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Discussion Starter #1
Hello all
Question for you.
I have 2 cats.
Winston is a fixed and declawed male Tiger cat that used to belong to my father but whom we inherited at about 1 year of age. He's 3 now and has settled into our family very well.
Shadow is a stray I found at work and brought home at about 9 weeks of age. He's a very friendly cat and is like my Shadow (hence the name) in the way he follows me everywhere. He too will be fixed and declawed when the right age is reached. Both will always be indoor cats.

When we brought Shadow into out home we followed all the guidelines in introducing them and allowing Shadow access to a small portion of the house at any given time. They both had cat boxes to use and food was separate for the first 2 weeks. We slowly introduced them and have allowed them to minge for the last 4 weeks. Winston still has an area that Shadow is not allowed into to give him a refuge if necessary (our bedroom). Initially they got along very well. Winston took the roll of older cat and would clean and play with Shadow for hours on end.

For the past several days Winston has been acting wrong towrds both us and Shadow. If Shadow enters the room or is in sight range of Winston then Winston will growl gutterally and hiss. He pretty much just lays in one spot (I assume it's his safest spot) and watches for the little cat. Prior to this I could tell when 940 pm came because the two of them would begin horseplay at that time. Running all over the house interchangelby chasing each other.

I'm encouraged by the idea of using Vanilla to mask each scent some but I'm concerned this will not be enough. I can't have Shadow fixed for a few more weeks and I'm very concerned about Winston. I'd hate to have to put Shadow into the ASPCA or something.

Any ideas?
Magy
 

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This has happened on many occasions and usually the recommendation is to re-introduce the cats. Basically you start completely over as if they never met before. Try using swapping blankets from one room to another so that they can each smell one another from the blankets. You can also use Vanilla when you reintroduce them. I used it and I think it did help. Don't try to rush through the reintroduction just because they have already met, you need to act as though they have not met before. You can also try having them eat on opposite sides of a closed door. This way they can associate one another's smell with a good thing, like eating/food.

Also, may I ask, why you are declawing Shadow? I know you already have a cat that is declawed, but if you are not having any problems with the new cat (and even if you are, there are alternatives), why are you planning on having Shadow declawed?
 

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I agree, separation and re-introduction may be the best bet here. See
http://www.littlebigcat.com/index.php?a ... roductions
for info on how to do this.

There may be an element of redirected aggression here; something may have happened while you were gone or asleep that has altered their relationship. Play therapy (for both, but especially for Winston) may be very beneficial in re-establishing good relations!
http://www.littlebigcat.com/index.php?a ... w&item=012

The question on declawing is a good one; unfortunately declawing is likely to create even worse behavior problems in the long run. You need to know *all* the facts before such radical surgery; please read this article, and be honest with yourself about your motives for considering declawing:
http://www.littlebigcat.com/index.php?a ... w&item=002

If the older cat is declawed, chronic pain may be a factor in his grumpy mood. Any sudden change in behavior warrants a visit to the vet to make sure the problem is not physical.

Cheers,
Dr. Jean
 

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.

My cat's declawed, and he doesn't seem to have any issues at all, tho if it was me i wouldn't have declawed him, i don't know why the previous owners did :wink: but he does alright. i would assume it's different with all cats tho so you still have to be careful
 

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I have one cat who is declawed - which I had done myself 4 years ago - I was not well educated on the topic and my vet kind of encouraged me to do it. Had I known then what I know now, I never would have done it either. I don't notice any significant changes with my cat who has been declawed, however, I just can't seem to justify amputating the tips of their fingers for the sake of my furniture.

I also have recently noticed that while I play with my cat's feet and I feel in between the pads of her paws it feels very tight and tense in there almost as if she doesn't have the range of motion that she used to. It's SO different from the paws of my kitten, how you can gently push the claws out and they retract back. Even after having the older one declawed she still appeared to have a decent range of motion in whats left of her fingers...but now...as time goes on...it's not seeming that way. I wonder if this is the beginning of the arthritis that declawed cats are prone to. At this point she doesn't seem to be in pain (though they are quite capable of hiding it) though it doesn't seem right to be able to do such a radical procedure for convenience purposes.

I have a 15 week old kitten right now and do not have any problems with her clawing on things she shouldn't. Even if she starts to, I will NOT have her declawed. There really isn't any good reason to do it, now that I have the perspective of being on both sides.

This is why I asked. I know what it's like coming from both sides and I'd recommend NOT doing it.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
We have already begun the reintroduction process. Slowly I hope they can learn to get along.

When Winston was declawed the Vet did it using laser surgery that we were assured was not painful for the cat. He shows no sign of pain in his paws at all and really has never treated them as if he did. The reasons for his declawing were that my father had very thin skin and Winston's claws would inadvertantly cause some major bruising.

