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post #1 of 76 (permalink) Old 01-28-2010, 12:55 PM Thread Starter
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Small, Almost Microscopic Rant

A couple thoughts have been building up in me over the months, and I’ve reached the point where I might implode if I don’t express them. Friendly debate is welcome.

First, I hate the thought of declawing as much as the next person (and the next person, and the next person….) I would never have a cat declawed, although I must admit that I’ve purposely adopted two declawed cats from the local SPCA. Here’s the thing. There have been a lot of comments on here about behavioral and health problems people can expect to have with declawed cats. They’re biters; they’re going to have health problems later on; they’re going to get arthritis; etc. I would hate to think we’re successful in warning people off adopting declawed cats from shelters. If I had been warned off, I’d never have gotten to know our Murphy, the happy, glowingly healthy orange goofball who keeps his teeth to himself and has brightened our house since the minute we got him home. And sure, he may have health problems in the future, like every other cat may. I just fear for all those cats in cages in shelters, who for absolutely no fault of their own, are considered a bad risk and may not be adopted because of it.

Second, I have a lot of respect for people with multiple cats. They’re willingly taking on much more work and expense to keep more cats out of shelters. More power to them. There does seem to a bias against single cat households, but not usually from the standpoint of the owner’s experience. Do you have any idea how much easier it is to have one cat? Half the entries in the Behavior section I can just ignore, because they’re problems that don’t apply to single cats. When I find vomit on the rug, I know exactly who did it. When I find poop just outside the box, I know exactly who did it. If I smelt it, Murphy dealt it. When Murphy goes to the vet, I don’t have to go through another introduction process when we get home. No one picks on anyone; no one is going to bully him when he gets sick; no one eats his food when he’s not looking. There are arguments to be made that multiple cats provide a better experience for the cats, but owners' experience counts too.


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post #2 of 76 (permalink) Old 01-28-2010, 01:43 PM
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Re: Small, Almost Microscopic Rant

Well I definitely agree with you on the declawing issues - I'm actually more likely to consider adopting an adult cat that's already been declawed, particularly if it's four-paw, simply because I know I'm not going to let that cat go outside and I WILL take the time to work with it patiently if it gets a little nippy. I know there are plenty of perfectly delightful declawed cats out there, so as long as I have an opportunity to spend time with the cat I certainly wouldn't write it off for being short a few claws. After all, it's not the cat's fault someone hacked off its first line of defense and then dumped it in a shelter!!!

And I have certainly had many times where having just one cat would have been nice, as far as knowing who did it! I think there's something to be said for having one kitty to shower all your love on, and I've seen that many single-cat owners really develop a special bond with their cat. I totally believe it's up to the person AND the cat, as some people and some cats just do better in a more solitary environment. Even though I have two, it does bug me when I see people insisting that you need more than one - mine are sisters I would never have considered splitting them up, but if it hadn't been the sisters it would have been a single cat with a solitary nature.

I think these are both issues where you'll never get everyone to agree, and you have to just sigh and accept that some people will always try to shove their opinions down everyone else's throat. We'd probably have more newbies stick around if people would be more interested in providing information rather than condemning loving owners who just want to ask a question.

~Diana, happy mom to Fern and Fergie
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post #3 of 76 (permalink) Old 01-28-2010, 01:45 PM
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Re: Small, Almost Microscopic Rant

technically that was 2 mini rants

The last time people tried to elimate free roaming cats it resulted in The Black Plague.
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post #4 of 76 (permalink) Old 01-28-2010, 02:06 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Small, Almost Microscopic Rant

Duly noted, two mini-rants.

Diana, I totally agree with your comments about adopting declawed cats. The thought of someone doing this awful physical thing to them, and then them not being adopted because of it, is just too much injustice to even contemplate.


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post #5 of 76 (permalink) Old 01-28-2010, 02:35 PM
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Re: Small, Almost Microscopic Rant

I can definitely see your point, well...points, lol.

