Sunday 16 August 2009

Somali Cat “Chase”

When I look at the picture below of a classy, ruddy coloured Somali cat Chase I think of the good ole US of A and Oklahoma. And the Oklahoma wind. Heavens, it blew a gale, a warm gale for hour after hour after hour. Here is the effect it had on the doors of the show hall (I made it into a short horror film!):

Yes, these are heavy doors and they all blew out and back in unison. And then there is that scream…….! Man it was strange and scary.

One of the stars of the show (this was the Thunderkatz show in April 2009) was this little character;  Somali cat “Chase”. He is a ruddy Somali cat. Somali cats are long haired Abyssinians. And as I like foxes..well you can understand why this fella appealed to me.

As I recall he was well behaved and he takes a nice photo too. Of course he would being as handsome as he is!

Here is the video I made of Helmi and Ken photographing this foxey character, Somali cat Chase:

As bit about the Somali cat:

First this boy is ruddy coloured. The ground colour is “burnt sienna” (sounds like a colour of matt paint you buy at the local DIY shop!). The colour is glowing and gleaming and Helmi captures this beautifully.

The Abyssinian (the shorthaired version of the Somali and the more commonly seen cat) is known to be a bit of a performer and that seems to be present in Chase.

In America the overall shape of the Somali is considered more important apparently than the colour and quality of its coat. This cat breed is elegant, slender and strong. The body type is called “foreign” – see cat body types if you like.

The ears are large and the head foxey (my description). Technically it is a modified wedge (cat fancy speak to mean wedge shaped but with rounded corners!).

The defining characteristic of this cat, though, is its ticked coat. This is a tabby cat without the tabby markings, well almost. There is a vague vestige of a pattern on the tail and the head (the classic “M” tabby forehead is present but softened). The agouti gene is at work and the hair shafts in a ruddy Somali are banded with that burnt sienna, and black (what Gloria Stephenson calls the “indicative colour”).

Other colours are blue, sorrel and fawn and it just so happens I have a video of some blue (and ruddy) Abyssinian kittens being photographed too:

Both the Abyssinian and Somali are agile graceful climbers. They are intelligent and love to play.

The Somali should look exactly the same as the Abyssinian. Long haired Abyssinians were not wanted and were a by product of Abyssinian breeding caused by a hidden recessive gene that produced long hair – heavens forbid. Until someone decided how nice they looked and a new cat breed was born. And a very nice breed they are too.

See more cat videos here: Broadsurf’s channel: Pictures of cats.

From Somali cat Chase to Home Page

Tuesday 11 August 2009

Good Veterinarians Must Speak Out

The good veterinarians must speak out. What I mean is that the veterinarians in America who do see the cruelty in declawing cats and who do not carry out the operation need to provide courses and educational seminars for the public about declawing.

I don’t see this happening. I can understand why. It is totally understandable. They are in the minority and they might (probably would) alienate other vets. They might become outsiders in their own profession.

See lots more articles on why declawing is fundamentally wrong: Declawing Cats

And it is far better financially speaking to remain inside the group. But and this is a massive but, the good veterinarians who don’t speak out and try in a decent way to stop declawing, are undermining their own consciences. Indirectly, they are condoning it. In regards to such a profoundly abusive medical procedure as non-therapeutic declawing of cats the good and enlightened veterinarians who genuinely have the care of animals at heart (unlike the monsters who declaw) owe a duty to their patients to speak out.

This could, for example, take the form of giving seminars. Why not? The vet could charge a modest fee and present the facts about declawing to owners who were thinking of declawing their cats. There must be a large number of people who are unsure about it who simply need some clear guidance.

There is a lot of misinformation out there and very little really good research. All the vet has to do is to present the known facts, which can be summarised as follows:

Declawing is unnecessary. There is lots of evidence that tells us it can cause serious medical complications but we need further sound and objective research. Because of the real potential to cause short and long term complications that are unpredictable for any individual cat a vet should not carry out the procedure. The better course of action is to respect the cat for what he or she is and adapt to the cat’s behaviour and enjoy that behaviour. If that cannot be contemplated another animal as a companion should be chosen.

It a few hundred vets started educating the public about declawing by telling the truth (I am not asking vets to do what the AVMA does and peddle half truths and misrepresentations) then the gradual change away from this hideous practice would begin.

In lieu of that the only force for change can come from legislators who ban declawing at the local level - for example the West Hollywood ban. Come on good veterinarians you must speak out. The cat is looking to you for help.

