Cat claw removal in Germany

146 posts in this topic

 

Trimming your cat's claws with a special clipper is safe if you follow the instructions and don't clip too high, much like clipping your own fingernails. Declawing is an amputation of the first joint of each "finger". Declawed cats have a lot of problems with pain in their paws, especially in later life. If you can't deal with clipping regularly or the damage a cat's claws may cause, get yourself an aquarium.

 

woof.

I agree with BD, if you don't like the fact that a cat might do some destruction to furniture or carpet, don't get a cat!

 

I am glad declawing is illegal here, it is so cruel to the cats!

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Actually, our cat hasn't once tried to sharpen her claws on the furniture - she has her cat tree for that. She did, however, leave scratch marks on our leather covered dining room chairs - she was a kitten and she was trying to jump up on them but was too little - she just slid backwards - quite comical, actually.

Once a cat gets her scent on the cat tree, she will probably always sharpen her claws there.

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For the record, I don't believe in declawing cats and would never take a cat to have it done. My parents, however, are of the generation that considered it perfectly fine to do in order to protect their furniture, and every cat we had growing up (which was a lot) was declawed.

 

 

Declawing is painful, once performed cats can no longer stretch or knead naturally, they lose their first line of defense, less able to protect themselves they cannot fight off other animals (or nasty owners) and live in a state of stress, causing many cats to become nervous and irritable and more difficult to handle.

That's just the silliest thing I've ever read. They can't stretch or knead naturally? Have you ever known a declawed cat? As I said above, all the cats we had when I was a kid were declawed. They were all very sweet, lovable, friendly cats, and all of them were indoor/outdoor cats. Only once did one of them come home with damage from a fight, and that was before he was declawed. The kitty I have now is one of those declawed cats, and she was an outdoor cat for most of her life (though not anymore, since she's a rickety 20-year old). She's as sweet as can be and has no trouble whatsoever moving, kneading or stretching perfectly naturally. When you piss her off, she packs a mean punch, too.

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Actually, our cat hasn't once tried to sharpen her claws on the furniture - she has her cat tree for that. She did, however, leave scratch marks on our leather covered dining room chairs - she was a kitten and she was trying to jump up on them but was too little - she just slid backwards - quite comical, actually.

Once a cat gets her scent on the cat tree, she will probably always sharpen her claws there.

Ours didn't either. He did abuse the carpet a little (to the point where it came off from the ground), but that's my brother's and my fault for closing the doors to our rooms. When he wanted something, that's how he made sure we wouldn't ignore him. ;)

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What kind of a vet does that sort of thing?!

My collegue couldn't get any local German vets to do it, they all refused outright. She went up north to a US Army Vet to get the job done so it seems that, to some Americans anyway, it's not an unusual request.

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That's just the silliest thing I've ever read. They can't stretch or knead naturally? Have you ever known a declawed cat?

I personally do not have a cat and certainly never will have a declawed cat. Like most of us, I had a cat when I was little. Needless to say mine could scratch with the front claws like any other normal cat. My cat used to love kneading WITH the pinpoint contact of the claws, same goes for stretching out on the carpet. Hence the use of the word "natural".

 

I'm glad I never had to watch my (crippled and mutilated) cat slipping and crashing around the house!

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Have you ever known a declawed cat? As I said above, all the cats we had when I was a kid were declawed. They were all very sweet, lovable, friendly cats, and all of them were indoor/outdoor cats.

As I already posted, I got a cat from an animal shelter which had been declawed. He was completely psycho at first and pissed all over the place. He was shit scared of men too. It took 2 years of patience (and a few couches + a bed I had to throw away because of the cat piss) to get him to trust me. Yes, after two years he was cuddly, lovable and friendly.

 

Here is an article on declawing. I really do not understand how people can be this barbaric and why? Because of a stupid couch or furniture? Does that justify torturing an animal? It's your own choice to have a pet.

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DD is right. IPJ, your cats might have been just great with you at home, but I used to work in veterinary practices in the US, and a red flag always went up when working with a declawed cat. In general, they are much more nervous around people/animals/situations/places they don't know and much, much more likely to bite than a cat with claws. It was ironic, because the owners would always say, "Don't worry, my cat is declawed."

 

Claws are a cat's first line of defense. With claws, the cat can warn away a "hostile" person or animal while still keeping their distance. Cats would rather use their claws for defense than bite, which is the second line of defense. Biting requires that the cat get much closer to the target than it would like. Even if they had their claws removed at a very early age, cats are aware of the lack and tend to be more nervous and have more behavioral problems generally than non-declawed cats. Declawing is considered less traumatic and painful for a young cat than an older cat.

 

Trimming a cat's claws should be done regularly, especially with indoor cats. In extreme cases, not trimming a cat's claws can cause them to grow back into the pads, but long before that, the cat's claws will get caught in clothing, furniture, carpets, etc., even if it's not intentionally scratching. Trimming needs to be done on a regular basis, because claws have a blood "wick" that grows down toward the tip of the claw as the claw gets longer. When you trim your cat's claws, you need to trim just below the wick. Cutting the wick is painful for the cat and messy for you and the floor, as the cut wick will bleed. If you let the cat's claws grow too long, you won't be able to cut much off the tip because of the wick being too close to the tip. Regular claw trimming keeps the wick further up towards the pads of the paws, so you can cut the claws shorter in general, which is much more efficient. Claw trimming every two weeks or so is a good schedule for most cats. (All this goes for trimming dog claws, too.) If you cut below the wick, you cannot cut a cat's claws so short that it will have trouble with balance.

 

Cats with well-trimmed claws will still need and use a scratching post, as the nails grow an outer "husk" that needs to be sloughed off. You will notice a lot of husks lying around near the post in the couple of days after you trim your cat's claws.

