Most of you people simply don’t seem to get it. You don’t get that declawing IS INHUMANE to the cat. There are very very VERY few circumstances where I will be understanding of such a procedure.
I hear people say “well either the claws go or the cat goes” and that has got to be the dumbest fucking argument I’ve ever heard. You are the one who chooses what happens to your cat. You CHOOSE to declaw, just as you would CHOOSE to abandon if you couldn’t declaw. You are not forced to get rid of a cat, or any animal, you’re choosing to do so. So don’t bother with such a stupid argument and stop blaming the cat for your failure to be compassionate.
And secondly, I don’t give even half a shit how expensive your house or furniture is. All cats can be trained to claw only appropriate items. My house is made of wood. A wood that is so expensive and so rare you either can’t find it, or you probably can’t afford it. However, we are not rich by any stretch. It wasn’t so expensive 60 years ago when my grandparents built the house. Not to mention, we have wood floors, grandfather clocks, complete wood dining room sets, and very very expensive club speakers. And guess what? None of it is clawed or even has any mark on it.
And no, you cannot say “oh well you’re lucky your cats are normal and can be trained.. No, two of them are not normal. One was rescued from a disgusting house when he was a kitten. We got him when he was 5 weeks old, covered with fleas, and not socialized. But guess what? He doesn’t claw anything but what he’s supposed to. The other one, I got when he was already a year and a half old, and he was basically locked in a basement half the time. And when he wasn’t locked up, he was out destroying the previous owners house. But, oh wait, he doesn’t claw anything now!
And I’m sorry, but, as hard as I try, I find human medical conditions to still be a poor reason to mutilate an animal. Declawing is banned in the UK. But hey, I’m sure nobody is old, frail, on blood thinners, or anything of the manner there, right? And all of their cats are just magically good with their claws from birth? Yeah right. People from the United States and Canada are just spoiled and selfish. And this is coming from a Canadian. When somebody says no, you cry and stomp your feet and yell and whine.
You people are ridiculous. I’m normally quite peaceful about this subject, state my case and leave it at that, but seriously, the subject of animal cruelty is just not up for debate. Don’t mutilate. It’s that simple. So stop being a whiney brat and think about what you’re doing. And if you’re going to do it anyway? Well then shame on you. But at least admit you’re an uncaring, selfish person.
End of rant. Good day tumblr.
So I was looking at the declaw tagged posts on tumblr, and I’m noticing that this debate has died down a lot. When the debate was huge on the internet, it seems that if I looked at the tags, they were active and there were many anti-declaw posts. Now it seems, if there are any new posts at all, it’s about people planning to declaw their cats. What the fuck happened? I saw so many posts and people seemed so passionate about stopping it, and now there’s nothing. Come on people, don’t start what you can’t finish. Obviously this isn’t directed at everyone, but it seems a lot of people who once claimed to be passionate about banning declawing everywhere, now don’t speak of it anymore or even seem to care.
Jackson Galaxy, cat behaviorist, and has the show “My Cat From Hell” speaks out on declawing. Seriously pro-declawers. HOW MUCH MORE PROOF DO YOU NEED!?
Is definitely what I am and it has payed off. Here’s my random story of the day.
My friend got 450 dollars stolen from her about… April..ish? A long time ago. And her Mom decided to have a shit fit about it and go way over the top in her punishment.. Even though she shouldn’t really have been punished because she didn’t do anything wrong. Anyways she’s still being punished to this day.. Hence why I now have one of her cats. Her Mom decided that her two cats need to go so I now have one of them.
My cat whispering/training/whatever-you-want-to-call-it skills have definitely payed off because when we brought the new cat into the house, my three boys payed absolutely no attention to him whatsoever. They instantly welcomed him to the family. So problems at all. However.. The new cat, was not to easy going. He was hissing and growling and lunging and just was not happy. The night he came here my friend spent the night because she was all worried about him. He still wasn’t doing too well the whole time she was here. That was Monday, and Tuesday I wasn’t able to be home, so I couldn’t work with him. So I come home today, and literally spent maybe 15 minutes tops with him and he is now playing and showing stomach to my three cats.
