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Kitty + Baby = No good!

DisrupterDisrupter Registered User regular
edited October 2011 in Help / Advice Forum
So, my wife and I recently had a baby (she is adorable). We have a kitty who is a bit more then a year old. Our kitty has his claws because we have always heard its pretty terrible to declaw.

The cat plays a lot and bites and sort of scratches when he does, but its not painful, and if you get out a toy he preferes to hunt that rather then you. So we can deal with him for the most part. The problem is, he is a clutz. And he fails to jump up places or he falls off things and his first instinct is to claw at it to pull himself back up.

Well, today he fall off the couch and accidently clawed my baby. Im at work so Im not sure how bad it is. My wife says its not bad but my daughter cried and is bleeding a little. This is a month old baby...and shes bleeding. Im not cool with this.

But I love my kitty. Im not sure what to do. How bad IS it to declaw a cat? Can we do so with a cat who is already 1+ years old? What other options do we have? We really do not trust him around her because when he gets playful he can get a little too crazy if you don't get a toy out right away to distract him. Now with this incident, even non playful kitty might accidently hurt her.

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Posts

  • Sir CarcassSir Carcass I have been shown the end of my world Round Rock, TXRegistered User regular
    Declawing is basically removing the tips of their fingers, it would be similar to removing your finger tips to the first knuckle. It has the potential to make is so your cat can't walk without extreme pain if there is complications. I don't recommend it.

    Hopefully you're regularly trimming your cat's nails. You can also buy those adhesive tips that cover their claws.

    Really, though, I would just try to keep the cat away from the baby.

  • NeylaNeyla Registered User regular
    We been thinking of using this on our cat, Alias:

    http://www.softclaws.com/index.php?pet=cat

    But no one in the house had the gulls to hold her down :P She isn't your snuggle, happy go lucky type. And the vet said she was too old to get declawed (5). You'll have to talk to a vet to see what the "age limit" is, and a vet that will do it. Usually I think it is the front they will do. It was tough to get my other cat Salem fully declawed (front and back).

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  • DisrupterDisrupter Registered User regular
    We do need to get better at trimming his nails. We might start bringing him to petco to have them do it. We are very nervous about doing it because we are afraid we hurt him. Perhaps regular trimming by someone who knows what they are doing will help reduce accidental maulings.

    Weve been pretty good about keeping him away from her (the baby), but I think we might have relaxed a bit because hes been good. Hes a good cat, he just is an idiot and falls off everything and then tries cliffhangering.

    Those soft nails...ill have to look into those. On the surface it seems like it would be pretty uncomfortable for them, but I dont know enough about it yet.

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  • ceresceres When the last moon is cast over the last star of morning And the future has past without even a last desperate warningRegistered User, Moderator mod
    I wouldn't declaw, but I would try to keep the cat away from the baby, or at least not have them around one another without a lot of supervision.

    And it seems like all is dying, and would leave the world to mourn
  • Caelum MilitisCaelum Militis Registered User regular
    I work at a shelter, and we endorse Softclaws for anyone that can't have exposed nails, such as in your case. Softclaws are excellent, and the cats I've seen that have them on do not seem to mind them. An cat that is an avid scratcher may get them off sooner then the 4-6 weeks they are supposed to last, but they're cheap enough to just reapply when needed.

    ~Unyielding resolve has no conquerer~
  • DisrupterDisrupter Registered User regular
    Softclaws eh? I will most definately look into that, especially if its being endorsed by a shelter.

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  • bowenbowen How you doin'? Registered User regular
    As shitty as it is, you might want to entertain the possibility of finding someone to adopt the cat. Softclaws can be a bitch to maintain or even just put on.

    Just putting that out there.

    not a doctor, not a lawyer, examples I use may not be fully researched so don't take out of context plz, don't @ me
  • minirhyderminirhyder BerlinRegistered User regular
    Trimming claws is pretty easy and eliminates the danger of the claws.
    Just wait until the kitty is asleep and trim them. It's scary at first because you don't want to hurt the kitty, but just remember to not cut into the quick, which is pretty visible. If in doubt, trim a tiny little bit off.