From Good Veterinarians Must Speak Out to Home Page

Friday 7 August 2009

AVMA Misrepresents the Reasons for Declawing

Here is correspondence between a colleague of mine, Susan Woodhouse, and the AVMA in 2007. This is correspondence about surveys on declawing. The AVMA muddy the declawing surveys to suit their objectives and misrepresents the reasons for declawing. The true AVMA reason is to continue the practice for financial profit. However, one consistent argument that the AVMA puts forward for declawing is that it prevents relinquishment of the cat and therefore saves lives. This is incorrect. In addition to the arguments presented by Susan below please also see, Declawing kills more cats…. Susan says:

..note they cite a study where 1 in every 3 declawed cats having a behavioral problem is not "statistically significant" to matter! And another study where vets were asked to "guess" how many of their clients would relinquish without declaw! Absolutely NO protection, voice, or justice for our fellow felines!

ME (Susan Woodhouse):
AVMA, Regarding the statement, "Scientific data does indicate that cats that have destructive clawing behavior are more likely to be euthanized, or more readily relinquished, released, or abandoned, thereby contributing to the homeless cat population", I was wondering if you could provide me with the scientific data that you've found that cat scratching leads to relinquishment, etc for research for a declaw website that I am working on. I have only found that, according to the “Top Ten Reasons for Pet Relinquishment to Shelters in the United States" survey done by the NCPPSP, destructive behavior / scratching is not listed as a reason cats are relinquished from their homes but “house soiling , a common behavioral effect of broken down, declawed paws, is listed as a prime reason for disposing of a pet cat. This survey seems more reasonable since it is much easier to curtail natural scratching (trimming, training, Soft Paws) than it is litterbox issues.

We are in the process of completing and getting ready for publication a very extensive review of the peer-reviewed literature pertaining to onychectomy in cats. Part of the reason for doing this extensive review is frustration with all the misinformation that has been presented with respect to this procedure (on both sides of the fence). With respect to your specific questions regarding relinquishment and objectionable behaviors…the following information may be of value. Please understand that this information only touches the tip of the iceberg of what information is available.

  1. Relinquishment… In a 1991 survey of Ontario veterinarians (Landsberg, 1991) respondents indicated that approximately 50% of their clients would no longer own their cat if it had not been declawed. A comprehensive review performed by Patronek also showed that unacceptable behaviors increase risk of relinquishment to shelters (Patronek, 1996). Daily scratching was shown to increase risk of relinquishment, and declawing to decrease risk of relinquishment.
  2. House soiling… A survey of 57 owners of onychectomized or tenectomized cats reported that 3 of 18 (16%) ten ectomized and 13 of 39 (33%) onychectomized cats developed at least one behavioral change following surgery (including house soiling, increased frequency or intensity of biting, or refusal to cover feces), but the difference was not statistically significant (Yeon, 2001). Six of 39 (15%) onychectomized cats house-soiled following onychectomy (Yeon, 2001); however, because the overall incidence of house-soiling in cats (clawed and declawed) has been reported to be 16% (Morgan, 1989) there does not appear to be an increased risk of house-soiling following onychectomy. The study addressing risk factors for relinquishment of cats to animal shelters (Patronek, 1996) did not identify a statistically significant difference in aggression or inappropriate elimination between declawed and clawed cats.

THANK YOU for taking the time to respond to my question. I really appreciate it because I know how busy you must be. I reread the studies you sited in your response, and found some interesting points, such as in Dr. Patronek study where he found that in the multi-variate analysis, declawing was associated with increased incidence of relinquishment and in the Landsberg study where it said only 4% of the cat owners themselves said they would have relinquished their cat if it wasn't declawed, versus the 50% that Dr. Landsberg guessed in the survey.

I believe this is the exact kind of frustrating misunderstanding of this issue that you referred to in your email! I'm so glad to hear the AVMA is taking a serious look at cat declawing because much of the public is becoming disheartened & disillusioned since declawing is being sold as routine cat care by so many veterinarians, and even included in "preventive health care" packages like Banfield is doing, with absolutely no education being given to the human client about how natural & normal scratching is for felines, the short & long term realities of the surgery, and the easy alternatives that allow humans & cat claws to coexist without any scratched flesh or furniture.

