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Old 7th June 2019, 08:35 AM   #121
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Originally Posted by TragicMonkey View Post
If you ask the cat whether it would prefer to lose its claws or its balls which would it pick? We're already altering these animals (which our ancestors bred into existence by domesticating them) to suit our convenience. Why are some alterations acceptable and others not?

I could see an argument for cruelty based on the cat knowing it had had claws and then been deprived of them, but suppose we get good at genetic engineering and create breeds of cats that never develop claws at all? Would that be cruel to the cats born without claws?
I'm sure I haven't thought this fully through, but - I would say no. I would hesitantly say that it's only cruel if it causes the animal significant distress. (People can then quibble about what qualifies as "significant.")

I've always been against de-clawing, as well as clipping birds' wings (unless it is a temporary measure for the bird's own safety, I guess). I never thought about it on a legislative level. It's just not something I would choose to do with a pet, and I generally oppose it.

Neutering is a bit tougher. I used to be against it. But I don't know - when cats are in heat and can't get any relief, they really seem to be suffering. They act completely insane. The males seem to be very aggressive and prone to spraying. They don't seem happy or content. Is that really enjoyable for them? If the cat can't get laid regardless, isn't it kinder to remove the overwhelming urge?

It's usually a foregone conclusion though. A high number of people adopt their cats from shelters, and it is my understanding that doing so requires you to spay or neuter the animal (if it hasn't already had the procedure). So it's not really up to the "owners." (I hate that word, but I'm not ready to start calling them "parents" either.)
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Old 7th June 2019, 08:52 AM   #122
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Originally Posted by Belz... View Post
Fair enough. Plenty of people do things I consider bizarre. I mentioned clipping a dog's tail, as an example. My main point here is that bizarre shouldn't mean that it must be banned or made impossible to get.
Personally I would ban (or at least heavily discourage) docking and de-clawing but your view clearly differs...
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Old 7th June 2019, 08:53 AM   #123
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Originally Posted by NCBI
There are 400,000 cat bites annually in the US every year. Does that mean we are justified in removing their teeth?

I applaud New York for outlawing a cruel and unusual practice by extending common-decency and humane treatment to cats.
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Old 7th June 2019, 08:57 AM   #124
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I am still not seeing an equivalence between declawing and removing teeth. But vasectomy/neutered seems like a decent conversation to have. Since 'natural' is better, and population control is a concern, you would think people would be consistent with that choice as well. Would cat owners still be as open to the behaviors of their male cats, spaying particularly, given the option between the two?

Just seems like people have different limits to what they will endure for their animals and try to take the moral high ground when someones limit is lower. From what I have seen 18-24.4% of cats in the US are declawed. Is banning the practice really necessary to drop those rates?

Leaving the option allows for those exceptions where there is a greater necessity, where the choice is getting rid of the cat or having it done. With 1.6-2 million cats euthanized each year, just a drop in adoptions of 5% will cost 80-100k cat lives a year. If numbers like that become apparent after such laws are introduced, would those pushing for it call that a win still?
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Old 7th June 2019, 09:00 AM   #125
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Originally Posted by Belz... View Post
I have no problem with people who _don't_ declaw their pets, especially if they take them outside. I do have a problem with the choice being removed, given the above, and with people who let their cats out without a leash to control them.
Yeah, humans should totally have the "right" to mutilate their pets.
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Old 7th June 2019, 09:00 AM   #126
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I do think we have to be very clear on what "declawing" is. It's literally removing the cats fingers at the 1st digit, it's not a manicure.
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Old 7th June 2019, 09:01 AM   #127
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Originally Posted by catsmate View Post
And I suspect for similar monetary reasons.


This. Provide them (we have a Bengal, a usually rather obstreperous breed) with suitable objects to scratch, train them not to scratch furnishings and don't do stupid things with them.


Exactly.


Yep, Leonard comes and goes freely. He's never scratched furniture, other than carpets when digging in to stretch, and has alternatives.


To be fair, parts of the US are unfriendly to small animals with rabies and predators (human and animal).
Ah, Bengals, surely one of the finest looking breeds. Part of me would love a Bengal and then the part that's always had moggies and never paid for a cat kicks in. If I were ever to buy a pedigree though, Bengal is top of the list (it's a relatively short list, only others would be Siamese, Burmese and maybe Russian Blue).

Fair point on the US I guess - though I'd like to think a decent cat would be able to hold its own / get away quickly enough...one of my cats had no problems seeing off foxes or even much larger dogs (chased a neighbours dog that had got out, out of our garden, back into its own garden, into its house and had it trapped in the corner of their kitchen - now that's a cat!).
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Old 7th June 2019, 09:01 AM   #128
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Originally Posted by Information Analyst View Post
Yeah, humans should totally have the "right" to mutilate their pets.
Unless it's the pets entire reproductive system, and then they have an obligation to do it apparently.
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Old 7th June 2019, 09:02 AM   #129
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Originally Posted by carlitos View Post
I vaguely remember a two-fer package at the vet - declaw the same time as neutering.
One method North American vets use to perpetuate the practice. They're also not averse to doing both, even when only neutering was requesting, and presenting a bill afterwards. Money is the main driver of this, and pet owners who accept it are being fooled.
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Old 7th June 2019, 09:03 AM   #130
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Originally Posted by isissxn View Post
I think it's mandatory for shelter pets now, although I'm sure that varies by state or even county.
Not mandatory, but a matter of "choice," which is dumb, because that leaves shelters with a load of mutilated pets that can be difficult to rehome.

