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Unread 02-14-2010   #1 (permalink)
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Default Soft Paws/nail trimming on agressive cat

When my cat was a kitten, he allowed me to trim and even apply Soft Paws with no problem. As he got bigger (16 lbs and VERY strong!), he seemed to know I couldn't handle him anymore and no longer allows me (or anyone!) to touch his feet. He is a very calm and loving cat, until you go to touch his paws in any way. I started having the vet do it, although he still put up a huge fight, somehow they got it done.
We moved into a new house last year in a different city and had to take him to a new vet and they are just unable to handle this task. They try everything, covering him with a towel, muzzling him, 2 people holding him down, but the restraint tactics seem to make him worse. He turns into a ferocious beast sounding like a wild animal and starts lashing out in anyway he can to get free. It really is scary to see him like that! They can do shots, weight him, examine him, anything but once they start on the Soft Paws, all bets are off. They finally had to sedate him the last time to do it which I hated. If the caps lasted longer (they do stay on several months at least) and they only had to do it once a year, it might not be so bad, but I can't see putting him out 3-4 times a year. It just seems unsafe since he's 8 years old now.
Now it will be more important than ever to get the Soft Paws on regularly since I am about to have a baby and I don't want to chance my cat scratching her, even though I'm sure it would be an accident as he doesn't normally scratch people. But he's very attached to me, so I am unsure what will happen when baby gets here?
I am desperate for advice of anything I can try other than sedating him every time. I don't want to have to declaw him, especially since he's older. I also don't want to have to get rid of him because he's my first baby Anything else I can try?
Thanks!!
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Unread 02-15-2010   #2 (permalink)
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Well, is it really necessary? I mean, you say your cat doesn't scratch people, and if it happened it would be by accident. Sounds like maybe you just assume the claws must be taken care of, like they are a dangerous weapon. It also sounds like he has a very real fear of being restrained and having his feet touched. Could the procedure have ever caused him pain in past, which he remembers?

I understand where you're coming from. I have 2 young children, ages 7 and 3. We had cats all during the time they were born and little. I must say, I rarely even bother to clip their nails. One time my daughter tripped on a cat, and got her leg scratched. It was no big deal. And one time my son pulled some fur out, and got a small warning on his arm. Also, no big deal and I would rather have him learn that lesson than for a cat to be defensless with a naughty child!

I guess what I'm saying is, only you know your cat. Most are trustworthy with kids. If your cat is actually dangerous, that's another story. Educate yourself on declawing, cats' claws, how they're used and why they're needed, too.

It just happens I wrote about this very thing yesterday. It's a big decision. You can check it out at: Maine Coon Cat Declawing

Good luck, and congratulations on your upcoming new addition!
~Carrie~
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