Cat Issues Help!

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by Hound dog, Jan 13, 2008.

  1. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    Okay, I'm not a big time cat owner. I've only had cats since we moved into this house 4 yrs ago. So you can probably fit what I know about them into a thimble.

    Bruce came to live with us a couple of months ago. (stay kitten) He is the most utterly SWEET cat I've ever been around. Soaks up affection like a sponge. Never hurts the grandkids even if they accidentally hurt him. Patient. Uses the litterbox without fail.

    Bruce would be perfect except for a few issues.

    His claws are SHARP. I mean razor sharp. Last night he was feeling neglected and decided to leap onto my lap at the computer. He didn't quite make it and out came the CLAWS. OMG did it hurt. (and I've got the puncture wounds to prove it) :surprise:

    This is a common thing. He's not doing it to be mean. But everyone in the family except the grandkids have battle wounds. lol And I'm afraid it's getting old fast.

    Issue two. Bruce is playful as heck. Don't need to buy him toys. He'll literally play with anything. Including my table cloth which he has shredded. (just discovered) The back of my computer chair. (he likes to pouce me) The couch.

    So long time cat owners.....HELP! /forums/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/why.gif

    Shadow our long time cat has never done this stuff. She just sleeps. lol

    I know I could get him declawed, but honestly I think that's a bit mean. lol Hurts me just to thing about it. Is there some other thing I could be doing to help at least curb the shredding of everything during his pouncing sessions???
  2. flutterbee

    flutterbee Guest

    Other than artfully placed throw blankets to cover the shredded spots, you mean? :rofl:

    The claws in the leg thing will get better with age. And so will the pouncing. When we first got Abbey, I was just one big scab from thigh to knee. She would jump in my lap by grabbing hold of my thighs cause she was too little to make it all the way up. They do use their claws less as they get older. Except for Baby Kitty. She scares me. But, she's got a few marbles missing, too. She's the exception to that rule.

    When I really needed to break Abbey from doing something, I would pick her up by the scruff of her neck (like her mother would do) and remove her from wherever she was. She didn't seem to return once I did that. At least not til the next day. LOL However, she's little. If he's too big, you could hurt him if you don't do it right.

    We get the cardboard kitty scratchers from Walmart. They come with catnip. We go through about 2 a month with 3 cats. They've really left the furniture alone a lot more since we got it.

    It's like having toddlers. You adjust to it, then go back to normal. Fortunately, that phase goes by faster in cats than in kids. :wink: I won't declaw either.
  3. mrscatinthehat

    mrscatinthehat Seussical

    Mine aren't declawed. I know that some people might not like this but a squirt bottle can work wonders if the kitty is doing something he is not supposed to. Squirt and then they stop doing it cuz they don't like the squirt. Doesn't hurt them. One of my cats on the other hand has no problem with water so that doesn't work for her but she isn't as onery.

    Age helps like Heather said also.

  4. meowbunny

    meowbunny New Member

    Definitely no to the declawing. It's not removing the claws, it's removing the toes! Literally.

    The leg punctures will lessen as the kitten gets older. You can trim the claws but be very careful to not hit the quick. The first time you do it, have a vet show you how. Now is the time to train your little fella to put up with having claws unsheathed and manhandled so that things can be done as necessary when he gets older. When he's sleeping, pick him up, turn him on his back, grab a paw and gently press the top of the claw to look at it. Do this for every claw. If he starts to play, say a sharp NO. You may have to hold his paw while looking at one at first. If necessary get someone to hold his head so he can't play bite. Do this a few times a day and he should get the message and will make it much easier to trim the claws when necessary.

    Ditto brushing teeth. Yes, you really can (and should) brush a cat's teeth. You can use a toothbrush, a finger cap or even an old, rough washcloth. There is special kitty toothpaste you can get at the pet store.

    I'm a firm believer in a squirt bottle or gun. Don't let the cat know it is coming but do say a sharp no when using.

    My cats are pretty well-behaved but they do have a tendency to run when they see the squirt bottle.
  5. Big Bad Kitty

    Big Bad Kitty lolcat

    Absolutely what MB said.

    Trimming the cat's claws was always a 2 person job when we had cats. So be it! Once you do it a couple times, there is nothing to it. Just don't cut to the quick. You can pretty much see it. And the squirt bottle works wonders.
  6. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    I never knew you could trim a cat's claws! Wonderful. :smile:

    Now, is it going to be much harder in a nearly grown kitten? Cuz Bruce was about 5-6 months old when he came to us. So he's anything but little. He's now the size of a full grown cat.

    I'll find me a squirt gun/bottle and look for that scratching pad thing at walmart.

