited by Mousky, 03 December 2012 - 06:43 PM.

#10 dreamingofcats

Posted 03 December 2012 - 06:42 PM

Yep, I really dont encourage declawing and TBH it kinda of comes part and parcel with having a cat. Not all cats are psycho destructive cats, but a little damage is par for the course.

We have four indoor cats and while they use the posts 98.9% of the time, on occasion they will have a go at something else, but after a gentle squirt with a tiny bit of water on their back or butt (not face) they tend to get the picture. Its not the only way they scratch either, jumping on furniture they tend to let their claws out a little, or even walking/running around the house.

While I dont want to seem harsh, if your DH cant live with that then perhaps a cat isnt for you (as sad as that is).

#11 dorkalicious

Posted 03 December 2012 - 06:42 PM

Super cruel.

If you get a scratching post and actually take time to 'train' the kitten - you won't have any problems.

#12 Cat Burglar

Posted 03 December 2012 - 06:51 PM

QUOTE (Furfeathersfleece @ 03/12/2012, 07:35 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Cat declawing is most definitely cruel. I have 2 indoor only cats. They are perfectly happy and much safer being indoors, not to mention better for the local wildlife.

If they have space, somewhere high to climb on, can sun themselves by a window etc, then they are fine indoors.

As for the scratching, I have a scratch post they use but they do still scratch tHe furniture . I just accept it as natural cat behaviour that I was aware of when I made the commitment to my cats.

You can also trim their nails like you would a dog - that might minimize the damage.

great post  cool.gif

#13 la di dah

Posted 03 December 2012 - 06:52 PM

I clip my cats' nails. If they scratched anything I really cared about I would look at the vinyl soft caps for their nails.

Also my mom had some cats declawed back in the '80s (indoor only cats) and I must say that the same cats that had been the primary scratchers just became primary chewers, and they devoured a sofa AFTER de-clawing, at which point my mom was thoroughly repentant about the whole declawing thing.

What you may not be aware of is, despite the modest little name de-clawing, which honestly I could conceivably be for theoretically if it was just destroying the ability for the claw itself to grow as nail (like lasering off eyebrows or something) the actual process is really cutting off the last joint of the toe, bone and all. This can mess with their stride and ability to jump.

I've have indoor cats with claws now and the two of them don't chew and don't scratch much, and I was never even diligent about protecting some of their chosen "scratch targets." I do clip their nails but if I did it more they'd scratch even less.

#14 Rexit

Posted 03 December 2012 - 06:57 PM

Quite cruel, I work at a vets and we'd never do it. I have 3x cats (all rexes) and they don't intentionally scratch our leather couches, despite the breed being renowned for being quite mischievous. Our latest foster-failure boy stretched on the back of the couch in a scratch pose but I just picked him us and placed him on his post, which he scratched furiously! He hasn't attempted anything since. Every animal is different though. Ours are more occupied by playing with one another than causing wanton destruction  biggrin.gif

Edited to add that I also clip my kitties claws regularly so this possibly makes a difference. Make sure you do it often from when you first get a kitten so they are used to it  original.gif

Edited by Rexit, 03 December 2012 - 06:59 PM.

#15 Feral*Spikey*

Posted 03 December 2012 - 07:06 PM

Its illegal because it involves removing part of the foot, not just the 'claws'.

Soft paws and clipping, along with suitable scratching poles are the way to go. wink.gif

#16 CountryBumpkin

Posted 03 December 2012 - 07:15 PM

We have an indoor only rag doll, all he does is lay about, either on us or somewhere comfy while we aren't home. Maybe lo into different breeds?

#17 SummerStar

Posted 03 December 2012 - 07:19 PM

I have a ragdoll too. He does no damage to anything by scratching it. (This is our second ragdoll, first was the same)
He does leave masses of white hair everywhere though which is a downside but I would never want him roaming the streets. He's actually scared of the big out doors. But then we also had a black cat who used to climb curtains and then 2 domestic cats who used to scratch furniture and spray everywhere. I think it would depend on the breed and then the temperament.

Edited by SummerStar, 03 December 2012 - 07:21 PM.

#18 Coffeegirl

Posted 03 December 2012 - 07:20 PM

Thank you all for your replies.  I honestly had no idea that they removed the tips of the toes  cry1.gif

The cat my parents had declawed was way back in the early/mid 80's in Canada.

Wow.  I did search the forum for referneces to declaw and now I know why there weren't any threads.

Thanks for not ripping me a new one for asking!

Sigh... I really miss the companionship of having animals, but convincing DH of the 'right ' one is becoming more difficult.   I know he'd love whatever we got in the end, but I don't want to get an animal 'behind his back' IYKWIM.  I grew up with having dogs and cats in my life and DH and I had a Dalmy before we had children, so I know he's not totally adverse, it's just finding the right fit sad.gif

#19 luluandjake

Posted 03 December 2012 - 07:27 PM

I have two indoor cats and they originally lived in a 1 bed unit, now a 2 storey house! They never scratch anything but their scratching post/pole thing (off eBay for $50 and its 150cm tall). They love looking out the windows, laying in the sun and any human attention. Please don't remove their claws, you can trim them but it would be cruel to remove them. Cats can live very happy lives indoors, mine are the proof of that!

#20 runnybabbit

Posted 03 December 2012 - 07:33 PM

OP yes I think declawing is cruel; in Australia it's along the lines of debarking, i.e. vets will only do it (and legally can only do it) if the alternative is euthanasia. And TBH because it's such a rarely-done procedure I think it's hard to find a surgeon who will do it very well and cause minimal pain and damage.

Most cats will let you clip their nails, especially if it's done from a young age.

Declawing is still legal in North America, along with debarking, tail docking and ear cropping. I think all of these procedures are cruel. sad.gif

Dalmatians can be pretty crazy; the right cat might very well seem tame in comparison! biggrin.gif If you have kids anyway you know nice stuff doesn't last in the house. wink.gif

#21 luke's mummu

Posted 03 December 2012 - 07:34 PM

We have had a Russian Blue kitten for the past 2 months (she is now 5 months old) and no damage at all to our house. She uses a scratching post (occasionally) and will scratch at a mat (OK with us) but that's all. We trim her nails once a week.

#22 FiveAus

Posted 03 December 2012 - 08:00 PM

We have two indoor cats, a Burmese and a Maine Coon. They're 6 and 7 now and pretty much outgrown the need to scratch furniture. They wrecked a leather lounge suite when they were younger though......more through chasing each other over it rather than using it to scratch.
It's par for the course with cats.

#23 Mousky

Posted 03 December 2012 - 08:06 PM

By the wap OP. I think you're being a fabulous responsible future pet owner for researching first instead of reacting.  Indoor cats are great, I have 3, and an addition of a cat run would be heaven to them. Good luck with your search original.gif

#24 FeralRebelWClaws

Posted 03 December 2012 - 08:41 PM

I have 5 indoor kitties and we now have foam coming out of DF's couch :/ They have left the older leather couch alone for the last 12 months or so. There are some small holes but the leather is getting pretty thin (it's getting close to 30 years old now.) I will get it recovered in the future.

We will replace DF's couch eventually. The cats do have 3 cat trees and a couch they are allowed to scratch on. I think we don't make that mistake again, when we change the couch we'll then stop them from scratching. We do now, but aren't there all the time and they've managed to shred the material!

I really should get some soft paws!

Edited by PussyDids, 03 December 2012 - 08:42 PM.

#25 FiveAus

Posted 03 December 2012 - 08:59 PM

My cats have wrecked many more things than my dogs. And much more expensive things.

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