Both Winston and Shadow will always be indoor cats. And since laser surgery on the cats claws is painless(so I've been told) and does not cause problems down the road I'm having Shadow declawed as well.

We may never be sure of what caused Winston to act out but I'm hoping that reintroducing the two of them will calm things down in our family again.
Magy
 

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I myself have had surgery with the use of lasers and can assure you that it does not cause anything to be "painless". It's also more of the after effects that are of a concern and not necessarily the surgical procedure while it's being done. Though, that is risky too - as any procedure is.

While i do bet that the laser cuts down on blood loss and recovery time, I do not think that over all it has any major difference in the long run. Laser or not, your cat will still be missing a joint of it's finger. So, in the long run you are running a huge risk if you have this procedure done. The long term physical and emotional side effects can be pretty significant.

Edit:
Oh yeah...I hope things also simmer down between the cats at home. Good luck with that.
 

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The declawing issue aside...as that's not why Magycian posted...my first thought is that he might be sick - have you noticed any other changes in Winston's behavior? Is he eating and drinking as usual?

Sounds like he might not be feeling well, he isn't up to playing with Shadow. The sudden and unusual behavior change (growling and acting differently toward you, too) and the increased sedentary behavior ("He pretty much just lays in one spot") are little red flags in my mind.

Might want to give your vet a call and see what they think.
 

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ospunkyo said:
The declawing issue aside...as that's not why Magycian posted..
While this is true...it was also mentioned in the original post and it's an important issue to try to help educate people on. Being that I have been through the same experience and also have one cat that was declawed and recently brought another into our house and have exeperienced a very similar reaction, I think it was important to address as well.

It's possible that the declawing has contributed to the resident cats crabby moods as well. Now that we have another cat in the house, I can see the limitations the declawing surgery has put on my resident cat and can tell there are times when she as at a disadvantage. This maybe the first time Magycian's cat has experienced this feeling and maybe has an effect on the situation.

Though I absolutely agree that if there are other changes or any indications that your cat may be sick, you should seek a medical opinion.
 

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To set the record straight, laser declawing is NOT painless, however there tends to be less bleeding and immediate post-operative complications. Laser declawing does not make any difference whatsoever in the behavioral complications (which affect about 30% of declawed cats) of Litterbox avoidance and biting. Nor does using a laser prevent the chronic pain and arthritis that follow declawing in most (if not all) cats. People forget that cats are very stoic and quickly learn to live with chronic pain. How would you know the cat was in pain, anyway? What's it going to do, write you a letter? The fact is, you can't tell. But physiologically speaking, at least some degree of chronic pain is inevitable from declawing.

In my experience, about 75% of people are willing to hear the truth about declawing; and when they do, they change their minds and don't have the surgery done. The other 25% put other priorities (furniture, drapes, personal convenience) above the welfare of the cat and will have the surgery done regardless of the consequences to the cat. It does not sound like Magycian read the links I provided and perhaps is among the latter group.

I still suspect that part of Winston's problem is physical (whether pain or illness), and he should be examined by the vet to make sure.

Cheers,
Dr. Jean
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PLEASE DO NOT DE-CLAW YOUR CAT!!! I don't know who in their right mind would do such a horrible thing 8O

If people are going to be so cruel to de-claw a cat(after they have read what it does to the cat), they shouldn't even own one. Charge them for animal abuse!!!

A friend of mine had laser eye surgery, she said it was SO SO painful, and she would have never had it done if she had known.

Think about you as the cat....it would be like cutting off your fingers.

Abhay
 

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It's not *like* cutting off your fingers, it *is* cutting off the cat's "fingers."
:cry:

Even though declawing raises strong feelings in us all, it is not helpful to attack a person during the decision process. That only makes people defensive, and sometimes more likely to proceed with the surgery, just to be defiant!

So let's let Magycian read all the facts and then make an informed decision. Once the truth is faced and understood, it is hard to imagine that anyone would go for the surgery.

Cheers,
Dr. Jean
 

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Oops, I had a nasty "play" fight going on with my foster and my own cat....was trying to type while keeping an eye on them. Guess I should have read my post over before I sent it :wink:

I have prolems with people who I think are being mean to the animal, and I speak out. *crossing fingers and hoping some sense will be knocked into the person*

Abhay
 

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Magycian -- please read that article...I'm just saying so for your cats sake. When it comes to someone you love, even a cat, it's best to never assume you know everything already. You don't seem to be aware of the other things that declawing is a direct result of, and you might want to think about having a biting, arthritic, litterbox aversive cat later on. Cats are pros at acting tough and dealing with pain -- it's a survival tactic. You have no way of knowing if your cat has chronic pain or not. Read the article, please. For the sake of your cat. And then ask yourself if it's worth it to you, if you have no better reason to declaw then "well it doesn't hurt the cat." Because that "fact" is dead wrong. The only true thing about that statement is that it's less bloody and "cleaner" to deal with afterwards.
 
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