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My boyfriend just said he didn't think he could risk having a non-declawed cat in an apartment if he lives alone.

My instinct was to either punch him or break up with him on the spot, but I am animal-dumb right now and so thoroughly demoralized by the culture of Tumblr Hates Everything that I don't actually know if or why this is bad. I am also too demoralized to tell which parts of the internet that agree with me are hysterical animal rights activists and which ones are sensible people with sound reasoning against it.

Anyone want to either validate or reassure me?

Honestly, right now the fact that I even have to think about this has been enough to hurtle me into a sad "animals are stupid and hard to deal with and I don't want another one ever" place. It's been a crap day.

Comments

( 12 comments — Leave a comment )
lumiere42
Aug. 2nd, 2016 04:41 pm (UTC)
Re: cat
There's no reason he couldn't have a non-declawed cat in an apartment, as long as he has some scratching posts around for it to use. We had 6! in an apartment at one point, and they didn't damage the carpets. Plus, reasonable landlords allow for a certain amount of wear and tear on stuff just from people living there, and most apartments put in Berber or other carpet types that are pretty hard to damage anyway.

There are solid medical reasons why it's usually a bad idea to declaw cats - one of ours is declawed in front (by the previous owner, not us) and it gives him some chronic pain with his front paws. In some areas it's actually illegal to get a cat declawed because of the problems it can cause - a vet would be able to explain it better.
rainbowstevie
Aug. 5th, 2016 03:45 am (UTC)
Re: cat
SIX CATS? I feel there is a story there. I am intrigued by it.

Boyfriend's comment was sparked by me telling him about an apartment I had ruled out because they told me their pet policy was that cats had to be declawed. I am still very 'wtf' about this policy, and I appreciate your personal evidence against it.

eleigh
Aug. 3rd, 2016 12:00 am (UTC)
Nope. Declawing is cruel. Let's assume the cat is fine but what if the cat gets out or you get a dog or you end up having to get rid of the cat? It will never be able to defend itself.
rainbowstevie
Aug. 5th, 2016 03:56 am (UTC)
I very much appreciate your flat-out nope! That's the kind of conviction I need. I didn't even think as far as having a second pet or the cat getting out.
eleigh
Aug. 5th, 2016 05:49 am (UTC)
Glad to help :)

Declawing a cat is purely to benefit the owner and I don't like it. If you give them plenty of things they're allowed to scratch on they will. When my cat was a kitten I didn't and she scratched up my bed and couch but when I finally wised up and got her cardboard scratch pads she started leaving my stuff alone. She hasn't tried to scratch my new couch at all and only occasionally touches the bed.
lieueitak
Aug. 3rd, 2016 03:39 am (UTC)
Admittedly, there are times when I probably fit a person's definition of "hysterical animal rights activist." But I think I can provide sound information without basting a pound of tofu in my tears (although this may be a long comment for which I apologize in advance).

A lot of people think that a cat claw is similar to a human nail, so I can see why someone would think it's a good idea to declaw. However, in cats, claws are part of the bone in each toe, so to remove a claw, you must amputate part of the cat's foot. In humans, this would be equivalent to be chopping off everything past your last knuckle. This procedure can be done in a few ways, and sometimes when people hear that it can be done through laser, they think that this is relatively painless and quick to heal. It's not. The only thing laser does is cut down on the amount of blood. And I guess it sounds cooler if there's a laser involved.

But the issues surrounding declawing are greater than the procedure itself, because any medical procedure can sound awful. I mean... C-sections? Sounds absolutely insane but pretty useful. So let's say you get your cat declawed. If the procedure goes wrong or if your cat's pain isn't adequately managed, this can lead to a lifetime of physical problems for the cat. Even if the procedure goes well though, you often get a bounty of other issues. Some cats will not want to use the litter box afterward, which makes sense if you think about putting your amputated limbs in cat litter. They may always be averse to the litter box after the surgery. Also, claws are a cat's mainline of defense. Without that, cats are quicker to bite, and cat mouths are dirtier than mine.

Now maybe if this was the only way to control a cat's scratching, I could understand taking the risk. But it's not. Scratching posts and nail caps (like Soft Paws) are great ways to manage a cat's desire to scratch. Other products exist to dissuade a cat from scratching particular areas. Declawing is to choose the most stressful, painful, and dangerous option without the promise of a happy cat at the end of it. I totally get not wanting to mess with a security deposit on an apartment, but I would much rather pay the extra $ when I move out than live with a quick-to-attack hellbeast that refuses to use the litter box.

So I would say you are valid in giving him the side eye here. If he's really intent on having a declawed cat though, I'd recommend adopting a cat that has already had the procedure done rather than putting a cat through the declawing so that he has a better idea going in on what the cat's personality will be.

... Yeah this comment was way too long. I'm sorry!
rainbowstevie
Aug. 5th, 2016 04:06 am (UTC)
Nah, you're nowhere near what I was thinking. I was thinking more like...YouTube comment levels and the knee-jerk accusations of animal cruelty that fly there.

And that is a great amount of info! I really appreciate it -- I thought there was something particularly awful involving bone -- plus the anti-scratching tips (I've never even heard of nail caps). The good news is that he has since apologized and explained he actually had no idea what declawing entailed and assumed it was a harmless/common owner preference like neutering. He is thoroughly convinced otherwise now.

Edited at 2016-08-05 04:13 am (UTC)
lieueitak
Aug. 10th, 2016 12:51 am (UTC)
Ah okay, I know exactly the type of animal rights asshole you are talking about. Some of them called me a dog killer once! Fun times.

Anyway, glad to hear your BF changed his mind once he realized what the procedure entailed. I've found that a lot of people just don't know what's involved, even here where it is illegal to have your cat declawed. Declawing doesn't have the same instant WTF quality to it that, say, de-barking a dog does. Glad it all worked out!
pianogurl330
Aug. 3rd, 2016 03:03 pm (UTC)
I agree with you! Maybe teach him the ways of how a clawed cat can function in an apartment. We have a scratch pad, a scratching post, and a toy that they love to scratch in our living room, thus they never have scratched the sofa or carpet. In the rare even they do we just tell them no & w/e is doing it will stop.

My grandma had a declawed cat because it was given to her that way, but I would never declaw a cat.
rainbowstevie
Aug. 5th, 2016 04:11 am (UTC)
Thanks -- I really appreciate the anti-destructive-scratching tips, since I 100% do not know these things myself (we had 2 cats when I was a kid and I don't remember them scratching anything or having any scratching posts, but they were also 5+ years old when I was born). At any rate, he has seen sense after being informed what declawing actually includes.
muzzy_olorea
Aug. 3rd, 2016 08:47 pm (UTC)
Declawing a cat is illegal in the UK and I think the majority of people here (including myself) find it horrific that it is commonly done in North America.
rainbowstevie
Aug. 5th, 2016 04:16 am (UTC)
No only not illegal here, but apparently legal for landlords to make it a condition of keeping a cat there, as I learned when calling the apartment manager that sparked this debate. You guys are streets ahead on animal laws.

But thanks for backing me up! This makes 5 strong against it and because he is a very reasonable and animal-loving human being, he has agreed that this sounds like a terrible thing he will not be pursuing.
( 12 comments — Leave a comment )

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