I'm hoping the AVMA knows of any studies/surveys of vets documenting the number of cat parents (who requested declaw) who were sent home on a "30 day waiting period" so to speak, with education about the surgery and the alternatives, and who actually came back for surgery versus how many were educated & enlightened. Or studies of actual numbers of cats that were truly relinquished because a vet refused to perform the surgery. I'm also trying to find how much more financial profit vets make when they don't declaw cats and sell regular nail trims over the life of the cat, plus sell nail trimmers, cardboard scratch pads, etc out of their offices. Do you know of any statements or studies that contain this information? I can't find any.

Also, I found 2 other studies/surveys done in 2000 about how many cats are relinquished due to litter box problems with HUGE statistical differences than those relinquished for claw issues. These both confirm that litterbox issues are the number one behavioral reason cats are relinquished from the home. It seems to me that, considering the anecdotal evidence that declawing increases the likelihood of litter box problems, and these high percentages of cats relinquished because of house soiling behavior, veterinarians have even more reason to discourage the surgery and counsel/educate their human clients about the humane alternatives if keeping the cats from being relinquished from their home is truly their goal.

According to "Behavioral Reasons for Relinquishment of Dogs and Cats to 12 Shelters" (Salman, Hutchinson, & Ruch-Gallie) in the Journal Of Applied Animal Welfare Science 2000, "soils house" was the #1 reason cats were relinquished from the home, and "aggression toward people" was #3.

  1. Soils house=43.2%,
  2. Problems between new pet & other pets=18.9%,
  3. Aggressive toward people=14.6%
  4. Destructive inside=12.4%,
  5. Aggressive toward animals=12.4%,
  6. Bites=9.2%,
  7. Disobedient=5.9%,
  8. Euthanasia for behavioral reasons=5.4%,
  9. Unfriendly=5.4%,
  10. Afraid=3.8%

According to "Reasons for Removing a Cat from the Household" (Ralston Purina 2000) as tabled in the article "Indoor Cats, Scratching, and the Debate over Declawing: When Normal Pet Behavior Becomes a Problem" (Grier & Peterson), The State of the Animals III:2005, "Eliminating Outside the Litterbox" was the #1 reason cats were relinquished from the home, and "biting people" was #2.

  1. Eliminating Outside the Litterbox=33%,
  2. Biting People=14%,
  3. Intolerant of Children=11%,
  4. Scratching People=11%,
  5. Destroying Household or Personal Items=8%

p.s. Regarding the Landsberg study that you mentioned...if the AVMA considers this survey as scientific evidence where vets were asked to guess how many of their clients would relinquish their cats if they weren't declawed, wouldn't it be fair to amend your position statement where you state there is "no scientific evidence that declawing leads to behavioral problems" and include the national shelter survey information that says 70-80% of cats relinquished with stated behavioral problems are declawed?

Even vets like Dr. Patronek have stated in JAVMA "Some cats may also exhibit behavior problems in the longer term, including soiling and aggression. We have no idea what the frequency of this is, or how to identify cats at risk". There are many vets, and many humane shelter workers, cat consultants, cat parents, and animal behaviorists coming up with this same conclusion - declawed cats use their teeth more and their litterbox less!

From AVMA misrepresents reasons for declawing to home page

See also: Declawing Cats for lots more links and AVMA Policy on Declawing Cats

Thursday 6 August 2009

Banfield Veterinary Group Policy on Declawing

The Banfield Veterinary Group Policy on Declawing is inhumane, horribly wrong, misleading and a denial of the truth. It should be brought up to date immediately. Their policy is to condone declawing of cats for non-therapeutic purposes (to stop the cat scratching the furniture). Kim Van Syoc, Senior Communications Specialist for Banfield tells us the reason for their policy, which I summarise below (I cannot quote verbatim as it would be a breach of copyright so this is a fair and accurate summary but there is a link to the original article just below).

The Banfield Policy:

Banfield perform declawing operations if they believe that a cat can't be trained to stop using its claws to scratch furniture or they pose a danger to family members. She says that not all cats are amenable to "behaviour modification". She says that fewer cats will be abandoned and euthanised if the cat is declawed. Recovery is very rapid, she says, leading to a stronger bond between cat and person. {note: Kim Van Syoc, Senior Communications Specialist for Banfield calls declawing "onchiectomy"}

This is totally misleading and simply incorrect. They follow the AVMA policy on declawing cats which is also wholly inhumane.

