National Geographic has got it decisively wrong in their article on declawing cats, which was written to mark the forthcoming release of the new Paw Project documentary film.
The author of the National Geographic article states that the arguments for and against declawing through scientific research is “divisive”, meaning inconclusive. A major contributor to the science is Gary Patronek of Tufts University’s Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine who himself states that his older research offers “something for everyone”. He refers to it as if he created a marketable “product” and not a piece of objective, scientific research, which apparently it is not.
Patronek also states that his work on the risk factors for cats being left at shelters was “really quite inconclusive” when it came to declawing1. Question for Gary: were you truly neutral when you did the research?
- the abuse of the practice by veterinarians who often use it as a bread and butter money-spinner rather than a last resort option
- the degree of pain resulting from the operation and pain management, which is sometimes poor
- the resulting complications
- the behavioral consequences such as increased biting
- the perecentage of declawed cats that are abandoned etc.
The reason why the AVMA does not want to commission a fresh, conclusive study is because it will conclude that declawing should be stopped for many reasons, the most obvious being that it is carried out by their vets not as a last resort option but as a mainstream earner.
The idea that the science of declawing cats is “divisive” is absurd. The reason why the science is divisive is because a lot of it is poor, inadequate and biased.
The time for a proper, objective study is long overdue. It would prove, once and for all, that declawing cats is cruel, unnecessary, a veterinary money-spinner and counter productive in respect of benefiting the human-cat relationship.