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No Maine Coon for me

Since declawing a Maine Coon is so strongly discouraged, I guess I won't get one.

I've gone too long with crummy furniture as it is.

Hi There,

I know this isn't exactly a question, and I can feel your frustration. It sounds like you are really interested in a Maine Coon, and have done some research.

I would wonder, though, have you done an equal amount of research about cat declawing? There is a reason it is so strongly discouraged.

In our modern society, times change. Awareness increases. Not long ago, many people didn't "buy into" global warming as a concept. They were stuck in their ways.

From animal rights, to childrens rights, to protecting the environment, society evolves as we become more aware and compassionate as a whole.

During this time of change, there are those who slide right into the new way of thinking (understanding!) and those who stay right in the past. When it comes to declawing cats, the 'old way' is to assume all cats scratch furniture, and that altering a cat in this way is the thing to do to make him or her more compatible with their home furnishings.

Here are a few thoughts about declawing Maine Coons, though:

First, it is strongly discouraged because these kittens have a loving, educated (in this subject) advocate, their breeder.

The 'procedure' is understood to be just as, well for lack of a better word, inhumane when done to any cat as when done to a Maine Coon Cat. All purebred cat breeders know this and do not allow it. Unfortunately not all regular domestic housecats get to have such an advocate.

That's why countries, counties, and states are getting involved. It is becoming not just frowned upon but also against the law in many lands, as law-makers are presented with facts and professional opinions.

Here is the other thought:

Maine Coon Cats really are as smart as everyone says they are. I have never, in almost seven years, seen one of my cats reach up to scratch the furniture.

They were easy to train as kittens, they know what is allowed and what's not, and they are pure pleasure to have around. One word you'll never hear describing a Maine Coon Cat is "naughty." Cheeky, maybe, but not naughty.

Those who have already had a cat declawed may or may not see adverse effects on their pet. Those that do include biting problems, aggression, not using the litter box, sullen and depressed behavior and more.

Then, as they age, owners can look for joint problems later in life. This is because a cats body is designed to walk on its toes. When those are amputated, they actually take on a different posture.

Even cats who are fine now will become affected by this improper posture later. And big Maine Coon cats, especially if they develop Hip Dysplasia, and their big size, might be in for a world of hurt.

There are many camps on this subject. Some say do what's best for your home and it's a personal decision. (That's why there are people like breeders and others who become advocates for these animals)

Others say never do it, no matter what. Then there are cats who have genuine aggression issues. They are a danger to those around them and will surely be put down in a shelter. In that case, declawing the cat gives them a second chance and a home and a life.

I'll finish with a story. A couple of summers ago, I was at a family get-together, having a conversation about pets. My husbands cousin was telling me about the love of her life. A wonderful cat, a sweet loving affectionate boy. He was a gem, one of those special pets you always hold close to your heart.

She had his front claws removed in order to keep the furniture intact.

A while later, he slipped out the door as all cats do from time to time. That was the last she ever saw him, she told me with tears in her eyes. The images in her mind of his fate were to much to bear. They lived in the country with woods around. He could not defend himself, or even climb a tree.

She shared with me that to this day she can never forgive herself. Now, I'm not one for 'shock-value' but there are sites where you can see the actual nitty-gritty.

I hope you find room in your home and your heart for a cat. And, I'm sorry that you've lived with crummy furniture for so long. But I'm sure a Maine Coon wouldn't destroy your home.

All The Best,

P.S. It's easy to trim cat and kitten claws. Most breeders will help you learn how, too. We've owned nail clippers for years, and I still use them regularly. There is a description of how to use them here: Cat Claw Control

Comments for No Maine Coon for me

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Apr 26, 2015
by: Anonymous

When I first got my M/C she was 12 wks old. But she got into the habit of climbing up me from the floor to my shoulders as soon as she seen me in the kitchen. Many scratches later she in now 5 months old and has now stopped this behavior. She loves being brushed then falls asleep, then I clip her nails with no problem. I will never get her declawed. She is so loving but as a kitten still in the curious stage. She is quite a talker and rarely leaves my side.