Firstly, it should be pointed out that onchiectomy is the castration of a man! It is not declawing which is onychectomy. If this is a direct quote from Miss Syoc, which I am told it is, then she doesn't know much about declawing does she? The original posting on is here (new window). It may have been changed as a result of this article as it is very embarassing.

Secondly, the concept of training an animal to do what we want is incorrect. If we don't like what a cat does we shouldn't keep a cat - simple. That one act of not keeping a cat would reduce the feral cat problem massively over time. So vets encourage irresponsible ownership by declawing. They foster the idea and encourage the notion that we can modify a cat's anatomy to suit us. That debases the animal and leads to more abandonments and an arrogant approach to cat keeping that is wholly against the interests of the cat's wellbeing. Banfield, you are encouraging bad behaviour in people who keep cats. You encourage the wrong people to keep cats.

Question to Kim Van Syoc. Even on the basis that your policy is OK (which is obviously is not) how do you manage it? Do you ask people about how they tried to train their cat? No. Do you instruct them how to train their cat if what they are doing is incorrect? No. Do you even check if they are training their cat? No.

"Behaviour modification" needs to be directed at the people not the cat. It is the people who need to be trained. Trained to stop seeing the companion cat as a "possession" to do with as we please. These people are getting confused between a cat and a sofa. One is living and the other is dead. The former feels pain and the latter doesn't. Got it!

It is false to say that declawing prevents abandonment. This is just something the veterinarians peddle around the place to support their mutilation of companion cats. They use it as the main argument to justify this inhumane behaviour. In a scientific review of research into complications of declawing surgery it was found that:

"..........declawed cats were at an increased risk of relinquishment"

Gary J. Patronek, VMD, PhD: Assessment of claims of short- and long-term complications associated with onychectomy in cats.

Please read this Miss Kim Van Syoc: Declawing cat kills more cats.

Finally, there is no definitive scientific evidence (and vets must work from science and not hearsay) that cats recovery rapidly after declawing.

In conclusion Miss Syoc your arguments are worse than poor. They are misleading and the Banfield Veterinary Group Policy on Declawing results in the mutilation of innocent animals and encourages irresponsible cat ownership leading to more mass slaughter of unwanted cats that are already slaughtered by the millions in America every year.

July 29th 2010: Please sign the petition to change Banfield Veterinary Group Policy on Declawing - Petition

From Banfield Veterinary Group Policy on Declawing to Home Page

Tuesday 4 August 2009

Declawing Cats Kills More Cats

The often repeated mantra of people who have their cats declawed is that it saves the lives of cats. Veterinarians also use this argument and probably (almost certainly) use it when justifying the unjustifiable, the declawing of a cat to prevent furniture being scratched. What they mean is that but for the declawing of cats, they would be given up and euthanized.

There are two counter arguments to this that come to mind. The first comes from a report that is available on the American Veterinary Medical Association website. It is a research project conducted by Gary J. Patronek, VMD, PhD called: Assessment of claims of short- and long-term complications associated with onychectomy in cats.

Dr. Patronek went over previous research projects to try and answer the question as to whether there were short and/or long term consequences of declawing of cats. In fact he found out that there was no research project that provided a clear picture, which meant that American veterinarians were carrying out a major and serious operation on the whim of the cat's owner with reckless disregard for the outcome - bizarre but true. I will take the liberty of quoting him verbatim:
It seems unthinkable that an elective surgery performed on a quarter of owned cats could lack definitive evaluation, but that appears to be the case. (2001)
However, the point I want to make is that in his review of the earlier research when a variety of factors are taken into account (called multivariate analysis - meaning multiple variables are taken into account when analyzing the findings) he states that:
"..........declawed cats were at an increased risk of relinquishment"
What he saying is that cats that were declawed were then at a greater risk of being given up to shelters. This is the exact opposite of the often quoted and false argument that declawing cats saves cat's lives.

Here is another point and this may be what Dr. Patronek's research was getting at. I say that declawing cats kills more cats. Lets assume that we wake up tomorrow and declawing is banned. A brave new world arrives. The people who have bought or adopted cats on the basis that they will have them declawed give up their cats. These are the people who feed the declawing business (a $20 billion dollar business by my reckoning). They want cats but don't want cats. They want an animal companion that looks like a cat but that does not act like one.

