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All Creatures Animal Hospital mislead us because their advice on when cat declawing should or could take place is contradictory and subtly encourages the declawing of cats in using what I consider to be "weasel words" (misleading language designed to subtly trick us). I analysis their paragraph entitled "When should declawing be considered?" below.
Note: The veterinarians at All Creatures Animal Hospital have apparently removed a page from their website that stated that declawing insures a satisfactory relationship with the cat and that all cats should be declawed that spend 50% or more of their life in the house. If they had that page on their website it tells us quite a lot about their thoughts on declawing cats (make lots of money out of it!). I get the strong feeling that declawing cats is one of the most profitable procedures carried out by American veterinarians.
"Declawing is a drastic..solution..declawing may be the only option if the pet is to be kept in the home. This might be the case where the cat continues to damage the furniture"
This statement first implies that declawing (in being a "drastic" step to take) should be a last resort (in line with AVMA policy - it should actually never happen but for the time being I will work within the distorted rules as set out by the AVMA). Yet contradicting that they go on to state that where furniture "continues" to be damaged it can or should be carried out. As cats are always liable to damage furniture to a degree then declawing is liable to happen a lot. The sentence also hints at attempts to train a cat to stop scratching furniture ("continues") but because the number of cats that are declawed is so high (20+ million or about 40% of all domestic cats) we know that little or no effort is put into alternatives to declawing. The sentence is heavily contradictory and misleading.
"..or where the cat causes injuries to people during play or handling. Even the slightest scratch can have serious consequences (cat scratch fever) when a member of the household suffers from a severely debilitating disease"
This is plain scare tactics to encourage declawing cats. The overall incidence of cat scratch disease (CSD) in the USA is 0.038%1 and the cause of being scratched will invariably be due to the carelessness of the human. This might be because of play that is too rough for the cat. A cat simply reacts and most cat scratches will be caused in play with us. In fact most cases of CSD involve children2 (and not people "suffering a severely debilitating disease") unsurprisingly. It is down to their parents to teach them how to play with a cat. So it is in our control to stop this happening. The answer is not declawing the cat. These veterinarians don't discuss that. I wonder why?
When you ball together these factors:
- very low incidence of CSD
- it is caused by our behavior
- low percentage of people with a severely debilating disease and who keep a cat
- most cases of CSD concerns children
- the illness often is mild
It is fair to say that All Creatures Animal Hospital mislead us in providing an unbalanced viewpoint designed to encourage us to declaw our cats by frigthening us.
"In some cases the issue comes down to whether the owner should be able to keep their cat and have it declawed, or whether it should be removed from the home."
Once again All Creatures Animal Hospital mislead us. Firstly people are more likely to relinquish declawed cats than intact cats. The decision whether to keep a cat should be made before adopting a cat having all the information presented without bias (and therefore don't ask a USA veterinarian). The question we should ask is, "Am I able to care for this cat for the rest of its life without in any way inflicting any procedure upon it that is against the cat's interests?" If the answer is, "no", we should buy a large fluffy teddy bear instead.
Veterinarians have a duty to inform us in an unbiased manner. They are in a position of trust. When they mislead they are in breach of that trust and in doing so they perpetuate the mutilation of our innocent and vulnerable companion cats in complete defiance of their solemn oath.
All Creatures Animal Hospital have two branches one at 1894 Ohio Pike, Amelia, OH 45102 and the other at 8451 Beechmont Avenue, Cincinnati, OH 45255.