I don't think killing kittens is a better option, but I do think trying to clip their nails from a young age and then if there are still problems then consider the other options that are less painful. They have a new precedure where they make it so the cat cannot flex their claws out, but still dont' have part of each of their toes removed. The healing time is much less and they dont' have the loss of being able to properly groom themselves.
I actually looked into that - the trouble with that is they are cutting tendons (which I don't think is much better than amputation!) And the cats have less control. The nails still grow, so you still have to trim them and still have the other related problems - in fact, because they have less control over the nails - sometimes they get them so stuck they actually pull their nail out when they try to get free! EOWCH!!!!
The other options, that I can see, are that surgery (yuck) or these glue on nail caps. They are colored, so when the cat loses one (after a week or two) you replace it with a new one. Ongoing expense and hassle, and I can just see the cat chewing it off and eating it! There are other products to help them stay away from problem areas - turning those plastic runners with the pokey things pokey side up is supposed to help with rugs (but then how do you walk on them yourself?) They also have sticky paper you can put on furniture and things - cats don't like to get their paws sticky. There are some spray/liquid products that are supposed to replicate the smell of another animal's markings so the cat stays away from that area (I had tried one of those - it actually made my cat PEE on that area! Yuck!) Basically the liquid stuff doesn't work - even according to vets and the pet store people. Putting catnip on the areas you want them to scratch helps if you have a cat that reacts to and likes catnip (not all do). It usually helps them scratch there, but doesn't take away the desire to scratch in other places. If you can make sure they never scratch except where you want them to, and have a few different places they can do that - particularly if those places are in a few different areas - they might be trained to never want to be anywhere else. They want to go to the same places again and again, so if you can give them appropriate ones and make them ONLY want to go there - you can eliminate the ruined furniture and rugs. I work out of the home during the day - I can't make those guarantees. You can also make it unpleasant to scratch where they want to - water bottles spraying them when they go to scratch works - but again you need to be consistent, which I can't be from work.
The pain of the surgery is temporary. Just like any surgery. It hurts for a little while, but it goes away, and they and we never have the hassles again. I researched this stuff, Rocko, and have lived both ways. My cats are happier in the end WITH the surgery - because I am not "correcting them" for natural behavior, and am more loving and playful myself when I don't have to deal with accidental scratches or pokes.
Oh - btw... since this is the kitten saga thread... we decided to keep the tabby with the name he came with - Simon. Don't like the name, but he is used to it and we all think of him that way.
Simon is also sick. He got a "kitty cold" that we are watching in case he needs antibiotics. So far it is just super cute sneezes and runny eyes. Hopefully Bear won't get it. Bear can start his shots as soon as next week, and Simon can get his neuter/declaw soon too - but they both have to be healthy. So no new appt yet, we have to watch and see first. It is supposed to go away within a few days - I hope so!
In the meantime, they said to keep the old kitty away from them, which is too bad since he is now quite comfy with them, and even has started to be a bit playful. We are keeping the dogs away too, since stress makes the cold worse, and Simon is the one who doesn't like the dogs.
Bear (the tiny kitten) got it so bad we have to get him to the vet today. His left eye is gooped and swollen so bad it is almost shut. (I sure wish vets were open over the weekend!) The other two are still sneezing, but only mildly, they seem otherwise healthy.
We started letting them out of the bedroom this weekend. Simon and Bear are already relatively comfy around the dogs, but Keevin is still terrified, and won't go downstairs. Bear lets them sniff him all over, and plays with the sheltie. Simon hisses or bats their noses if they get too close, but otherwise ignores them.
The old cat lets the kittens do anything to him now, and he rarely even complains. He will even purr if I am petting him if there is a kitten playing with his tail. He likes to drink from the bathtub faucet, so even though all three of the kittens were in there, he hopped right in with them to get a drink. The only trouble is he is already SUPERCHUNK, we had him on a senior cat food diet, but now he is sneaking into the kitten chow. I worry he is going to have health problems if we can't control his weight at least a LITTLE bit.