Immediately after a nationwide declawing ban there would be a huge number of cats given up. There are over 20 million declawed cats in the USA. Millions of cats would therefore be euthanized as a result of a declaw ban - initially that is. And this is the point. All the people who would have had their cats declawed (about 20 million of them) would no longer keep cats. We know that the people who request declawing are the wrong kind of people to keep cats - that must be a given. People who request declawing are prioritising furniture over the health and wellbeing of their cat. That shows us where their priorties lie. They are the kind of people who give up cats on a whim. They must be the kind of people who are more likely to give up their cat on the simple basis that they value furniture over the cat's health.

These irresponsible owners would be out of circulation. Over time the number of cats given up and then euthanised would be reduced dramatically. As about 2 or more million cats are euthanised each year in the USA, over time there would be considerably less cats killed. There is no doubt in my mind that declawing cats kills more cats as it feeds the concept that cats are inanimate objects to do with as we please. It creates a carelessness of ownership of cats. It devalues and debases cats and fosters irresponsible ownership which is the absolute underlying problem that faces us all in regard to the wholly unacceptable state of affairs that is the yearly mass slaughter of cats in America.

Note: As I have said previously, I have a high regard for America and the American people but I am justifiably critical of what I consider to be a blind spot for the American people - the declawing of cats for non-therapeutic purposes.

Note: the best way to introduce a ban on declawing would be gently and progressively, which is what may happen in any case. This would allow people time to adjust and there would be less cats given up. There would be a gradual change in culture that would help the cat companion.

See more articles on declawing cats.

From Declawing Cats Kills More Cats to Home Page

Monday 3 August 2009

No Definitive Evaluation of Declawed Cats

I talked about this in passing on this page: Declawing kills more cats than saves them. Here, I discuss the fact that there is no definitive evaluation of declawed cats in more detail. Shocking as it sounds, at 2001 (and I believe it is still the case) there was no definitive scientific evaluation of the short and long term complications associated with the declawing of cats. What I mean is that veterinarians in America have no clear, scientifically based idea whether the declawing operations that they routinely perform in the tens of millions causes short or long term health problems. Staggering but true.

Of course there is a pile of anecdotal evidence and vets have some ideas of their own (always biased I would say, if they declaw) but there is no sound and reliable survey in existence upon which a decision could be made by the American Veterinary Medical Association or individual vets whether to operate or not. In short all the veterinarians in America who carry out the operation act recklessly in performing a brutal operation for the convenience of the owner without being able to formulate an assessment as to the medical effects and risks, which by the way are all extremely negative.

That must be a act of mass medical negligence. Responsible medical personnel should never perform medical procedures without knowing the risks. That is obvious but the American vets do not know the full risks because they do not understand the full extent of the complications. The information for what I have said comes from a research paper on the AVMA website entitled: Assessment of claims of short- and long-term complications associated with onychectomy in cats - by Gary J. Patronek, VMD, PhD. It might be fair to say that his conclusion came as a surprise to him. He says this at the end of the article:
"It seems unthinkable that an elective surgery performed on a quarter of owned cats could lack definitive evaluation, but that appears to be the case."
"Unthinkable" means, "Impossible to imagine; inconceivable"....Is this a criticism of the AVMA? You bet it is. The AVMA is presiding over a state of affairs in relation to the declawing of cats that is impossible to imagine by any right minded person and this assessment is on the AVMA website.

He did, however, go over a mass of data all of which was almost inconclusive at a scientific level, he said, but which nonetheless points to some real post operative problems, which I touch on below.....

Note: People will say that if there is no definitive scientific research on the complications of declawing sugery how can people like myself say it is bad. Well, this is the answer. Firstly, there has been research and it points to the fact that serious complications exist. The author of the report mentioned above concludes:
"The most that can be said about adverse behavioral sequelae to onychectomy is that they remain as hard to dismiss as they are to quantify."
In other words he is saying that we cannot say that there are no adverse complications. Secondly, as a matter of pure commonsense if an animal has the tips of their toes removed by a knife (usually) and given large amounts of pain killers afterwards it can be concluded that there will be a lot of healing to do over a long period of time. It is major surgery causing a very serious injury. What people like me say is that to put an animal through that for the sake of a piece of furniture that might well be thrown out before the cat dies is madness.

The act of declawing is nicely described by the dictionary definition of "to mutilate", which is this:
  • To deprive of a limb or an essential part; cripple.
  • To disfigure by damaging irreparably.
  • To make imperfect by excising or altering parts.
I have quoted the (I hope they will excuse me if it is a minor breach of copyright).