  • EncEnc A Fool with Compassion Pronouns: He, Him, HisRegistered User regular
    Really, what you need to do is watch the two of them more. Your kitten is young, and younger cats use their claws more and are more high strung. Having the cat, and having your baby learn to understand what to do and not do with said cat, is one of the best things you can do with a kid.

    Just be more observant and try to mitigate damages as much as possible.

  • zilozilo Registered User regular
    I bet your local Petco would apply the Softclaws for you, or at least show you how.

  • Drake ChambersDrake Chambers Lay out my formal shorts. Registered User regular
    Please don't declaw your cat. The procedure is regarded as animal cruelty and is actually banned in a number of nations. The only people I've known to defend the practice after learning how nasty it is are those that had previously had it done to their own cats and are probably unwilling to admit they did something horrible to their pet.

    If softclaws and / or training and monitoring the cat's behavior around the baby aren't working, I'd second bowen's suggestion of trying to find another home for the cat before resorting to declawing.

  • Drake ChambersDrake Chambers Lay out my formal shorts. Registered User regular
    edited October 2011
    minirhyder wrote:
    Trimming claws is pretty easy and eliminates the danger of the claws.
    Just wait until the kitty is asleep and trim them. It's scary at first because you don't want to hurt the kitty, but just remember to not cut into the quick, which is pretty visible. If in doubt, trim a tiny little bit off.

    Depending on the temperament of the cat this won't always work. Of our two, one will let us trim without complaint and the other becomes a whirling cloud of knives if we try to do it. The OP's kitty is young enough though that it's probably a good time to make a regular practice of it -- introducing stuff like that gets a lot harder once they've matured.

    Drake Chambers on
  • ThanatosThanatos Registered User regular
    bowen wrote:
    As shitty as it is, you might want to entertain the possibility of finding someone to adopt the cat. Softclaws can be a bitch to maintain or even just put on.

    Just putting that out there.
    I think you'll have more takers if you just find someone to adopt the baby. It's only fair; the cat was there first, after all.

  • JHunzJHunz Registered User regular
    This advice is only semi-related to your question, but you should keep an eye on your kid for the next couple weeks for any symptoms of Cat scratch fever. If your cat has it and passes it on, it's more likely to be dangerous at that age since her immune system isn't fully up to snuff yet.

    bunny.gif Gamertag: JHunz. R.I.P. Mygamercard.net bunny.gif
  • Dr. FrenchensteinDr. Frenchenstein Registered User regular
    If kitty lets you mess with his/her paws (which you should do with any pet at a young age) they will probably let you clip them. My parent's dog was great about it, until i hit the quick on one of his dark nails. He isn't having me near his paws anymore.

  • FiggyFiggy Fighter of the night man Champion of the sunRegistered User regular
    Do not declaw the cat. If you really do love the animal, you would sooner give it up than maim it for life. Would you cut off a dog's tail because it kept knocking stuff off your coffee table?

    Alternatively:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=47D9-U8hn5I

    XBL : Figment3 · SteamID : Figment
  • bowenbowen How you doin'? Registered User regular
    Thanatos wrote:
    bowen wrote:
    As shitty as it is, you might want to entertain the possibility of finding someone to adopt the cat. Softclaws can be a bitch to maintain or even just put on.

    Just putting that out there.
    I think you'll have more takers if you just find someone to adopt the baby. It's only fair; the cat was there first, after all.

    I was okay with that possibility too, but OP might not be as easily swayed between the two.

    not a doctor, not a lawyer, examples I use may not be fully researched so don't take out of context plz, don't @ me
  • AsiinaAsiina ... WaterlooRegistered User regular
    It'll be a lot easier to just cut the claws yourself. It's scary at first, but really not that hard. Just remember that you are bigger, stronger, and most importantly, have better endurance than a cat. I like sitting on the couch or floor cross-legged, putting the cat in my lap on his back facing away from me. Then put your left arm under his head so your forearm is lightly pressing on his neck while you hold his paw and push his claw out with the left hand, cutting with the right. If you control an animal's neck they will almost always calm down. Repeat with the other paw. If the cat squirms or struggles just calmly reposition him and start again. Don't get flustered or nervous cause then they will too. Cat's claws are clear so just don't cut the pink part, it's easy to see. You can do little clips while you're learning but it takes a lot longer and the cat is more likely to get frustrated. I was able to do this when I was 12 years old, and when I got my new cats a few years ago they struggled like hell when I tried, but now they just accept it. Once you're comfortable and confident the whole thing takes like 20 seconds. Much easier than taking them anywhere, getting them relatively expensive products, or having cruel surgery.

