I saw this in question in a newsgroup. I find the answers very interesting.
Does anyone have experience with clawed and declawed cats living together? I currently own two clawed cats and don't want to have them declawed. However, I'm planning to introduce a new cat to them who has already been declawed. Will the new cat be in any danger? What kind of risks are involved, for example if they are playing 'rough house' and someone gets batted a little too hard?
We have a total of six cats in our household -- we each had three cats when we met. My fiancé adopted Kate from the local shelter over two years as she stole his heart. All four of her paws had been declawed by her prior owner. She was brought in as a lost/abandoned stray, so we have no information on her. But from her behavior, we suspect she was an only cat.
We were worried at first that the other cats would pick on Kate, taking advantage of the fact that she does not have claws. Well, they don't get the chance! She picks on them first. Kate hisses and assumes a defensive pose whenever another cat walks by. How much of this is due to the declawing and how much to probably being an only cat once, we don't know. But our reading has indicated that declawed cats can be more aggressive.
Kate also tends to be a biter. We have been working with her, and she no longer bites us hard. But we had also heard that declawed cats tend to bite, and from our experience, it is true. Whenever she does have a tussle with another cat, she bites them and is very quick to do so. The other cat usually breaks the tussle off first, or Kate runs away.
On the whole, the cats with claws get along fine with Kate. If anything, she has the problem. She seems to assume that the other cats want to hurt her--so we hear a lot of growling and hissing from her. She usually cowers unnecessarily, and then takes a swipe at the other cat with her paw as they walk by.
Interestingly, Kate still "scratches" things. She rubs her declawed front paws over the speakers, furniture, our legs, anything she can mark. This, of course, doesn't cause any damage. But looks very curious, as we know she has no claws.
So, from our experience, cats with claws can live with those that don't. But do expect some defensive/aggressive behavior from your declawed cat--biting and attacking the other cats first is possible. The aggression has greatly reduced over the 1-1/2 years that ours have lived together. But we always know where Kate is, because we will hear a low growl from various parts of the house [with 5 other cats, one is always walking by!].
When I was in grad school, my roommate had two cats, one declawed and one not, and I had one cat with claws. The declawed cat was a biter, as I guess is common with declawed cats. Any encounters were quickly broken off when she used her teeth, and the other two cats eventually just left her alone and ignored her. None of them ever got scratched up or injured, so I don't think that the clawed cats were really using their claws when they tussled. Our third roommate had a dog, and the two clawed cats did use their claws on him when he got too close. The declawed cat just ran and hid. In short, I don't think, as others have said, that the clawed cats will be too rough on the declawed one.
I have one declawed, and one not declawed that lived together for the longest time. (I have a third cat mind you, but he isn't a fighter, sot his won't help).
What happened was this woman had a declawed cat, and a few years later, she and her husband found a cat that was not declawed but rather injured and in need of a home. (They had a third cat which is what caused all the fighting really, but I'll just explain between the first two). The declawed cat (Ptol) didn't like the new cat (Cleo) and he went to bite her tail, and dislocatted it. Cleo never hurt Ptol.
Now that it's the two of them, the other third cat that was always fighting is out of the picture... For almost a year it was just the two before I got a third cat. In that time, every day, about twice a day, before feedings usually. Ptol would see Cleo on the bed, or sofa, and lift himself up and swat. There wasn't any seroius cat fight, very seldomly hissing, but the two would bat at each other all the time. Cleo never takes out claws to fight, and Ptol always initiates and causes the fights.
I guess that should say, the declawed one isn't always the one being attacked. This is a case of clawless-nimrod chasing a cat with claws, just hoping that she won't fight back. I'm sure if she scratched him fmor real, that would be the last fight that he would start.
I have 5 cats, 4 females with claws intact, 1 male completely declawed. It is the declawed cat (Max) that is almost always the aggressor. Even though the girls bop him on the head with claws extended, he continues to bully them. You might say his head is bloodied but unbowed :->.
When I first agreed to take Max in I was also concerned that he wouldn't be able to hold his own against the four other clawed cats, but it hasn't been a problem.
I'd guess they'll all be fine, or if anything, your clawed cats will be hassled by the declawed ones. I know several people who have clawed and declawed mixed in one home, and the result is often that the declawed cat turns to biting, or may be more aggressive.
