FELINE VETERINARY EDUCATION & PRACTICE NEED A COMPLETE OVERHAUL AND ONGOING OUTSIDE SCRUTINY FOR ANIMAL CRUELTY
PREPARED BY HARRIET E. BAKER
AUTHOR OF THE SHOCKING TRUTH ABOUT DECLAWING CATS
Cat advocates are calling for a systemic overhaul in veterinary education relative to cat care and stewardship. A beginning would be, they submit, the removal of the flagrant misinformation from the so-called authoritative volume, The Cornell Book of Cats. This book and many others falsely state that no negative behavioral (psycological) effects of declawing have been reported. Yet, Cornell staff, themselves, reported in the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association, January 1, 2001, that 18 of 57 cats subjected to declawing or tendonectomy exhibited at least one behavior problem THAT BEGAN AFTER THE SURGERY: an absolute frequency of 31.57% cats exhibiting negative behavioral sequellae with no statistically significant difference in observed behavioral aberrations between cats subjected to declawing and cats subjected to tendonectomy. Two of the cats, moreover, exhibited prolonged lameness and two would not cover their feces, IN ADDITION TO (1) NOT USING THE LITTER BOX and (2) BITING WITH AN INCREASED FREQUENCY/INTENSITY. One cat had (re)growth of paw/claw tissue that was abnormal/malformed.
Note: Declawing resulted in the same high rate of negative behavioral and physiological sequellae as did tendonectomy. Neither these data nor the dramatic number of negative sequellae, per se, is acknowledged in the authors’ (peer reviewed) conclusion!
HEALTHY ANIMAL LIMBS IS INHUMANE:
Seventy percent (70%) of cats turned in to pounds and shelters for behavioral problems are declawed cats. Twenty-five percent (25%) are purebred (from a national survey obtained by Caddo Parish of Forgotten Felines and Friends).
After adjustment for other variables, i.e., in the multivariate analysis, being declawed and being mixed breed were associated with an increased risk for relinquishment (from JAVMA, Vol. 209, No. 3, Aug. l, 1996: “Risk factors for relinquishment of cats to an animal shelter”) .
Shelter records show that approximately one-half (50%) of declawed cats presented at intake are screened out as having “behavior problems,” and thus do not even get a chance at being adopted. Thus, each declawed cat adopted or waiting adoption represents approximately one other cat whose limbs, dignity AND life were taken.
(Some shelter statistics show that only 20 to 30% of declawed cats are deemed to be free of behavior problems that preclude their adoptability.)
See: (1) www.goodcatswearblack.com, (2) www.catsinternational.org (3) www.pawproject.com.
NOTE: Listing of 28 cases of reported harm following declawing and tendonectomy furnished upon request.