Nov 12, 2014
by: Christy

I Rescued my Maine Coon in a parking lot as a kitten and as a previous cat owner I declawed and vacinatited her as always she is very active, personable andactive as ever. After reading this I feel like I may have made her life questionable. My point... She is active, fun, crazy, animated, and vocal... ie.....she is awesome meaning as a gentle giant I had no clue I should not have declawed her.

Jun 20, 2014
Will never do this again
by: Deirdre

13 years ago, our vet suggested we do this when we had Sassy fixed. He assured us it doesn't hurt and if she is going to be an inside cat, we would thank him later. I agreed but now as I see her get older and I learn what it actually does to them, I will never do this to another kitty again! I have changed litter several times but it must really hurt her as she prefers to go right beside it. I am still looking for soft litter that will not hurt her as bad. Poor baby! If only I had known or done research before agreeing to it. oh and....we have since changed vets!

Nov 27, 2013
Animal abuse
by: mrzottel

Am I glad that declawing is banned almost everywhere in Europe, usually by "Animal abuse laws" or even a crime punishable by imprisonment as it is in Germany. If I decide to own a cat, I do not only buy the fluffy, funny and adorable companion but also every other aspect. I have to live with feeding my cat, cleaning the litter box, removing the hair from virtually everything, visiting the vet, beeing not able to go on vacation as freely as before - and of course the possible damage to furniture the natural habits of my cats cause. If I can not deal with it, I must reconsider getting a cat. There is absolutely no way to justify to mutilate a cat just because I don't want this single nuisance of damaged furniture. I own three cats, two of them Maine Coons from a great breeder, one a cat I rescued when he was left behind by his "family" in a flat to starve. I live with the occasional scratch mark here and there, as these three cats give so much more back than they take.

Aug 24, 2013
your decision for your home
by: Suzanne

I am an informed, knowledgable lifetime animal person. Have raised cats, dogs, hamsters, guinea pigs, chickens, ducks, birds, fish etc etc.....almost everything but the barnyard. Being 60-some years old, Ive been there with pets. They have been my best friends. And, Ive had a broken heart several times when I lose them. BUT I have a rule in my house....butts and nails get done when they are adopted. Period. No house damage from nails and no babies. There are enough animals who need loving and caring homes. I have had several people tell me how no matter what they do, a cat will still claw and scratch whatever and whenever they feel the need. My own experience included. Dogs are trainable animals because we are the leader and they need to please. Dogs are pack animals and will follow the crowd where Cats are solitary independent hunters who do not need an "alpha" leader. They are all their own leaders and make the rules for themselves. I dont care what others say, you cannot be successful in training any cat to only claw a certain piece of "correct" articles made for the clawing and scratching. Throughout their entire lives, My cats have all gone up to doorways and furniture to go through the motion of clawing- even though they lost their nails at a young age... Clawing has been proven to me over my lifetime that it is not a trainable behaviour and shouldnt be punished. With doing that, it only frightens and confuses the cat. If the cat will lose its home or will be abandoned it is especially better to just declaw it....but a word of further advice....NEVER declaw the back feet.. That is inhumane, mean and nasty. How can he/she scratch an itch with NO claws? And also, cats do not belong outdoors, so be a diligent human and prevent them from ever going, if you must not declaw, think about the "new" way to prevent unwanted claw behavoir and use the nail caps. Be smart but be a pet owner.

May 24, 2013
I went for it, dont regret it one bit
by: Jessica :-)