Keep in mind that whether or not a cat has claws has no bearing on whether or not another cat will be more or less likely to scratch, that is, the declawed one is in no more or less danger from your intact cats. The loss of claws puts a cat at a disadvantage in striking back, or defending itself from say, a dog or something cornering it, which another house cat is less likely to do.
Cats are aware they have claws, and I generally get the impression that they know when to use them and when not, and they know when they no longer have them, and realize how it could be a problem for them! I have 4 fully clawed cats (one with extras), who generally get along well, but when they do have a spat you'd swear someone is being torn to bits. How many times has one scratched another? _NEVER_. Scratched me? Twice, once entirely by accident and once out of terror of the vacuum, both times quite excusable and not a result of aggression.
OTOH, A friend of mine has 3 declawed cats, who HAVE bitten each other, and will bite her if they are not happy, or even just to get her attention.
The following are posts that I have found on various forums and newsgroups, which only underscore my beliefs regarding declawed cats. I will add to them as I find more. And, sadly, there are always more......
back to my two cents
"Well, if it's a choice between declawing the cat, taking the cat to a shelter or having the cat put down, it's best to have the cat declawed."
My belief is that declawing the cat isn't a guarantee of a lifetime home.
two littermates, male,altered, front declawed, three years old...must go together. one is a gray tabby, one is black,gray and white spots....would you believe? neighbors want to get rid of them...they are getting new furniture..
June 5, 1998
Bay County Humane Soc. has a purebred Persian, 4 yrs. old, "Quincy" for adoption NOW. He is declawed and is smoke in color. He was an owner surrender. He is also neutered.
This shelter euthanizes.
Animal Welfare League has the following declawed cats available for adoption:
- Cage C24 (PA#5285480) Muffin is a gray female with a white chest and tan accents. She is 4 years old, spayed, housebroken, and good with children. She is front declawed.
-Cage C19 (PA#1619949) Max is a 5 year old DLH Siamese mix. He is male, neutered, housebroken, and good with kids. He was given up because his owner is moving. He has gorgeous blue eyes. He is front declawed.
-Cage C5 (PA#6527575) Lucky is an orange and white male DSH. He is 1 year and 3 months old, neutered, housebroken, and good with children. He was given up because of his owner's allergies. He is all paw declawed.
-Cage C39 (PA#6168199) Snowball is a 4 year old white cat with green eyes. She is spayed and housebroken. She was given up because she is incompatible with children. She is front declawed.
Cage C21 (PA#6638593) Ace is a three year old, black neutered male. He is housebroken and good with children. He was found as a stray, and is all paw declawed.
Posted on September 13, 1998 at 12:26:53:
Hi, I have a stray cat who is the skinniest cat I have ever seen. The vet gave him IV fluids yesterday and he is eating well. He was so sweet and docile when found and at the vet but as soon as we got him home he has not left from under the bed in the spare bedroom. He will eat if you put the food under the bed. Is this just an adjustment period?? I am well versed in dogs and do have 4 cats of my own but unfortunately most of the strays that stay at our home are dogs.
This poor guy is declawed already so he had a real tough time on his own out there on the streets. He has a large frame and is 1 to two yrs but only weighs 6 pounds. He is a long haired orange tabby?? I think and we named him Ontario after the city in which he was found.
Posted on October 25, 1998 at 08:06:04
Then again, I just saw 3 adult cats with all four paws declawed in the surrender room at the shelter yesterday!
"My cat was just fine the day after it was done."
Posted by Linda on June 30, 1998 at 17:36:02:
My kitten (almost a year old now) was declawed recently. It has been about two months ago and he seems to be suffering from
some sort of depression or trauma. He mostly sleeps all day and will not play anymore. He walks very gingerly as if his pads were
sore. But he was taken to the vet a couple of weeks ago and he said (even after running $40 worth of blood tests) that there was
nothing physically wrong with him. This cat was very active and ornery before he had this surgery and such a dramatic change
seems very odd. I realize that this was probably a sort of trauma, but I thought that he would have come out of it by now. We have
given him all kinds of extra attention and treats as the vet suggested. He seems to be coming out of the behavior mode very slowly,
Has anyone ever experienced this with their cat?