  • DhalphirDhalphir don't you open that trapdoor you're a fool if you dareRegistered User regular
    Declawing is barbaric. Don't do it. Find other soluitions - either trimming the cat's nails a bit, trying to handle it behaviourally with scratching posts, or other such things.

    I wish I could go to anyone who declaws their cat and just cut the first third of all of their fingers off, and see how they fucking like it.

  • ceresceres When the last moon is cast over the last star of morning And the future has past without even a last desperate warningRegistered User, Moderator mod
    Hokay, people who have their cats declawed being awful is not the topic at hand.

    And it seems like all is dying, and would leave the world to mourn
  • ShawnaseeShawnasee Registered User regular
    We did the softclaws for our kitty for quite a while...it's not bad at all. However, trimming their nails is A LOT faster.

    We had considered declawing until we read up on it. Yuck.

  • LachrymiteLachrymite Registered User regular
    We tried out the Softclaws, and they worked. Our cat was not at all bothered by them, which really surprised us, we were a little skeptical going in but willing to give it a chance. In the end I just got more comfortable cutting her nails more regularly myself so we didn't have to keep using them.

  • Magus`Magus` The fun has been DOUBLED! Registered User regular
    Just clip his nails, though I would try to keep them separate anyhow as I assume babies are pretty fragile.

    The tyke will grow resilient soon enough.

  • FallingmanFallingman Registered User regular
    Honestly - I wouldnt stress. It was an accident - it's not as if the kitten was attacking the baby.

    Pretty soon, the baby will get to the point where the cat wants nothing to do with the bub.

    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
  • mtsmts Dr. Robot King Registered User regular
    we just use human nail clippers. our one cat loves it getting done and the other tolerates it since he goes limp when you pick him up. our biggest concern was our one cat trying to sleep with our 1month old but our preparations seemed to have worked

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  • DisrupterDisrupter Registered User regular
    Thanks for all the advice. Giving the kitty away is not an option. I mean, I suppose if he mauled the baby for some reason, sure. But this was an isolated accident, and the scratch wasnt very bad. Its just...well its my baby girl so even the tiniest thing is a major concern!

    We are likely going to try the soft claws. We will see if someone from petco can help apply it the first time, and if not, talk to our vet. Otherwise we will just wing the trimming/application.

    I appreciate the advice. Thanks everyone.

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  • DelphinidaesDelphinidaes FFXIV: Delphi Kisaragi Registered User regular
    edited October 2011
    Just throwing another voice into the "do it yourself" crowd. Trimming your own cats claws is a pretty painless procedure so long as you do it often and don't make a big fuss about it. They key to trimming the nails is to trim the tip only. If you look closely at the claws you can usually see there is a shift in coloration (depending on the color of the claws, it's much easier with opaque claws) there is an area of the claw that is a pinkish color near the base. That part is actual live tissue and if you trim that it'll usually cause a bleed. But anywhere past that is pretty safe. This diagram may help:
    91438Bearded_Dragon_Nail_Diagram.jpg

    The picture is a bit conservative on the suggested trim point but you get the idea. The more you trim your cats claws the more they will get used to being handled that way and eventually it will get even easier. I tend to trim my cats once every two weeks but I could probably stand to do it more often than that (plus I don't have a baby to worry about so you may want to do it more often)

    Also I recommend trimmers like this one with the little loop in them, it makes it so much easier even when your cat is squirming a little.
    bamboo-care-cat-guillotine-nail-trimmer-stypt.jpg

    Delphinidaes on
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  • ceresceres When the last moon is cast over the last star of morning And the future has past without even a last desperate warningRegistered User, Moderator mod
    I use tiny human nail clippers; I think they're made for kids or something. It's better to get the clippers made for cats if you aren't pretty sure you can keep a steady hand, though.