I have a Maine Coon who is aprox 13 years old. I've had her since she was a small kitten (less than 6 months). From day 1, she destroyed all of my furniture and anything else she could get her claws on. She used to climb on the screen doors/windows. She never, and I mean NEVER would use the scratching post I purchased for her. I tried several different styles, I tried rubbing cat nip on them, I tried cat nip spray.... You name it, I've tried it.
For a year I was living in my boyfriends parents house and they were allergic to cats so I couldn't bring her there, so she stayed with my mom (and also destroyed ALL of her furniture). when we finally purchased our own home (and new furniture) I decided it was a decision between getting her de-clawed, or getting rid of her. I couldn't bare thinking she may not go to a caring home if I gave her to a shelter so I went ahead and had it done.
We opted for a laser procedure, which I understand is less invasive, and a lot less painful for the cat. She came out of the vet the following day with her paws bandaged up. We did give her pain medication through a syringe for about a week.
I will say, she is more prone to nip at us now. She never had problems with the litter box. She likes to rough house with my boyfriends Siamese cat and she is the aggressor most of the time. She still goes through the motions of clawing all of my furniture as if she still had her claws.
I do not regret the decision one bit because I couldn't imagine having to get rid of her. If you ever have the decision to make, and choose to go with de-clawing, please be sure to ask your vet for the laser procedure. It may be more expensive but if you're going to put your cat through something like that, you had better go with the least traumatic way to do it.
I would have never had her de-clawed had she not ruined so many pieces of furniture and carpet. I only did the front paws. Always give your cat a chance to show you if they are capable of learning to use the scratching post, etc. Our Siamese has all of his claws and he ONLY uses his scratching post. He is the most gentile cat I've ever encountered. He would never think of scratching anything but the post unless he was startled by something and happened to be laying in your lap at the time.
Every cat (regardless of breed) is different and can be prone to doing different things, and have different personalities.

Mar 11, 2013
to have or have not
by: Anonymous

I had 2 sets of brother sister cats Xerox and Ditto, born in 1978. They were declawed in front by me when they were fixed. I never regretted the decision. They had long healthy happy lives. I still have vinyl records that they scratched the spines on before they were old enuf. The next sibship I got at the shelter, they were 4 years old and already declawed in front when I got them. Fancy Pants Princess Girl made it to 16 and my Moose Boy lived to be 20 and a half, a gentle happy camper. My perfect Prince Valium was already about 5 when I got him in the shelter already declawed. I think b/c he was declawed they didn't have the heart to kill him, thank the goddesses. My folks had a much beloved Coon that seemed to rip the furniture to shreds almost overnight in their Maine cottage. I think clipping nails can be very traumatic for the cat and the owner, in my experience. Seeing a cat bleeding from cutting it too short is an awful thing to see. I agree it's not a good thing to do when the cat is older but when they are young I have not seen ill effects from this admittedly controversial topic.

Feb 15, 2011
Declawing is Horrible
by: Anonymous

How would you like it if someone amputated all your finger tips just above you nails?

Feb 15, 2011
Yes, cats are "extra work" sometimes
by: Leslee

All cats need to stretch, scratch and scent-mark, it's part of being feline tho I agree it can lead to problems with furniture. Always give your cat an appropriate place to scratch. You can get as creative/expensive as you like, from a custom-made carpeted cat tree to an old tree log; just make sure the cat loves the feel and it's in a place he'll use it.

Keep the cat's nails trimmed often. My male cat has big dog-like feet and fat nails that aren't too sharp, but I've gotten him used to nail trims since he was a kitten. He "kneads" more than claws at his cat tree, so I think having short nails helps.

I've found Maine Coons to be affectionate, gentle, easy-going and eager to please, as well as highly trainable wonderful companions. I hope you'll give a Coon a try. All pets are extra work, but the effort is well worth it!

Feb 15, 2011
by: Anonymous

I understand what you are saying about furniture and not wanting your cats to scratch it up. I own two beautiful Maine Coon cats. The older male never scratched anything. His sister however was very bad with it.
I tried Soft Paws to cover her nails and she pulled them off. She destroyed part of my carpet and couches. She had tons of toys and activity and I was home almost all the time. One day she was in a very naughty mood and went after my canary and killed it. Which I couldn't get angry over, she was only a kitten.
After that I looked at all the destruction and spoke to my vet and had her declawed. She was still very young and wasn't heavy. She stayed at the vets for the night and came home the next day. Within 2 or 3 days she was running around and fine.
Today she is very happy and healthy. She plays with the other cats and catches mice in the basement all of the time. Just make sure you do it while she is young so she doesn't have to put a lot of pressure on her paws, and make sure it's a indoor kitty.

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