Thirdly, it is not for us, the people who object to declawing to prove that it is wrong at a scientific level. It is for the perpetrators to prove that it is acceptable. The onus falls on them to carry out all the research before the procedure is accepted. They are the "doctors" who do the mutilation. They have to justify it and act professionally. Fourthly, there are a significant number of owners who requested and got declawing and who regretted it. Over 5% had a negative attitude about 9 months after surgery - remember that this is from people who favour declawing. If there are 22.5 million declawed cats and 2 cats per household that makes 11.25 million owners requesting declawing of which more than 500,000 would report problems 9 months after surgery (if the survey could extend to such a sample size).

A small selection of summarised findings of the report, Assessment of claims of short- and long-term complications associated with onychectomy in cats - by Gary J. Patronek, VMD, PhD.. The reason why the selection is small is because the findings are not precise enough. You can see the whole report here - (it will cost you $15)
  1. Declawing is a common elective procedure. About 25% of all domestic cats at least are declawed. If there are 90 million cats that makes 22.5 million cats that have been mutilated.
  2. The author says that the AVMA takes "a cautious approach". How can this be? The author concludes that vets carry out declawing not knowing what the consequences will be. Isn't that reckless rather than cautious?
  3. As at 2001 in respect of a study on adverse behavioural outcomes of declawing cats it was found that:
  • biting was reported for about 12% of declawed cats
  • house soiling was reported for about 25% of declawed cats (is this why declawed cats are given up? - Declawing Kills More Cats)
The author says that veterinarians are well aware that declawed cats suffered unrelieved pain in the past (all that pain for what?). Modern techniques "substantially reduce"....pain. But by how much and what about the long term pain? Do we know if the cat is feeling pain?

The author says that information on the long term behavioural outcomes of declawing cats is desperately needed. That was in 2001. It has not happened to the best of my knowledge. Wrong? Please tell me. If research has been conducted it has been buried and if that is the case it would be an horrendous indictment of the callous and cavalier approach that the AVMA has towards the domestic cat. There is still no definitive evaluation of declawed cats.

From No Definitive Evaluation of Declawed Cats to Home Page

Sunday 2 August 2009

AVMA Veterinarians Admit Declawing is Inhumane

AVMA Veterinarians Admit Declawing is Inhumane by implication. In a survey conducted some time ago (mid 1990s, it seems), domestic cat owners who had put their cats through declawing (onychectomy) or the procedure to stop the cat having use of its claws (tendonectomy), were asked questions after the operation. The purpose was to compare behavioral problems after the operation and the see what the owners thought of the operation. The survey sample was 18 cats that went through tendonectomy and 39 cats that had the tips of their toes removed (onychectomy). It was confirmed that the most common reason to put their cats through the operations was
"to avoid damage caused by the cat scratching household materials. Avoidance of injury to humans or animals was chosen more often by owners whose cats underwent onychectomy than those that underwent tendonectomy"
The fact that furniture is more important to these people than their cats shows how ridiculous the AVMA policy on declawing is and that declawing in the US is almost always done for non-therapeutic reasons (meaning for the benefit of the person not the cat). The policy states:
"Declawing of domestic cats 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)."
It seems therefore that these people had tried to prevent their cats from scratching. The policy is drafted so widely that it is hopeless, worse it is a sham. Under the policy a person can try for a couple of minutes on two occasions and pass the test. The survey results say that,
"Significant differences were not detected regarding behavior problems after surgery......Although tendonectomy and onychectomy involved some medical complications and behavior changes following surgery"
This means that there were behavioral problems doesn't it? So much for the arguments by countless thousands of people who put their cats through this cruel procedure who say my cats fine after the operation. Vets admit that there are "some complications." Finally the report concludes (as this report is on the AVMA website):
"Tendonectomy may be a humane alternative to onychectomy...( J Am Vet Med Assoc 2001;218:43–47)"
So cutting pieces of tendon out of the cat (Tendonectomy) is a humane alternative to removing the tips of the toes (how bizarre is that by the way?). By implication this clearly states that declawing is inhumane. And as this is a survey published on the AVMA website, it is an open admission that their veterinarians are behaving in an inhumane way on a regular basis in defiance of common decency and against the interests of their patients.


Signs of Cat Mouth Disease

It is something that we tend to put to one side. We are too busy etc. Our cat is there, utterly reliable and he or she takes care of herself just fine but we should really keep an eye on some basics and we, as companions to our cats, can do quite a lot in the way of inspections. Grooming and inspecting for fleas is the classic example.