 

Although surgical declawing is still legal in the US, there is an active movement against the practice, and a lot of vets now refuse to declaw or will insist on a full advisory session with the owner before agreeing to declaw a cat. Because declawing has been so prevalent in the past, many owners just assume that their indoor cat needs to be declawed as a matter of routine, just as it needs to be neutered. I wouldn't be surprised if declawing became illegal on a state-by-state basis sometime soon, possibly spearheaded by state veterinary boards.

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Although I thoroughly disagree with the declawing of cats, I must say in IPJ's defence (she is also against it if you read her post), our last cat was declawed as a fluffball kitten and was the sweetest cat I have ever known. She was this way to everybody. She was an extremely happy affectionate indoor cat and was even chilled out for the vets. I only knew her for her final few years yet she woo'd me more than any of the cats I grew up with - all of which I adored too.

 

I understand that it can cause these problems and agree that its bad bad bad, but there are occasions where the problems do not occur.

 

Our current two are also indoor cats and I trim their claws regularly. I made a habit of playing with their paws during bonding as soon as we got them so they are used to me handling them like that. Now they are completely happy when I clip them.

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Yes, Tom17, but as declawing is an elective surgery and there is no way of knowing in advance whether your particular cat will come out damaged for life or completely unscathed, or somewhere in between, I believe declawing should be banned.

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If you let the cat's claws grow too long, you won't be able to cut much off the tip because of the wick being too close to the tip. Regular claw trimming keeps the wick further up towards the pads of the paws, so you can cut the claws shorter in general, which is much more efficient.

Thats interesting, and a handy tip, thanks.

 

I was worrying if the wick (also called Quick?) would grow larger until there was not much safe claw to trim. Good to know that regular trimming will prevent it getting too long.

 

I'm completely new to claw trimming. Always had outdoor cats that looked after themselves 100%. But these two were just getting too sharp. It was an agonizing session if they decide to get friendly and bed down on to you. Now it's just nice :)

 

I agree it should be banned.

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It probably is called quick, Tom17. Don't know why I learned wick.

 

Anyway, it's great your cats don't struggle with the nail trimming. For people like me, who have to deal with cats who are very opposed to having their nails trimmed, here are some tips:

 

1. Get all the supplies ready to go and in place before fetching the cat. It's difficult to open the nail clippers and hold the cat at the same time.

 

2. It's easier on your back to trim the claws with the cat on a table. But it's easier to keep the cat trapped if you're both on the floor and the cat is between your knees.

 

3. I've found that a corner is the best place to trim claws. Kneel on the floor and place the cat between your knees, face forward. You can prevent the cat escaping forward with your hands/arms, but the corner position will prevent the cat from escaping by backing out. (This gives me an idea for a good YouTube video subject.)

 

4. It's easier if you have a willing partner to hold the cat while you trim, or vice versa. You can do it solo with practice, though.

 

5. If the cat starts flipping out, let it go and do the rest later. In my experience, once the cat has worked itself into a state, the only way back is to stop doing whatever is stressing it.

 

6. Give the cat a favorite treat after its manicure.

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DD is right. IPJ

I didn't say that DD didn't have any point at all. He just makes it in such an overexaggerated and ignorant way that it takes all credibilty away from anything he says. As I said above, I'm personally against declawing cats and don't defend the practice, and had it been my choice my kitty would still have her claws. But let's at least be realistic about the severity of it. Claiming that declawing cripples them and makes them bump around the apartment is just plain not true and is a claim made out of ignorance. Can my cat scratch anyone and knead with claws? No. Can she walk perfectly fine and live a happy life? Yes, very much so.

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Can my cat scratch anyone and knead with claws? No. Can she walk perfectly fine and live a happy life? Yes, very much so.

do you think she'd have a happier life with claws though?

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Do you really think I can answer that? I don't know what goes on in her little head, but as far as I can tell she's the happiest cat on the planet. My husband and I always joke that she's still hanging around in her severely wobbly state at the age of 20, because she's just too happy to die.

 

Edit: I just thought I'd add that her wobbly state is one brought on purely by age and is unrelated to the fact that she's declawed. She's so decrepit that her little legs wobble as she stands there looking up at me, and she loses her balance and falls over if she turns her head too quickly. She's also deaf as a post.

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At 18, she is not the kind that goes skimming up trees or tearing apart defenceless mice or birds at the least provocation.

I hate eating my words, but the small black-and-white cat seems to have brought a very dead mouse into the garden last night because when I let the old cat out this morning she started playing with it and dragging it around and wanting to bring it inside. But she did NOT slit it open. Pictures, anyone?

I can confirm the general wobbliness of old cats, if she turns around too fast she falls over, no matter if she has been freshly clipped or not.

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My cousins cat has a problem scratching at its skin so has little plastic covers on its nails. A much nicer way of blunting the nails and the red adds a nice cross-dressing touch to his look ;)

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a nice cross-dressing touch to his look

this tread turning into transvestite cats! :o

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I didn't say that DD didn't have any point at all. He just makes it in such an overexaggerated and ignorant way that it takes all credibilty away from anything he says.

You find me somewhat dumbfounded, those are big words for an 8 year old girl IPJ (Year of birth 1999?). So, what exactly does a cat who no longer has any grip with his toes and feet do if, say, chased by a dog, a cat or a brainless bully? Wouldn't he normally leap onto a wall, a fence, a tree, a cupboard, anything that's in reach? And what happens when he uses his amputated claws to cling to the surface? My uneducated view is he will find himself slipping and sliding downwards but as a cat guardian I bow to your superior wisdom. Besides, we both love pussies.

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