I have no issue with people adopting de-clawed cats. In fact as long as the cat will be indoor only I suggest it. (If you want a de-clawed cat that is). The part that bothers me is when someone buys a perfectly good kitten then get's it de-clawed. At the shelter near me that cats have to be completely stress free in any environment (basically) to be considered adoptable. (...not a fan of my local humane society...) So even if they have been de-clawed the ones who got behavioral issues from it have been weeded out. Therefore at my shelter that's a non-issue.

I talked to a woman and her husband the other day who had just bought an adorable little kitten. She was the sweetest thing! I suggested they get a scratch post, and the woman replied "No, we don't need one. She's going to be de-clawed." So I told her about my four kitty house and how they politely keep their claws to themselves. She didn't care. The kitten is getting de-clawed. End of discussion. I walked off because I couldn't deal with her without screaming... I disagree with THAT. IMO if you want a de-clawed cat get one that has already been de-clawed. Don't get a kitten with the intention of never giving it a chance.

End of my rant...sorry for the hijack October...

As for the multiple kitty thing. I agree with you. Many kitties are perfectly happy as a single cat. We have one at work in our adoption center that MUST be the only queen in her castle, lol. Even people getting a kitten I don't think a second cat should be required, depending on the personality. If the kitten is to be a child's pet and will have someone to spend loads of time with it then it won't need another playmate.

I do enjoy my many kitty house, but I also feel that it's not for everyone. I know my parents would feel overwhelmed by more than their one kitty, and I know many people who should only have one pet...if that. If you only have the time or resources for one cat, or even if you don't want more than one, I don't think that's a problem. However if the cat is going to be alone for huge stretches at a time, is a kitten or cat that would be a good mix with a friend, and if the person can support more than one kitty then why not. But IMO it's not a requirement.

(Side-note. Sorry if there's any typos, I think I got them all. Doran wanted to 'help' me type. lol)
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post #6 of 76 (permalink) Old 01-28-2010, 02:48 PM
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Re: Small, Almost Microscopic Rant

Yep, I agree with both your points, Holly, particularly the single cat issue. There is a bias against people with single cats which I can find a little frustrating. Toby is more than happy to be as he is - he doesn't need a friend. He has me and he has his daddy. I'd imagine another cat would just cause him stress.

People may have noticed (or may not ) that I don't post half as much as I used to*.This is partly due to the forceful way some people come across - and there have been quite recent examples I remember where newbies have been blasted and then never return. Thats never good!

* dont worry, I'm not disappearing completely, indeed I still check the forum daily. I'm just more cautious now!
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post #7 of 76 (permalink) Old 01-28-2010, 03:30 PM
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Re: Small, Almost Microscopic Rant

I'll reply to each of your rants seperately

I just had to sit through having a coworker tell me that he was having 6 kittens spayed and declawed two weeks ago on the same day my cat was being respayed. I only found out about the declawing becausing I had asked him about the cost since he was having so many spayed simultaneously. When he told me $600 each and added that it was that expensive because he was also having each declawed I think I surpressed any noticable cringe. I though he was a great guy for rescuing so many kittens but couldn't believe anyone that comitted to cats would have them declawed.

When I first joined the forum I was just introducing my second cat to my first and after a few weeks I didn't think it was going to work and I posted about that here and some people came back very supportively saying "Don't feel guilty, sometimes it doesn't work and yes you may have to return the second cat" so I'm surprised that single catters would feel discriminated against here.

I haven't even felt any discrimination here despite having admitted that my cats are currently on a dry-only diet. They have stronger wills than I do but I'll be taking up that battle in a few weeks after the drama of Fay's surgery has worn off.

The last time people tried to elimate free roaming cats it resulted in The Black Plague.
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post #8 of 76 (permalink) Old 01-28-2010, 03:38 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Small, Almost Microscopic Rant

Dave, "discriminated against" may be too strong a phrase, and I must say that bias against single cats also comes from stuff I've read. Several web sites said that having a single cat is now illegal in Switzerland! Like it's some kind of animal abuse.