Inspecting for signs of cat mouth disease is relatively straightforward too and should be picked up early so that preventative steps or early reactive steps can be taken. We don't even have to inspect our cat's mouth at the outset because there are early signs of cat mouth disease.

One of the first signs of cat mouth disease is that the cat has difficulty eating because the mouth is sore. It wants to eat but stops. The cat might look at the food longingly and even try and eat but stop.

As the mouth is sore another sign will be an unkempt coat as it is too painful for the cat to groom her coat in the usual way by licking. If the cat does groom itself it may drool. This will be indicated by saliva on the cat's chin and/or chest below the chin.

Another sign and one that is pretty obvious but you gotta get close is bad breath. The likely causes of bad breath would be Stomatitis (an inflammation of the mucous lining of any of the structures in the mouth) and Gingivitis (inflammation of the gums around the teeth without loss of the tooth attachment). Bad breath may also be caused by tartar build up.

If these signs are present the mouth can be examined but your cat won't like it particularly as the mouth is sore. If you are right handed, to open a cat's mouth, place the left hand over the cat's head and the finger and thumb of the hand against the corners of the mouth and press in gently. The mouth will open and it can be opened slightly further by pressing down on the chin with the index finger of the right hand. Warning: be careful and if in doubt see a good veterinarian. Preferably one who does not practice the crime of declawing cats for non-therapeutic reasons (in the USA) as this will be a sign that the vet is more in tune with the cat and less in tune with turning a profit.

Here is a nice cat having its teeth cleaned. This is taking proactive measures! Difficult though and I would say that this cat is more accepting of having his teeth cleaned than most. If the mouth is diseased, however, a visit to vet is needed and not teeth cleaning. Too late for that for us to deal with unless you want a good scratch!

From to Home Page

Saturday 1 August 2009

Why I declawed My Cat

This is why I declawed my cat. I’m fed up with being told I am a monster when I am not. I love my cats. I had lots and I had them all declawed because I think it is a helpful thing. It makes the cat more liveable with, doesn’t it?

I looked after them really well after surgery and they did great. I can’t see anything different. Yeh, I changed the litter to a paper litter that you can buy in pet stores which helps. But you anti-declawers are all PC. You’ve never lived with cats, have you?

A lot of cats are left to die in SPCA because people can’t live with their furniture being wrecked. If you cat lovers would stop having a go at people like me who sees the practical side then maybe more cats would be re-homed from cat shelters and loved and cared for. Why don’t you cat lovers show pictures of cats being euthanized at cat shelters? Isn’t that lots worse?

Sure declawing can be done badly but my vet is good and he recommends it. I just take good advice. What am I supposed to do. I look to my vet to give me the best advice and I think he does. My cats still have their paws to walk on. Amputation would leave her nothing to walk on. She just has no paws so when she plays rough she dont scratch me. Or scratch my dry wall when she is done with the litter box.

Look, its not something I wanted to do but I am not giving my cat up to someone who lets her keep her claws that she didn’t need anyway. Shes an indoor cat. Why does she need claws. Animals adapt well to the change and in no time act like nothing happened to them.

And anyway I have a baby and I'm frightened she will scratch my baby’s face and eyes. Cats are unpredictable particularly with children. Cats don’t need their front claws for balance. My cats walk fine without claws.

Anyway how can people agree to spaying and neutering and hate declawing. I don’t understand. Neutering is removing internal organs isn’t it? There is pain with that too.

Also I have declawing done before she was 2 and i was told that’s OK by my vet. It doesn’t cause any personality change. I just think that anti declaw people show us the worst cases, Not all cats have terrible experiences. Mines an indoor cat so it won’t need to defend itself. he walks fine and stretches and he is not changed.

If you think it is horrible it is your business. I don’t think that most anti declawers have cats. How do you know. You are just guessing. I could not have a cat unless it was declawed and anyway it saves lives. It saves me time and energy. Declawing does not cause arthritis. There is no proof that it does. It doesn’t make sense. I am sure it doesn’t cause psychological damage. It is just laughable what people say.

You guys who hate declawing make a drama about it. They heal in a week anyway. And to say that in some countries is is banned or illegal is irrelevant. If you think they care more in those countries well they eat them so why bother declawing!

----- this is a submission about why I declawed my cat by a visitor to this site and does not reflect the views of the site owner.

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