Q: I have heard some varying information about what the government is doing with regards to cat dewclaws among other things. Can you elaborate on these topics, please?
A: From the latest information that I’ve read, the Santa Monica City Council in California voted to draft a new law that would restrict the process of declawing in cats. It appears that a similar ban is being sought out in San Francisco as well. The way the process goes, once an ordinance is drafted it goes to the city council where it has until December 31st, 2009 to take effect. Public hearings are allowed and required followed by yes or no votes by the second reading of the ordinance. There are numerous reasons why some people find it necessary to declaw their cats and personally I find the legislation appalling. It should be up to the owner of the cat and the veterinarian to determine the benefits or deterrents to such a procedure.
Other tidbits of interesting information:
According to a study done by the Centers for Disease Control and reported in the AVMA (American Veterinary Medical Association) journal, the number of rabies infected cats in the United States is almost four times that of dogs. It is believed that this is due to the fact that many cats are not vaccinated and tend to roam outside more so than dogs do.
According to a study done by The Pet association for Pet Obesity Prevention (APOP) half of the dogs and cats in the United States are overweight or obese. That accounts for 33 million dogs and 51 million cats. This is the first generation of pets that will not live as long as their parents due to the long list of diseases that can accompany the problems associated with this weight problem.
According to the American Association of Feline Practitioners, cats have been classified into three categories—7 to 10 years old is a mature or middle-aged cat. 11 to 14 years is a senior cat and 15 years and older is considered a geriatric cat. This categorization allows veterinarians to focus on the disease risks associated with each cats at each age group. It also make the owner more aware of the situation as their pet ages. The panel believes that any pet over 7 years old should be checked twice a year or more ofter when these age related diseases start to crop up. Cats are notorious for hiding illness until the situation can be very serious. Take your pet to the veterinarian even when the smallest thing does not seem quite right. If you compare your pet to a middle or older aged human, you would realize that things need to be checked more frequently as the body ages and disease processes begin to take hold. Please do the same for your companion animal friends.
The average indoor cat requires approximately 180- 200 calories per day. Obviously, larger or more active cats require more. I recommend feeding cats twice a day. I do not recommend leaving food down all day. Bacteria build up on wet food and cats tend to become overweight if left to graze on dry food throughout the day. Even though cats are carnivores it is fine to give them a treat of spinach, carrots, broccoli or other dark, leafy vegetable. These are very rich sources of vitamins A, C and calcium. As an example, a quarter can of a three ounce can of sardines contains approximately 35 calories. Sardines are rich in omega-3 fatty acids.
Dr. Rose DiLeva is a 1987 graduate of the University of Pennsylvania’s school of Veterinary Medicine. She practices alternative and conventional veterinary medicine. Dr. DiLeva is a certified veterinary acupuncturist and a certified veterinary chiropractitioner. She can be reached at her Animal Wellness Center in Chadds Ford, Pa. at 610-558-1616 for appointments and telephone consultations. Her web site is www.altpetdoc.com and www.drrosesremedies.com