He is totally agile - surprising for such a chunky. He gets lazy and doesn't want to get up on the bed, but he will. He DEFINITELY will if he thinks there is food up there. About the only way to do it would be to make the opening too small for him, but that might make it harder for the kittens, too. I did think of closing the kitten cage up with the food in it, but that limits when the kittens eat, to when we put them in the cage. Now they are only left in the cage overnight, and have free run of the house.
Yesterday he was even playing with the kittens. Funny to see the old guy who used to be so huffy playing with them. The dogs are good with the kittens too, now. The beagle has the cold pretty bad now too. I am pretty worried about him.
Bear is on medicine now, and his eye looks MUCH better already.
Oh, and Rocko - we might not get Simon declawed. He is being SUPER good about using scratching posts and not inappropriate things or ever using them on humans or dogs. What really tips us to thinking about it, though, is that he is showing escapism tendencies. He tried to escape the room when he was confined there, and he is REALLY exploring the rest of the house in a way the other kitties don't - so I am afraid he might attempt the doors. We are microchipping him for sure. He looks a lot like that tabby pic you put up on your thread.
Then he is beautiful!! I love spike. He is just a big cuddle bug. He lives outside 100% of the time. He is one of her SEVEN barn cats. People just throw them out there all the time. She has them spayed or neutered and keeps them. There is even one wild black cat and a skunk that she feeds with hers.
She feeds her cats two times a day because Spike and Cali are older and get really fat. She feeds them around 7 am and 7pm. They are all find with that. I know it is ideal to just leave food out all the time, but not always possible when you have multiple cats.
He truly is a beautiful cat - the sleek mouser type. He absolutely goes CRAZY for the furred playtoy, too. I suspect he comes from a long line of mousers - yet he is the sweetest and gentlest of the three cats, too. Harry wanted to favor Keevin, but Simon is winning his heart.
Bear is too little to tell his personality too much yet - except that he fits his name. He is one moment like a black bear, wrestling and grabbing with paws and claws (he has given me some NASTY claw marks and bites) and the next he is like a teddy bear, snuggling and purring, cuddling and letting you do anything to him. Hard to tell what of either part is pure kitten (the playful because he is young, the cuddly because he gets tired easily). I do know that even though he is like half their size the Bear can fight with the big boys. He curls his little body all around their head and attacks! (sometimes when they are sleeping!) What is REALLY funny is that sometimes when he is trying to attack Simon, Simon is trying to lick him, so he looks so funny and ineffectual - you know it just drives him nuts to be licked when he is being vicious!
Keevin is my TALKER. He makes these odd, sweet little noises. He also HOPS - totally like a bunny. He hops across the room, pounces on everything... and when he is walking slowly he talks. He is also a total lover when you pet him he closes his eyes and has this stuttery little purr that sounds like talking.
They sound adorable Shey. I keep wondering if I should get Houdini and friend to keep him company while I'm at work. he misses me so much he follows me around everywhere when get home. i feel even more guilty if I go out in the evenings too.
I was worried about getting another cat his age but seeing as your older puss has accepted kittens I might see if I can get a kitten for him to play with. I'm still nervous that he will bite or attack the baby because he is quite ferocious and feral.
Did you ask for guidance from a vet to see what he thought the best companion would be to introduce to the house? i.e. younger / older / male/ female etc.
“The only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn, like fabulous yellow roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars..."
I didn't ask - but I have been around pets all my life. They gave us this DVD with the adoption that talks about caring for a new kitty and there is a section on there about introducing the new pet to your household of pets. (Keep them isolated from everyone for a week or two, letting them smell each other through the door, followed by careful introductions of short periods, then monitored interactions). Funny thing is, we had already done all that before watching the DVD! ;D
If you have questions, though, I would ask your vet. Each animal is so different personality-wise, though - you probably know your pet the best. My old guy had already lived with dogs and had had a "brother" cat he grew up with, so I knew he did get along with others when he had to. His older "brother" cat had to be put to sleep earlier this year when he lost control of his back half.
I will say most older cats do better with kittens or a young one, because they don't try to dominate the old one. A new cat is an "invader", so it isn't nice when the invader tries to take over your home and dominate you! By the time the kitten grows up, it has learned its rightful place as an underling. ;D Plus, most animals (though not all) are more careful with babies.