ETA: My bad - Isissxn was referring to neutering, I was referring to declawing.

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Old 7th June 2019, 09:06 AM   #131
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Originally Posted by ServiceSoon View Post
There are 400,000 cat bites annually in the US every year. Does that mean we are justified in removing their teeth?

I applaud New York for outlawing a cruel and unusual practice by extending common-decency and humane treatment to cats.
Yeah, cat bites can actually be really dangerous. https://vcahospitals.com/know-your-p...ries-to-humans

I hate to engage a slippery slope/weak analogy argument, but in this case, it does seem to fit. If danger to humans is the real problem, then the teeth are just as (if not more) dangerous. But I don't think many people advocate the removal of teeth.

Having a pet just comes with some risk. To furniture, to skin, and to others if the owner doesn't take proper responsibility for supervision and care. But I really think we should limit "convenience surgery" as much as possible. No surgical procedure is without risk. I don't believe I would ever agree to a surgery on myself that wasn't pretty medically necessary. Why should I apply different standards to an innocent who is supposed to be under my protection?

Again, this is all well and good as a philosophy until you get to neutering. That's the grey area. But I've already said where I stand on it, and if that ends up contradicting what I've said above, well I guess I'm a bit of a hypocrite.
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Old 7th June 2019, 09:06 AM   #132
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Originally Posted by Belz... View Post
With the crucial difference that cats can't grasp things in their paws anyway.
WTF...?!
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Old 7th June 2019, 09:08 AM   #133
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Originally Posted by Belz... View Post
I really don't understand what your logic is. Cats live with people in NA so we should just let them roam freely all around the continent? What IS your argument, precisely?
Why not? They do on most other continents
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Old 7th June 2019, 09:09 AM   #134
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Originally Posted by Information Analyst View Post
Not mandatory, but a matter of "choice," which is dumb, because that leaves shelters with a load of mutilated pets that can be difficult to rehome.
In Pennsylvania in 2007, the Humane Society required me to schedule and keep a neutering appointment before they let me adopt a kitten. They also threatened to come do a home visit during the first few weeks, but they never showed up. I had to produce way more paperwork to adopt that cat than I did to enroll in school.

Things may have changed since then.
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Old 7th June 2019, 09:17 AM   #135
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Originally Posted by Pterodactyl View Post
Intact? Your country is teeming with native birds and small mammals?
No.
My London garden says very much otherwise, despite in being "common ground" for various neighbours' cats.
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Old 7th June 2019, 09:19 AM   #136
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Originally Posted by Information Analyst View Post
WTF...?!
Exactly. Our cat grasps things with her paws with ease, but she uses her claws in the act.

Meanwhile, teeth - a house cat doesn't really need those long canines; they're used in the wild for gripping and ripping. Food is chomped (sliced, more or less) by the scissor-like molars and premolars, so on a diet of cat food that's all they need. Should the canines be removed to avoid the occasional cat bite? I think not.
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Old 7th June 2019, 09:25 AM   #137
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Originally Posted by Ethan Thane Athen View Post
Isn't declawing a relatively recent development. The main purpose of 'keeping' cats was to keep mice / rats etc down. They wouldn't be much use for that declawed.
No earlier than 1952, apparently. It's been suggested that it originated in illegal dog-fighting, where crudely declawed cats were thrown to the dogs to warm them up.
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Old 7th June 2019, 09:27 AM   #138
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Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post
I do think we have to be very clear on what "declawing" is. It's literally removing the cats fingers at the 1st digit, it's not a manicure.
Yep.
Attached Images
File Type: png Declaw1.png (11.6 KB, 4 views)
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Old 7th June 2019, 09:28 AM   #139
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Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post
Unless it's the pets entire reproductive system, and then they have an obligation to do it apparently.
There's plenty of evidence that neutering does not cause any long-term harm to cats in the way that declawing can.
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Old 7th June 2019, 09:30 AM   #140
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Originally Posted by isissxn View Post
In Pennsylvania in 2007, the Humane Society required me to schedule and keep a neutering appointment before they let me adopt a kitten. They also threatened to come do a home visit during the first few weeks, but they never showed up. I had to produce way more paperwork to adopt that cat than I did to enroll in school.

Things may have changed since then.
Sorry - thought you were talking about declawing, not neutering.
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Old 7th June 2019, 09:37 AM   #141
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Originally Posted by Information Analyst View Post
Sorry - thought you were talking about declawing, not neutering.
Oh! Sorry I wasn't clear.

No, no one mentioned declawing to me at the shelter or vet. And among all the cat people I know socially, it's considered a dreadful practice.
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Old 7th June 2019, 09:38 AM   #142
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I've never had a cat declawed, and after reading this topic, I never will.