    I didn't know they took the toes in declawing. :surprise:

    Nope declawing is not for me. Not when I have problems with tail docking on dogs. lol

    Thanks for the help!
  7. SRL

    SRL Active Member

    I have a feisty one like that. He was out of a feral mama and we had him since he was 2 weeks old. Around 10 weeks of age he turned into a mighty little hunter and attacked everything that moved....and a lot of things that didn't move. My legs looked like I'd been through a battle zone! Kids couldn't walk down the halls without being attacked and he could leap like crazy--nailed me in the behind with his REAR claws more than once. As he got older he was shredding dry wall, wallpaper, doors. Being an orphan, he was very oral and bitey too.

    Definitely not a lap cat but very social and nice to have around for company.

    I did some research and here are some tips on that:
    1) Never encourage the cat to play with hands, feet, etc. No hands, toys only. When he goes for feet, stop walking so there's no movement.
    2) Trim claws and there's a product called Soft Claws that is a nailcover attached by a strong adhesive.
    3) Get a scratcher if you don't have one.
    4) Neuter if you haven't already-it does tame down some males but unfortunately mine wasn't one of them.

    Our fella was so feisty that in the end we decided to do a front declaw, mostly out of concern for safety of kids and their friends. It was horrible and I will never, ever do that again to a cat. They called me the next day to pick him up early because he wasn't doing well--he was feral, lunging at the cage doors; they couldn't get near him even to get pain medications into him. Recovery took much longer than it should of and a month later we were still making calls and trips in. I had checked around with friends who assured me they never had problems but it was bad, bad news for my kitten!

    If it's any consolation, around one year of age he did start settling down. Ironically we never have to worry about safety for the kids--he's fine with kids but he does hiss at adults: grandma, my friends, the appliance repair man...
  8. saving grace

    saving grace New Member

    Here is a link to Soft Claws at PetSmart, they work, they are a pain to get on, your vet might help or the vet at the store might help for a small fee but they do work.

    Read the reviews on the site, its a great alternative to declawing, trimming the claws can help but they are still sharp.

  9. Star*

    Star* call 911

    If you de-claw a cat - you will more than likely end up with him NOT using the litterbox and using your beds to go bathroom. It's a proven fact - check any animal shelter. Most were dumped because the owner wanted a cat - but without all the cat equipment - which to me is redundant. It's like saying I want a horse - but without the hooves.

    As far as trimming - BEFORE you do this - it may be worth your while to put him in a cat carrier and take him to Petsmart or the vets and be SHOWN how to do it since you said you didn't even know you could do this. BECAUSE if you hit the quick - they can bleed to death.

    They do sell styptic powder if you accidentally hit the quick to stop the bleeding but it's not a guarantee. And you will need to find out which type of animal nail clippers work for you. Either the pliers kind or the squeeze kind.

    I only recommend trimming nails if your cat is an INSIDE ONLY animal. To put them outside with trimmed claws is leaving them without any defenses against animals that would otherwise hurt them and it stunts their ability to climb to safety.

    Beth had a good training idea about the water - but in a house full of difficult child's I can tell you it becomes a power trip to see who can soak the cat for doing little more than breathing, and you can end up with a cat that is freaked out about water and spt noises.
    If you do this - pick one person that does it, and put it on MIST not Squirt.

    Also - there needs to be PLENTY of things for them to scratch on. The best thing we've found is a circular dish with a ball that runs around the outside and corrugated cardboard that can be replaced in the center. Our cat thinks she's SHEBA queen of the cats when she scratches on it. A carpeted pole NEVER has the first scratch - but she LOVED the underside of our fancy furniture. ARGH - But then I think (AND WHO rescued the cat and brought her home? I did)

    Good Luck
  10. flutterbee

    flutterbee Guest

    <div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: Star*</div><div class="ubbcode-body"> The best thing we've found is a circular dish with a ball that runs around the outside and corrugated cardboard that can be replaced in the center. </div></div>

    That's what we have. They love it. We also got a little cube that has openings on 3 sides. It's in the kitty section, too. They love it when I put that next to the dish with the ball. They do sneak attacks on the ball from the cube. Like Wynter said...who needs tv? :rofl:

    Yeah, declawing is bad. They actually remove what would the equivalent to our first knuckle. It's painful, doesn't always heal right and prone to infection.

    I've never trimmed my cats nails. It's hard enough giving them a pill. I can't imagine doing the nails. :rofl:
  11. meowbunny

    meowbunny New Member

    Cats should always be indoor critters even if they totally disagree unless you live in a truly rural area and even then it's risky.

    Yours is still young enough to start training to trim the claws. As was said, do get someone to show you how to do it the first time. If you don't want to go that route, just be patient -- he will grow out of the clawing your leg stage.
  12. SRL

    SRL Active Member

    <div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: Star*</div><div class="ubbcode-body">Beth had a good training idea about the water - but in a house full of difficult child's I can tell you it becomes a power trip to see who can soak the cat for doing little more than breathing, and you can end up with a cat that is freaked out about water and spt noises.
    If you do this - pick one person that does it, and put it on MIST not Squirt.