That was my story of the day. Cat whispering skills = Successfully paying off.
Also I’m really happy with how my boys reacted because that means I can foster cats. I’ve wanted to foster them for awhile now, and now I know I can. Woo.
I also like to think this is more proof that cats don’t need to be declawed. My cats have all their claws and this new cat has all of his claws.. And with a little time and effort they are all perfectly fine.
Here’s my long overdue post about cat training. I’ll give you the best advice I can over the computer. I could help more in person, but that’s simply not an option. Feel free to ask me about certain scenarios if you need help with a certain problem, and I will reply to you personally in your ask. It’s going to be a long post, and it’ll be divided into categories.
Firstly, I strongly believe that like dogs, cat owners should be recognized by their cats as alpha. Or at the very least, they should be respected by their cats. And I also believe you must understand the basics of cat psychology. Cat’s don’t understand human psychology, so it is up to the human to learn how to communicate with the cat in a language he/she can understand. Here are some basic behaviors and their meanings.
Tails: Tail swishing/flicking can mean a few things. Most people think it is only to convey frustration/discontent. Which personally I don’t believe to be true. It can also mean excitement, and over stimulation.
Tip of the tail ‘flicks’ usually mean frustration/discontent. Example: you’re petting kitty for a long time and the tail starts flicking, it usually means your cat is saying, alright I’m bored with this please stop. If you don’t, it’ll turn into swishing wag type motion, which means your cat is really telling you to stop whatever you’re doing. This may also be accompanied by ears slightly flattened facing backwards, but it may not. If you don’t recognize the signs, this could lead to aggression.
Tail ‘vibrations’ are usually over stimulation or means they’re VERY excited. Very excited isn’t bad, but can get frustrating if it happens to often, and over stimulation WILL be frustrating to your cat, so try and avoid that. I find my cats tails vibrate usually when they see a bird or something and can’t get it. They’re excited and are releasing the excitement. Very fast, almost whipping back and forth tail wags also mean a very high level of excitement.
A cat with his/her tail straight up in the air is a good sign as long as it’s not fluffed up. It means they’re content or feeling friendly.
A tail that’s flat down can mean they’re not comfortable with a situation and are observing because they’re unsure about whatever the situation may be.
Ear positions: Ears say A LOT about how a cat is feeling. Straight forward and perky is focus/excitement. Ears relaxed forward or slightly to the side but still forward is a relaxed and happy cat. Back (but not flat) and perky, almost strained looking, can be a very high level of excitement and listening in on something behind them. I find that frequently when a cat looks like this and is still, they’ll shortly take off and run around like an idiot. It’s not a bad thing. It’s just excitement or something has caught their attention. Ears back and mostly flattened (but not completely flat against the head) can be aggression. This can be accompanied by dilated pupils and obviously hissing or growling. They’ll have a very intense stare as well. Ears back and completely flat against the head is a defensive position. They’re protecting their ears in case of an attack.
Eyes: Cats have very expressive eyes. Even just they way they look at things says a lot. Eyes, ears, and tail positioning can say more than words ever could with a cat. Dilated pupils can mean a few things. Obviously if it’s dark the pupils will be large. It can also mean they are scared, frustrated, uncertain, or aggressive. If the eyes are wide open, it probably means they’re excited and/or focused. Relaxed half open eyes can mean they’re content, or they’re simply tired. A slow blink at you can mean affection and/or acceptance.
Scratching: A lot of people don’t understand scratching. A cats claws are for more than self defense. They’re for scent marking, which is a vital form of communication, especially for a multiple cat household, exercise, defense, and grooming. The exercise aspect of a cats claws is absolutely necessary for a cat. One of the reasons I’m against declawing. They latch their claws into something, and pull down, back, or in whatever direction they choose to pull. It stretches the muscles, tones the muscles, relaxes and stretches the joints, tendons, ligaments, it helps for relaxation and even muscle building. And obviously for self defense in case kitty decides to escape. Which they do. A lot.
