By Robert Hudson
Over the last few years, cat advocates and the Paw Project has made great progress in educating the public of the dangers of declawing cats and banning the practice in cities and counties in California and now in Denver. And yet many veteranarians fight against these bans and will not stop offering the proceedure and even come up with supposed medical reasons supporting the practice. Why? Money. It is a high profit margin revenue stream.
While browsing Google’s news stories, I came across this editorial by a vet in North Carolina. Look at his ridiculous and blatant lies for justification:
Some cats will just not stop destroying furniture regardless of how many scratching posts are purchased or training efforts are implemented.
As we all know, giving a cat medication is not always easy for pet owners, and a cat without front claws does make that job a bit easier; therefore compliance is better.
Young children, often in spite of a parent’s best efforts, will frequently pick up cats in precarious ways. Should the cat become frightened or just aggravated and try to escape, the risk of a facial injury is real. A child should not have to carry a facial scar through life. A declaw eliminates this risk.
We have an aging population as well as a population with many more immunodeficiency diseases. Those citizens who are on blood thinners or are immunocompromised cannot afford to be scratched without the risk of significant deleterious consequences. Again, declawing eliminates this risk.
It has been shown that inside cats in general live much longer and healthier lives than outside cats. So is it not better to declaw and live with a very temporary period of discomfort if that will result many years of high-quality life away from disease and injury? I think the answer is obvious.
Dr. Robert Neunzig is owner and chief of medicine at the Gaston Low-Cost Spay Neuter Clinic in Gastonia, North Carolina.
This enlightened veteranarian goes on to say, “During my 40-year practice life I have literally performed 2,000 declaws or more. I have also declawed my own cats—I would not have a cat that was not declawed as I think they make much more desirable pets. So with decades of experience and observation I can safely say I am not aware of a single pet owner who was disappointed after I declawed their cats. In fact, I have probably received as many thank-you’s and statements of gratitude from declaws as I have with any other procedure I performed.”
How many archaic medical proceedures that were the medical breakthroughs of their time have been discarded for something much more effective or completely abandoned? Its called progress Dr. Nuenzig. Perhaps its time you retire.
Fortunetely, there is growing support in the medical field for bans on declaws. The American Association of Feline Practitioners (AAFP) has taken a harder stance against declawing.
“The American Association of Feline Practitioners (AAFP) strongly opposes declawing (onychectomy) as an elective procedure. It is the obligation of veterinarians to provide cat owners with alternatives to declawing.”
To help support “a path to change,” the AAFP has created resources for veterinary teams to use to educate cat owners about the following:
why cats have claws
why cats scratch inanimate objects
best practices for living a cat with claws
ideal scratching surfaces
training cats to scratch appropriately
troubleshooting inappropriate scratching in the home.
The materials are available for veterinarians and team members to download at catvets.com/scratching.