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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I continue on my journey to get a cat!

We asked our rental place yesterday if we were allowed cats (the ad descriptor said they're allowed, but you never know...) and yes, they were, but with the condition of them being front declawed. Ahh, terrible news for both me and my roommate, since neither of us believe in declawing--and besides the rescue/adoption place we like has only one already declawed cat.

We decided to ask if "diligent upkeep" of claw covers would be all right, and the answer was, anything to prevent the scratching of their floors is fine. Hopefully soft claws will work but I was wondering...

1. I've seen lots of positive testimonials regarding soft claws but most of them were on their website, where they're not likely to put negative reviews. Do they work?
2. When we go to meet cats to potentially adopt should we make sure they're okay with their paws being handled, or do cats not like strangers messing with their paws?
3. So, saying that soft claws fell off while we were out sometime, if the cat is well behaved in scratching behaviors, what are the chances that a claw would scratch up the floors accidentally?

I don't think the floors are new, by any means, I'm sure they have minor dents and dings and such from previous owners moving couches and stuff. We're also planning to have lots of scratching posts with lots of surfaces (especially starting out, in case kitty doesn't like cardboard or whatever), and the furniture is ours so that won't be a problem.

Thanks in advance!
 

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I can answer about the 'strangers handling paws' thing. As I have been hopping around checking out different cats and hanging out with them at the catrooms at the local SPCA to prepare myself for my first choice and first cat, I have devised some tests. Because I know I want a cat that's easily handled, but I don't want to freak out the cat. Thus...

Step 1: Spend about 5-10 minutes petting the cat. When they start purring and closing their eyes and looking relaxed, that is when you step it up.

Step 2: Start petting down one leg with your fingers, one hand still scratching their favorite spot. Still relaxed? Move to step 3.

Step 3: Gently take their paw in hand. If the cat doesn't seem bothered (watching tail and ears to read the signs), start gently squeezing and playing with the pays, being prepared to quickly pull away should they tell you they don't like it.

Congrats! At this stage you will know if the cat is fine with its paws being handled. Now, some cats might be fine once you get to know them and not within 10-15 minutes, but considering you have to put the caps on immediately it is best to go with a cat that lets strangers handle the paws. Most cats I have done this to seem fine with it, or just pull their paws away and give me a look. I have yet to be scratched or spurned for it.

Hope this helps!
 

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Here's a link to a recent discussion about Soft Paws.

http://www.catforum.com/forum/36-cat-chat/145791-crime-punishment.html

I'm definitely a fan of them. My former kitty had them off and on throughout her whole life. After the first while it was more for vanity than scratch prevention. Another kitty I had wore them for the entirety of 2.5 yrs because he was a scratcher - he liked to exercise his fingers! The two I have now have only had a couple rounds of them. They're just not scratchy kitties.

I would caution about moving into a building with a declaw policy. If there is ever a maintenance person or whatnot into the apartment that happens to scare your kitties and they react kitty appropriately with claws you could end up in violation of your lease agreement and subject to penalties. Or when you move out there may be damages that are perfectly wear and tear sort, but end up attributed to the kitties and you lose your damage deposit. I just don't think it's worth it. I also know of several buildings around here with official case by case basis animal policies that very clearly state that at any time management can decide any particular animal must permanently vacate the building within 24 hrs. It's in the tiny fine print. So be very cautious of being allowed to bend a rule where a lease is concerned as you might be waiving some of your rights as a tenant.
 

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Just keeping a cats nails clipped will prevent any damage from happening to hard surface floors, you don't even need nail caps. I would venture that even if you didn't clip them, it would probably be fine. Cats do not have enough weight to really cause any damage with their claws unless they intentionally scratch on the floor, which is very unlikely. I'd be more concerned about door moldings or sides of cabinets or vanities rather than the floor.

Definitely get whatever amendment that is agreed to in writing in case of any issues down the road.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for the advice! We are getting the "add-a-cat" part drawn up the day we move in when we go in to get our keys, so I will make sure everything is taken care of in writing. I was actually surprised that they had a declaw policy because I'm in a city that's fairly up and hopping on animal rights and such.

ETA: ahh, I knew praline's had recently gotten a "pawdicure" but couldn't find the thread, thanks XD
 
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