General posture: A cats body position along with everything else listed says a lot. Showing stomach is a big thing. It means total relaxation and trust. The best hello a kitty can give you is to roll over on it’s back to greet you. If your kitty does this or ever has done this to you, kudos. You’ve really gained your cats trust. The only body positions you really have to be wary of is a cat with it’s back arched, glaring up at you, or being backed up into a corner glaring at you. These can mean aggression, fear, uncertainty, anxiety, discomfort, etc.
I also want to state one more thing that will be relevant, if you discipline a cat and he/she avoids eye contact and tries to simply walk away, that is a GOOD thing. Your cat is being submissive and saying he/she isn’t looking for a fight. It’s respect. Don’t confuse it with how a dog acts while being disciplined.
Alright. We’ve got basic cat posturing/communication down. If you need more specifics, feel free to ask me or about it.
Time to get down to some training techniques. I recommend that if you skipped the above part, to seriously read it. It may be long, but you NEED to understand some cat psychology to have any sort of success with the training.
Scratching: Which is a big thing that people have an issue with. IT CAN BE FIXED. Scratching is a natural behavior. You can’t train a cat simply to not scratch. They need to do it, and it’s hard wired into their brains. There are SO many things you can do to work with this. The obvious things like spray bottles and things like that work, but they’re a quick fix if you don’t use it as well as train to scratch in a certain place. You can’t just use the spray bottle. They’ll just keep going to other places to scratch. Probably places you don’t want them to scratch. Here is how I got my cats to not scratch things they shouldn’t. Firstly, training takes time. As it will with any living creature. Personally, I bought my cats a scratching post. Nothing fancy, but it’s got two landing/perch areas, sisal, and carpet on it. Simple and cheap. You could make one if you really wanted too. I also played with them on/around it and put catnip on it. When I saw them scratching it I’d reward with with affection, love, etc. When I saw them trying to scratch the wrong thing, I did a variety of things. Often, a simple stern no, along with eye contact, will do the trick. This can be paired up with the spray bottle. Sometimes, if they were feeling very defiant, I would go over there and ‘claim’ the area. Gently push them away with my foot. They’d usually stare at me in the eyes (this is dominance if you’re disciplining an animal). So, I’d stare them back. When they looked away, I’d walk away. End of story. However, sometimes if I were to get up and move them out of the way, they’d keep going back and trying to scratch. All I’d do then, is keep blocking them from the area, and keep moving them away from the area until they WALK AWAY all on their own. Guide them with your foot away from it, and as soon as they stop resisting, stop pushing. You’ll probably have to do it a couple times before they give up and simply walk away. To make it even easier, though it may not look so nice, you can put double sided sticky tape on the areas they really like to scratch. Cat’s don’t like to step on sticky things. So sticky tape, spray bottles, a stern voice, and being calm and assertive, will do the trick. If for whatever reason your cat simply will NOT give it up, either use soft paws/soft claws, keep your cats nails trimmed and filed, and if you can’t do it, get your vet, a groomer, or a friend to do it for you. SO many alternatives. If you have any questions, feel free to send me an ask. If you have a situation and would like some one-on-one advice which I will obviously customize to fit your unique situation, again, feel free to send me an ask.
Hyperactivity: The only thing I can really say about working with a hyper active cat is to try and drain some of that energy. Play with your cat. Get him/her some exercise! If you don’t try and drain the energy, you could end up with some problems. Aggression towards other household members, which isn’t really aggression, it’s just a release of pent up energy. They can end up running around all over the place, jumping all over things, breaking things, and just completely disrupting everything. Help your kitty calm down a little and join in on the playing.
Counters: I don’t think anyone really wants animals on the kitchen counters. You can work with a cat on this in a very similar way to the scratching. Just make sure to follow through and make sure the cat isn’t focused on jumping back on the counter. Whether it be kitty laying on the floor totally relaxed or leaving the room, just make sure kitty is being submissive. Not fearful.. Submissive.
