To Declaw or not to Declaw, that is the Question
Before I entered the cat world, I thought that declawing meant a cat's nails were simply removed or "pulled out." I later found out that declawing actually takes off their first digit, akin to an amputation and that HORRIFIED me, because I now know that scratching is so much a part of a cat's nature and instinct.
I truly believe that if one wants a declawed cat to protect house and home, that one should adopt a cat that's already had it done in one of its past 9 lives. I would never, ever have it done to a cat.
However, I also know people who've tried everything to get their cat to stop tearing up couches and rugs, etc. A coworker has a young cat that he just had declawed, because he lives in an apartment and the cat was destroying lots of things. Landlord wouldn't be happy, so I understand why he did it, because he tried all the usual tactics to get his cat to stop. I suspect its harder to get a kitten to stop scratching than an older cat.
I'm lucky that neither Catfish nor Tarzan scratch on anything inside other than their carpeted cat tree. I believe because Catfish lived in a shelter for a few years and had nothing else TO scratch on, that he now wants to scratch only what he's familiar with. Both lived in the wild before being rescued and had natural wood and trees to scratch on, which they also have here in their cat-fenced-in yard--a small tree I see them go nuts on as well as the wood banisters surrounding the porch. Since they have this outlet, I believe that's why they don't tear up the couch or other furniture inside.
What upsets me is that some people declaw a cat before they even try to train it to scratch on appropriate things. Some cats are traumatized by declawing and as a result, other bad behaviors or marking can occur. But I do understand people doing it if they've tried everything else. And some true cat-lovers I know don't care so much about the furniture, they fight the battle on and on instead of resorting to declawing.
I know The Boss would have daily fits if our cats tore up stuff. Then I'd have to hear him complain about the cats AND the dogs and believe me, the complaints about the dogs are about all I can handle!
So, how do you weigh in on the declawing debate?
posted by Sandy at 3/05/2007 06:20:00 AM