Lots of people have said things about cats needing a buddy, someone to play with, "I could never have just one," etc. That's their experience, which is great, but I think we should leave room for the category of "happily single." Hey, speaking of that, we should have a category of "happily single" for people too! I know we have lots of them here (but I digress).

By the way, these stories about people getting kittens declawed are very sad.


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post #9 of 76 (permalink) Old 01-28-2010, 03:55 PM
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Re: Small, Almost Microscopic Rant

Rut-Rho. I wish I had never Googled Switzerland cats.

The last time people tried to elimate free roaming cats it resulted in The Black Plague.
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post #10 of 76 (permalink) Old 01-28-2010, 03:56 PM
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Re: Small, Almost Microscopic Rant

RANT #1: I've adopted 2 declawed cats over the years -- Gabriel was COMPLETELY unfazed by his declawing (even though he had mild cerebellar hypoplasia so his balance was already poor and the lack of claws made that a much more serious problem for him). Lincoln was a biter and it took me 2 years before he really trusted me. There is no way of knowing how much of that was related to his being declawed and how much was b/c people played w/ him w/ their hands when he was a kitten and then got upset when it hurt (duh!) and punished him.

I've certainly never heard anyone recommend against adopting a declawed kitty! The only time I do so, honestly, is if the family has small children. Declawed cats are usually more defensive (for obvious reasons) and if they are cornered or mishandled, are more likely to bite than cats w/ claws. Adults/older kids can understand this and amend their behavior; small children can't, and there's less chance of things working out for that reason.

They key is to look at the individual cat when adopting -- in this area as w/ all others. I consider claw status to be just one aspect of a cat, taken into account along with other aspects of his/her personality and history. If the shelter/foster parent says the kitty is sweet w/ people and w/ other cats, then regardless of claw status, he probably is. Or if you're up for dealing w/ a problem cat, the shelter will revere you--people were actually sobbing at the shelter when I said I'd take Lincoln, who had been at the shelter more than a year, on and off depo for the biting, and who tried to nail me at our first meeting. I have no kids and am endlessly patient, so I had no reason NOT to take him, and doing so freed up his spot for another needy cat to get out of the county shelter and into the no-kill one.

Anyway, I can't imagine anyone saying to NOT adopt a declawed cat. However that doesn't mean that many declawed cats do not have behavior problems – they do. You can either find one who doesn’t have any problems or you can work to fix those problems. Either way, a declawed kitty has just as much right to be adopted as one w/ claws.

And actually, shelters usually find that declawed cats are EASIER to adopt out b/c people who might declaw a cat anyway b/c they care a lot about their material possessions get one this way w/out the guilt.

RANT #2: If you truly only want one cat, that’s fine. Different strokes and all. I myself am going to keep recommending 2 b/c in most households no one is home all day long, b/c I believe that most cats do prefer company. I’ve only ever had one intro that really didn’t work out well, and I take the blame for that one entirely. It’s why I adamantly recommend against bringing a new cat into a household w/ a truly senior cat – my 17 year old Ebony had always lived w/ other cats, but at her age she didn’t want to have to adjust to a companion, and it would have been easier on her if I had waited until she had gone to the Bridge.

One of the reasons I suggest to people who are getting ONE kitten to get TWO is b/c (1) kittenhood is when it’s easiest to put 2 cats together with almost no trouble on your part whatsoever, and (2) a single kitten is pretty darn hard to live with—they need to play 18 hours a day and if they don’t have a kitten to do that with, well, you’re elected!

Having lived with 2-3 cats at a time my entire adult life, and seeing how much they love each other, how much fun they have playing together, etc., it is my opinion that it’s better for the cat to have a feline companion. That doesn’t mean everyone has to do this—esp. if you work out of the home, you may well be enough for your cat. I feel good, however, knowing that when I’m gone my cats are carrying on their happy kitty culture without me.
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