Food mooching: This is one I personally have a big issue with. I guess it’s just a bit of a pet peeve. But it’s mainly just being assertive and claiming you food. Staring at your cat until he/she looks away, kind of ‘hunching’ over your food (cats claim their food by almost laying on it with their paws around it and having the food piece almost right under their chest). I’m not going to elaborate too much into this one since I seem to be the only person that is really irritated by cats (or dogs) mooching, but if you’re having an issue with it let me know.
If there’s something I didn’t cover that you need help with, just send me an ask, and I’ll do my best to help you.
Alright. I’ve posted plenty of posts about declawing and the facts and my opinions on how I disagree with it. Well here’s another one that I have failed to mention previously.
Some people simply will not own cats that are not declawed. So, if you are that way, instead of buying a kitten that has claws and declawing it later, rescue a cat that was previously declawed. The damage has been done to that cat and can not be fixed or reversed. Instead of making another cat lose his claws when there are plenty of declawed cats in shelters, just get one from a shelter. Not only are you getting a declawed cat, but you are rescuing an animal. And it is one less cat that would be declawed by you. Some (very very few) do recover from the surgery without negative effects. Though I still disagree with it, and think the possible negative effects are not worth the gamble, I realize that some people are just not willing to change that opinion and will always declaw their cats. So seriously, just go to a shelter and save a cat that’s already declawed. Maybe it won’t be a kitten, but cats aren’t kittens for long anyways.
I still think no cat should ever be declawed. I have three. And I have had them since they were kittens. I have grown up with cats (all of which had their claws) and if you understand the psychology and are willing to put in the effort to work on scratching habits, you have have a successful life, saved furniture, and a cat that’s able to keep his/her claws. One of my cats, Frost, was taken away from his mother at a very early age, and before we got him, was in a disgusting house and was completely covered in fleas when we got him. Since he was taken away from his mother too early, he has suffered some psychological effects from it. He’s “off” and harder to train. He also does not understand (since he was never really exposed to it) that the grabbing the scruff of the neck means to settle down. Grabbing the scruff of the neck is something mother cats do to their kittens when they want them to behave, or when they want to carry them somewhere. Frost, instead, sprawls out and squirms. BUT, with a lot of hard work and determination, and understanding cat psychology, he has been trained to do multiple things. He sits, he knows what down means (I use this when he’s feeling defiant and jumps on the counters which he knows he shouldn’t be doing), and most of all, he knows not to scratch the furniture. Same with the other two. They both know what sit, means, down means, and wait means. Simon also knows how to politely ask to be let out of a room when the door is closed. They also do not scratch the furniture. It really is very easy to train cats, but it takes time. And they don’t do it just because you said so. They need something in return. That something could be as simple as a treat, or a minute of affection and praise. I trained them with food, love and affection, praise, and play. The sit and wait was the easiest because if I do not finish my food or there is left over sauce, I’ll give it to the cats. They’re probably going to eat it anyways unless I rinse it out right away, so I figured this was a good opportunity to train them with it. I do think if you’re not willing to put in the time to train or work with your cat, then you shouldn’t have one. It only takes 5 or 10 minutes a day. Even every other day is fine. Cats have a short term memory span of about 20 hours. In comparison, dogs have a short term memory span of about 5 to 10 minutes.
A little bit of a long post here, but I figured maybe someone would read this and view it as an alternative solution, but you still get your delcawed cat. Most shelter cats also come spayed or neutered anyways.
By posting this in no way am I saying that delcawing is acceptable, but some people refuse to open their minds or try the alternatives. I still vote for soft paws, training, nail trimming, or double sided tape as alternatives to declawing and I will always stand by this. I don’t even need the soft paws, and I don’t need to constantly trim my cats nails because they don’t scratch things they shouldn’t be scratching anyways, so I’m not worried about them getting sharp. I have yet to get a severe cut from any of my cats, (including my childhood cats). I have only suffered minor accidental scrapes. Generally from picking them up and they adjust themselves to get comfortable and I lose my grip or something so they flinch and a nail gets me.
Also, to put a little more light on how easy training is if you’re good with your animals and understand how the brain works, I am young. If a young person can do it with ease, I’m sure you can too. Your cat will thank you for it. And I will too.