    ...and hope that your cat doesn't like it. It worked about twice on ours then the wild little boy discovered he loved water. He'd scratch to get in the bathroom the moment he heard the shower turn on so he could stick his head in the spray.

    Once he jumped in the bathtub with me...but only once.
  13. Steely

    Steely Active Member

    I had a kitty like kitty ever. (I think I have mentioned that on here a million times :wink: Anyway, I would trim his talons with clippers. It worked amazing! Just clip the sharp points off his claws, and you will have a new kitty.
    Just don't let him go outdoors, because he will be unable to climb a tree or defend himself.
  14. Star*

    Star* call 911


    I was looking for the "how to trim a cats nails" email for you and basically it had something to do with

    You take a valium, have a drink - Papoose the cat - papoose the cat , papoose the cat, papoose the cat - forget the cat, have another drink...

    Something like that. Our kitten is feral - and she comes in to get social, she's been spayed, has her shots, wears her tags - and never wanders off the property. There's enough for her to do here. But I did get her in the habit of being bathed and trimming her nails. I used the plier type for her and she doesn't like it - but I just take the hooks off the ends when she can't get on the furniture (dog and cat chair) without snagging her paws.

    I could still take a valium when i have to deal with her - lol. All the yowling and mrowoooooowing SO pitiful.
  15. Sue C

    Sue C Active Member

    <div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:</div><div class="ubbcode-body"> If you de-claw a cat - you will more than likely end up with him NOT using the litterbox and using your beds to go bathroom. It's a proven fact - check any animal shelter. Most were dumped because the owner wanted a cat - but without all the cat equipment - which to me is redundant. </div></div>

    I know that all of you say it is inhumane to declaw a cat, but my declawed deceased cat who was 17-1/2 years old and my present declawed cat who is 14 have ALWAYS used their litterboxes. So your statement about them not using their litterboxes being a proven fact just is not true. My mom's cats are 14 and 16, and they are declawed and have always used their litterboxes. Same with my mother-in-law's cat who lived to about 14. And both my sisters' cats (one has 2 and the other has 4).

    I had my first cat declawed because he jumped into Angela's crib, and I wasn't about to have my baby scratched up. The cat was 4 years old at the time. He got through the declawing surgery with no problem. Same with my present cat.

    I don't think declawing a cat is the worst thing in the world.
  16. meowbunny

    meowbunny New Member

  17. Star*

    Star* call 911

    Okay let me start over - I volunteer in an no-kill animal shelter. We get a lot of people who drop off teenaged and adult cats citing that they have stopped using the litter box. Over 1/2 of the cats we get in the shelter are dumped and of that 75% dumped are declawed. When you ask the owner why the animal is being turned in without claws - every single person I have spoken with has said because it stopped using the litter box and started using other places for the toilet.

    We also have clawed cats and de-clawed cats there that ARE able to use the litter box and didn't develop any behavioral problems. But it's the #1 reason in our shelter cats are dumped by owners.

    Sorry for the mis-quote. In the article below it shows how the toes are cut off. And there is a statement that says 15.4% of cats that are operated on develop problems.

    In no way was I referring to people who have their cats declawed - but when you work at the animal orphanage - you hear it all day long and it just makes you sad that they wanted a cat, got a cat, had it's claws removed, and then dumped the cat. They are the same people who think animals are disposable - and will turn right around and want to adopt a kitten! It makes me so mad I could spit. Until we got a computer - and a list of people who couldn't re-adopt - these people would drop off a declawed cat thinking that it was just 'this cat' and then adopt a kitten in a months time - OR get a kitten somewhere else - and then declaw it - same problem and back to the no-kill shelter to dump another animal. It's very sad to me. Hope this explains my point better. Sorry for misunderstanding.

    Psychological & Behavioral Complications

    Some cats are so shocked by declawing that their personalities change. Cats who were lively and friendly have become withdrawn and introverted after being declawed. Others, deprived of their primary means of defense, become nervous, fearful, and/or aggressive, often resorting to their only remaining means of defense, their teeth. In some cases, when declawed cats use the litterbox after surgery, their feet are so tender they associate their new pain with the box...permanently, resulting in a life-long adversion to using the litter box. Other declawed cats that can no longer mark with their claws, they mark with urine instead resulting in inappropriate elimination problems, which in many cases, results in relinquishment of the cats to shelters and ultimately euthanasia. Many of the cats surrendered to shelters are surrendered because of behavioral problems which developed after the cats were declawed.

    Risk factors for relinquishment of cats to an animal shelter:

    * "Among 218 cats relinquished to a shelter, more (52.4%) declawed cats than non-declawed cats (29.1%) were reported by owners to have inappropriate elimination problems."