Posted by Mary L on May 21, 1998 at 12:53:31:
Carpet samples on the floor, scratching/climbing posts, hanging sisal covered boards, logs, and Cat Claws or Cat Couch cardboard
scratching pads are all good options to try. Cats have different preferences for scratching, depending on their personalities. One of
my cats is declawed, but I regret very much having done it. For years she has been bow-legged and pigeon-toed in her front legs.
There just is not enough structure in her front feet to support her 10# body.
According to the September 1998 issue of Catnip, the Tufts University School of Veterinary Medicine Newsletter (where they do not perform *routine* declawing surgery), "The cat's feet remain bandaged for 1 to 3 days, during which time the cat usually stays at the veterinary clinic. It takes about 2 months for most adult cats to put their full weight on declawed paws (juveniles recover somewhat faster)."
Posted by Linda on June 30, 1998 at 17:36:02:
My kitten (almost a year old now) was declawed recently. It has been about two months ago and he seems to be suffering from some sort of depression or trauma. He mostly sleeps all day and will not play anymore. He walks very gingerly as if his pads were sore. But he was taken to the vet a couple of weeks ago and he said (even after running $40 worth of blood tests) that there was nothing physically wrong with him. This cat was very active and ornery before he had this surgery and such a dramatic change seems very odd. I realize that this was probably a sort of trauma, but I thought that he would have come out of it by now. We have given him all kinds of extra attention and treats as the vet suggested. He seems to be coming out of the behavior mode very slowly, Has anyone ever experienced this with their cat?
Posted by Mary L on May 21, 1998 at 12:53:31:
Carpet samples on the floor, scratching/climbing posts, hanging sisal covered boards, logs, and Cat Claws or Cat Couch cardboard scratching pads are all good options to try. Cats have different preferences for scratching, depending on their personalities. One of my cats is declawed, but I regret very much having done it. For years she has been bow-legged and pigeon-toed in her front legs. There just is not enough structure in her front feet to support her 10# body.
"My declawed cat NEVER gets out of my house."
All it takes is one time.
Posted on October 02, 1998 at 08:28:17
We left for last Sat. a.m. and returned Sunday p.m. to discover that the screen on the window by the door was punched out from the inside and the window was closed. Not good, since we had left the window open for our cat to get some fresh air while we were gone. I panicked for a few seconds while hubby opened the door---we were thinking the worst. Our does not have front claws so he is strictly indoors, and I was picturing him dead or badly injured somewhere outside. But there he was mewing and chirping, greeting us at the front door from the INSIDE! We had no idea what had transpired, but we thanked God for looking after our cat and keeping him safe from the window and screen.
Well, 2 days ago a neighbor knocked on our door (we live in a 10-unit apartment building) and told me that last Sat. afternoon he had been out washing his car in the driveway when our cat, who apparently had been sleeping, fell through the screen (there had been a weensy tear in the screen that I thought was no big deal at the time. Our cat started meowing and went over to the neighbor asking to be let inside again. If the neigbor hadn't been there, our cat would have been outside and defenseless for 2 days! My neighbor picked him up, pulled the screen aside further and placed him safely inside. He said he had no idea how the window closed afterwards, since it was open when he put our cat inside and he didn't close it. Well, 2 other neighbors told my husband they were outside too on Sat when the incident happened, and after our cat was back inside, they reached in with their arm and closed the window.
Posted on September 10, 1998 at 04:17:50:
Female calico (brown and black) had a collar but no tags. Front declawed. Found near Division and Wolcott. Want to find a good home. Beautiful and very friendly.
Posted on April 20, 1998 at 21:51:37:
(This message was a followup on a post where a family's declawed cat that "never got out", got out.)
I'm posting the ending as a few wanted to know the outcome. The owner took a early am walk in our local park (just steps away from where he lived)and found his cat - dead. He found it next to a tree and it had been mauled by another animal (it appeared to be) No doubt the cat was instinctively trying to climb the tree(my assumption anyway) Underscores my initial thought...this is a no-win for any cat. I felt very sorry for the owner, but was not about to provide him with any lectures. God bless the cat.