I know I’ve joked before about declawing the cats (after Minerva attacked me), but now I have to actually consider it. Yes, I believe it’s cruel, and I know it’s like having your finger cut off at the knuckle, but when it comes down between declawing a cat and letting a cat hurt my baby… well, the humans come first. And for the drive-by commenters googling so you can lecture me about how I shouldn’t have gotten a cat if I couldn’t handle the claws, let me go ahead and cut you off. Minerva is almost 8 years old, Sydney is almost 7. They’ve been part of our lives since before we got married, before we knew we would get married, before we knew we would have kids. We’ve let them destroy furniture (brand new furniture at that), destroy carpet, scar up our arms and legs, etc. We didn’t declaw them before we had the baby, because we wanted to wait and see how they reacted to her. If they were fine with the baby, no need to declaw.
And they are actually fine with the baby. Sydney mostly avoids her. Minerva likes to be near her and is curious and will even try to cuddle us both when Buttercup is on my lap. I don’t let Minerva near her if I’m not right there beside her.
This morning, Buttercup was on her play mat, and I was sitting right next to her while she played. Minerva was about a foot away from Buttercup’s head with her paws curled up under her. Just watching, studying. After a while, Buttercup got really wiggly (her favorite song was on), and Minerva reached out with her paw towards Buttercup’s head. With fully extended claws. I know she was just going to tap at her like she does me when she wants a scratch, but the baby doesn’t distinguish what *kind* of pain she’s in. Thankfully, I caught the paw in time and sent the kitty away.
But now we have to consider whether to let the kitties keep their claws or not. I don’t want to do it, but if it comes down between their claws and her safety, I choose to get rid of the claws. It’s a hard decision, because I’m against declawing cats. I would just cut their claws every day (both of them are okay with it), but I don’t have the time. I know, it doesn’t take long, but I have a long list of things that don’t take long that I don’t get to do right now.
I’ve never declawed a cat this old (I declawed one of my previous cats before I really thought about it and learned more about the surgery). Do they recover okay? Anyone have opinions on what we should do? Thoughtful comments only, please, no personal attacks. I’m not taking the decision lightly.
UPDATE: Has anyone tried these Soft Paws? They look hilarious, but I’m willing to try them before the more drastic step.