    Source: World Small Animal Veterinary Association - 2001

    The incidence of behavior problems following onychectomy in cats; two months to five years (median 11.5 months) after surgery:

    * "(33%) developed at least one behavior problem.
    * "(17.9%) had an increase in biting habits or intensity."
    * "(15.4%) would not use the litter box"

    Source: World Small Animal Veterinary Association - 2001

    Many declawed cats become so traumatized by this painful mutilation that they end up spending their maladjusted lives perched on top of doors and refrigerators, out of reach of real and imaginary predators against whom they no longer have any adequate defense.
    A cat relies on its claws as its primary means of defense. Removing the claws makes a cat feel defenseless. The constant state of stress caused by a feeling of defenselessness may make some declawed cats more prone to disease. Stress leads to a myriad of physical and psychological disorders including supression of the immune system, cystitis and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)..
  18. flutterbee

    flutterbee Guest

    That makes a lot of sense. When I worked at a vet clinic and people would complain of their cat not using the litter box - just suddenly peeing all over the house - the first thing we checked for was a Urinary Tract Infection (UTI). The reason being, they associate the pain with WHERE they are going - not with the going. It's the same principle.

    When Abbey got sick at 11 weeks old from kidney failure, that's exactly what she did. Just kept trying to pee all over the place. Fortunately, I was able to recognize it and get her to the emergency vet.

    After working in the vet clinic, I could never declaw a cat. Seeing them the next morning with bloody bandages on their feet and in obvious pain - holding first one foot in the air, then the other because it hurt to stand on them - broke my heart everytime. At that time, I didn't know what was involved in the procedure.
  19. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    A water bottle is a good training tool. If at all possible it should only be used by an adult or well trained kiddo who knows WHEN to use it so it stays effective. Use a squirt with a sharp-voiced "NO!" each time you see the behavior. You may have to keep the water bottle or squirt gun with you at all times. If the cat likes the "squirt" then try "mist" or vice versa. If he likes both, grab him by the scruff if you can and put him under a faucet. Usually ends water liking for a while, making the squirt gun more effective.

    The vet who lives next door to us swears by declawing. The University Vet school will do it, but strongly recommends against it. Each person who owns a cat seems to have strong reasons why it does or does not work.

    We have never needed to declaw a cat. We speak to our cats as though they understand us because they certainly seem to. The Vet School at the University has told me that you can put 1 teaspoon of VINEGAR in 1 quart of water and spray the cat with this solution. It is a very mild solution but has a little bit of sting to it. Not sure if it works.

    For the first declawing please have someone who knows how show you what to do. It is very easy to cut too much off. If you don't have someone to show you, cut just a tiny bit off, enough to blunt the claw.

    I have a wierd routine with Miss Gracie Lou Freebush. She has a bathroom thing. MUST go in with husband or I if we use ours. She was kept in there when we first brought her home, so I think she sees it as "her" room.

    I go in and sit on the potty. Miss Gracie comes in and I close the door before she wanders out.

    I pick her up and hold her, telling her I am just going to trim a bit of toenail off. I have clippers in there just for her (regular nail clippers, but colored so husband and I don't use them, or dishwash them if we accidentally do).

    I wrap one arm around her and grab a paw. I gently push each nail out and nip off just the end.

    After ONE paw I put her down.

    She then gets a special treat from a special can. It is hard to remember what kind I put in the jar, but usually it is just a different dry cat food (she hates the moist treats and most cat treats).

    Then I wash hands and go out and put her catnip on the scratching post.

    It usually takes a day to get the front paws and a day for the back as I only do one paw at a time. It seems to be our special thing.

    Many times we have used 1/4 of a benadryl caplet to calm a cat down so we could do nails with-o needing stitches (we have always had at least one cat). Check with the vet about this, each cat is different.

    Around here to have the vet clip toenails ranges from $4 per paw to $30 total. Sometimes you want to call around, sometimes you don't.

    Hope this helps.

  20. Big Bad Kitty

    Big Bad Kitty lolcat

    I'm going to oversimplify things.

    20 years ago, nobody knew that it was bad to smoke around your kids. So everyone did it.

    20 years ago, the solution to in tact furniture in the same house as a kitty was to declaw them.

    We grow and learn as a society. You get funny looks if you smoke around your kid now. Why? Because we know better. It is harmful. So is too much polution and too much waste. So we try to cut down.

    We know better about cat's claws. Claws and fingers are not separate features on a cat. It is very painful to a cat to have their fingertips amputated. Personalities and kitty litter aside, that's about as cruel in my humble opinion as clipping dog's ears and tails.

    There is an alternate way to care for a cat with claws, and that is to trim them. And for gosh sakes, the cat otherwise takes care of itself. Small price to pay for a happy cat.