    And it seems like all is dying, and would leave the world to mourn
  • mtsmts Dr. Robot King Registered User regular
    no way, it is way easier to use human clippers. those pet ones are awkward and you can palm them so the cat can't see them

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  • CliffCliff Registered User regular
    Just ignore the horror stories and get the cat declawed. I know people want to potray it as cruel, but thats because they are creepy in love with cats. For normal people, its a simple procedure, I don't even remeber my cat needing recovery time. She was fine, nuetering her pissed her off much more.

  • SniperGuySniperGuy SniperGuyGaming Registered User regular
    Cliff wrote:
    Just ignore the horror stories and get the cat declawed. I know people want to potray it as cruel, but thats because they are creepy in love with cats. For normal people, its a simple procedure, I don't even remeber my cat needing recovery time. She was fine, nuetering her pissed her off much more.

    Actually "normal people" consider it inhumane. It's not being portrayed as cruel, it is cruel. "Declawing is uncommon outside North America, and laws governing its practice vary. Many European countries prohibit or significantly restrict the practice, as do Australia, New Zealand, and Turkey."

    In the US:
    Although widely practiced, declawing is ethically controversial within the American veterinary community.[2] Many American veterinarians are critical of the procedure and some refuse to perform it.[30] The two leading national animal protection organizations in the US, the Humane Society of the United States and the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, strongly discourage or condemn the procedure.[31] The Humane Society of the United States and other animal advocacy groups have supported legislation banning or restricting declawing.[32] Major opposition to attempts to ban or restrict declawing has come from veterinary trade organizations, such as the California Veterinary Medical Association. The American Veterinary Medical Association considers declawing acceptable under certain circumstances but states that it "should be considered only after attempts have been made to prevent the cat from using its claws destructively or when its clawing presents a zoonotic risk for its owner(s)."[10] Despite the clear ethical guidelines given by the AVMA, surveys suggest that 95% of declaw surgeries are done to protect furniture. Further, because younger cats are better able to adapt to life without claws post-surgery than older cats, 76% of cats are declawed before they reach 8 months of age, precluding any serious effort at training and/or use of other non-surgical alternatives.[33]


    So yeah. It's painful, can lead to complications, and also leaves your cat defenseless should they be an outdoor kitty. The clippers are a great idea, as are softpaws/claws/whichever-brand-there-are-multiple. Oh, and the instructions for softpaws actually had me clip my cat's nails before I put the softpaws on, so you may as well clip 'em anyway.

  • dojangodojango Registered User regular
    edited October 2011
    It sounds like it was an accident; the cat jumped up and hit the baby while flailing around. In that case, I wouldn't worry about it too much, he doesn't sound like he's trying to suck the breath out of your baby.

    We have a newborn < 1 week old and two cats at our house and the cats seem to know better than to tangle with the baby. But we still watch them closely when they are trying to occupy the same area.

    And as your cat gets older, he'll be less prone to scratch you either accidentally whi le flailing or during playtime.

    dojango on
  • DelphinidaesDelphinidaes FFXIV: Delphi Kisaragi Registered User regular
    edited October 2011
    Cliff wrote:
    Just ignore the horror stories and get the cat declawed. I know people want to potray it as cruel, but thats because they are creepy in love with cats. For normal people, its a simple procedure, I don't even remeber my cat needing recovery time. She was fine, nuetering her pissed her off much more.

    As someone who works at a vet office and sees the "Horror Stories" It really isn't something that should be ignored. It's painful for the cat, and most of the vets in my area (including our own) absolutely refuse to perform the procedure, it's right up there with docking tails and ears. The vets that do do it tend to do all the paws at the same time (instead of front and then back on another visit). On top of that if your cat ever gets outside (or if it is an outdoor cat anyways) it can't defend itself properly.

    I could go on to list the horror stories I've personally seen, but yeah most people consider it quite inhumane both in the vet community and among our clientele.

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  • MadpandaMadpanda suburbs west of chicagoRegistered User regular
    edited October 2011
    Cliff wrote:
    Just ignore the horror stories and get the cat declawed. I know people want to potray it as cruel, but thats because they are creepy in love with cats. For normal people, its a simple procedure, I don't even remeber my cat needing recovery time. She was fine, nuetering her pissed her off much more.

    Thank you for neutering your pet, that is a responsible thing to do.

    Fuck your attitude on declawing right in the ear. "Normal" people don't treat animals like possessions to be maimed if they inconvenience you. Your whole post reeks of "whatevs bro its just an animal" and for that you are a fucking goosebag.

    To the OP, even if this is an isolated incident, which it sounds like, please look into soft paws, and/or training the cat to only scratch on posts etc. Clipping is also a good option, many pet grooming places will do this for very cheap ~$10. Another thing to look into is if possible not having enticing areas near your baby, i.e high places the cat can try jumping on.

    Madpanda on
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  • DhalphirDhalphir don't you open that trapdoor you're a fool if you dareRegistered User regular
    Madpanda wrote:
    Cliff wrote:
    Just ignore the horror stories and get the cat declawed. I know people want to potray it as cruel, but thats because they are creepy in love with cats. For normal people, its a simple procedure, I don't even remeber my cat needing recovery time. She was fine, nuetering her pissed her off much more.

    Thank you for neutering your pet, that is a responsible thing to do.

    Fuck your attitude on declawing right in the ear. "Normal" people don't treat animals like possessions to be maimed if they inconvenience you. Your whole post reeks of "whatevs bro its just an animal" and for that you are a fucking goosebag.

    People like Cliff should not be allowed to own animals. What a pathetic excuse for a human being you are, cliff.

    That is all I have to say about that.

  • Blake TBlake T Do you have enemies then? Good. That means you’ve stood up for something, sometime in your life.Registered User regular
    Trimming is not hard to do, if you are that worried about that cat being violent, wrap the kitty in a towel first and do each hand one at a time.

    As someone said further up in the thread, it's cheaper and faster that capping them.

  • ToxTox I kill threads he/himRegistered User regular
    ceres wrote:
    Hokay, people who have their cats declawed being awful is not the topic at hand.

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  • StraygatsbyStraygatsby Registered User regular
    We use these

    bamboo-care-cat-nail-clipper-styptic-file-55l.jpg

    Bamboo pet clippers (or something along that name)

    They are very, very easy to use. You might feel squeamish doing it at first, but you'll get over it. Just watch out for the quick and don't feel bad about basically ambushing your cats to do it (they will learn the tool by sight).

  • TastyfishTastyfish Registered User regular
    It's more of a temporary thing (say until you can get her to be more careful around the baby, or used to having her claws trimmed), but a friend of ours had a cat who had gone in for an operation and needed the cone of shame to stop her scratching. However she kept getting stuck and they were worried she was going to injure herself so they put baby socks on the cat and it worked like a charm.

    Honestly the biggest thing is to probably teach her to be more careful around the baby, and not put your little girl underneath places the cat climbs if at all possible. In a year or so the problem will certainly sort itself out, when your daughter is able to take an active interest in the cat.

  • DisrupterDisrupter Registered User regular
    edited November 2011
    Yeah, again the actual issue came when the cat failed to jump on the couch properly. It wasnt like he was on some perch above the baby. He was on the floor and my wife was feeding on the couch. Not much of a way to deincentivise that situation for mr cat.

    Hes adorable, but hes sort of stupid. We specifically got him because in the cage when we first saw him, he tried to jump up on some ledge like a foot above him and missed and fell off. We laughed and went "oh shit, thats our cat isnt it?" His first action interacting with my wife was to leap from her arms to attempt to jump into a cage with other animals. However, the cage was glass. He smacked into it and I had to catch him as he slid down the glass...

    So, yeah it was an accident. He jumped up on the couch to visit my wife and because he was falling he used his claws to grab on to pull himself up and got my wife.

    Because we havent really done the trimming thing we will pay to get it done the first time and then do it regularly from here on out. Keep in mind ive never even used HUMAN clippers on myself. Im a nail ripper. I rip off my toe nails and finger nails
    I somtimes chew off the finger nails...
    So Im nervous even clipping MY nails :)

    Disrupter on
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