The things I learn here!
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Old 7th June 2019, 09:43 AM   #143
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What about cat abortion? Is that an option? Or have the states introduced so many additional burdens it's unfeasible?
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Old 7th June 2019, 09:47 AM   #144
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Originally Posted by DragonLady View Post
I've never had a cat declawed, and after reading this topic, I never will.

The things I learn here!
Me, too! I've become militarized on this topic and am now on a crusade to re-claw declawed cats. And for cats that have not been declawed, add extra claws! You know geese have teeth in their tongues? Think what a cat could accomplish with that enhancement!
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Old 7th June 2019, 09:53 AM   #145
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Originally Posted by TragicMonkey View Post
Me, too! I've become militarized on this topic and am now on a crusade to re-claw declawed cats. And for cats that have not been declawed, add extra claws! You know geese have teeth in their tongues? Think what a cat could accomplish with that enhancement!

Oh yes!

While we're at it, we should give them much longer tails, and put some of the extra claws on the ends.
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Old 7th June 2019, 09:56 AM   #146
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Originally Posted by DragonLady View Post
Oh yes!

While we're at it, we should give them much longer tails, and put some of the extra claws on the ends.
The ideal house cat would be a shark in front and a stegosaurus in back! You'd have to have only cast iron furniture.
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Old 7th June 2019, 09:57 AM   #147
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Originally Posted by TragicMonkey View Post
Me, too! I've become militarized on this topic and am now on a crusade to re-claw declawed cats. And for cats that have not been declawed, add extra claws! You know geese have teeth in their tongues? Think what a cat could accomplish with that enhancement!
Cats already have claws in their tongues. Adding teeth would be excessive.

https://www.catster.com/lifestyle/5-...tongue-awesome


"When your cat licks you, it feels like she’s running a piece of cute, pink sandpaper across your skin. The rough sensation is caused by the papillae on her tongue, which are basically tiny, backward-facing barbs made of keratin, the same stuff that’s found in human fingernails.

The papillae are intended to aid in grooming and ripping the flesh from the bones of prey, but they are also great for freaking out humans. Seriously, let your cat lick your eyelid sometime. You will feel it in your bellybutton and the back of your throat."
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Old 7th June 2019, 10:01 AM   #148
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Anybody who lets a cat lick their eyelid needs to learn more about human eye health. There are cat-specific pathogens that do serious damage to human eyes. Toxoplasmosis, for instance, can cause permanent blindness in humans.
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Old 7th June 2019, 10:22 AM   #149
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Originally Posted by Pterodactyl View Post
Intact? Your country is teeming with native birds and small mammals?
No.

Fact is cats pose a major threat to native wildlife. The studies on cat predation of native species are endless. Just "keep them indoors" is great in theory, except plenty of people don't do it. Declawing is barbaric, ok. So is unleashing non-native predators on our native birds and other critters.

The next best thing to fewer cats is cats that can't do any damage.

Yes, actually, the place is absolutely swarming with native birds and small mammals. If every baby rabbit that's born and every baby sparrow that's hatched survived to live the full lifespan of its species we'd be neck-deep in the bloody things. It's been shown time and time again that pet cats are just one of a number of pressures on these species that keep the numbers under control, and that they don't significantly damage the overall population sizes.

Which doesn't make me any happier when I come downstairs in the morning to the remains of a pigeon on the kitchen floor, but we're certainly not short of pigeons around here.

And anyone who lets a declawed cat out of doors where it has not defences and where it won't be able to survive if it somehow gets lost and strays, is a cruel bastard. On top of being a cruel bastard for cutting off the cat's fingers in the first place. (I don't even clip Jori's claws, because I realise how much he relies on them when he's outside. I had clipped them when visiting friends over Christmas in 2016, but fortunately they'd grown again by late March 2017 when he vanished. After imagining what would have happened if he'd had to survive for two months in the hills without these claws, I vowed never to clip them again. Fortunately he doesn't seriously misuse them indoors.)
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Old 7th June 2019, 10:23 AM   #150
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Originally Posted by TragicMonkey View Post
Anybody who lets a cat lick their eyelid needs to learn more about human eye health. There are cat-specific pathogens that do serious damage to human eyes. Toxoplasmosis, for instance, can cause permanent blindness in humans.
As a general rule, I don't recommend rubbing cat feces in one's eye.
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Old 7th June 2019, 10:30 AM   #151
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Originally Posted by Elagabalus View Post
As a general rule, I don't recommend rubbing cat feces in one's eye.
As cats lick their own anuses there is never more than one step between feces and everything else a cat licks.

So cute!
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Old 7th June 2019, 10:38 AM   #152
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Originally Posted by TragicMonkey View Post
Anybody who lets a cat lick their eyelid needs to learn more about human eye health. There are cat-specific pathogens that do serious damage to human eyes. Toxoplasmosis, for instance, can cause permanent blindness in humans.

This "isn't even wrong".

Toxoplasma is a cat-specific pathogen. It can only be contracted by ingesting cat faeces that are more than 24 hours old (or faeces-contaminated soil), or undercooked meat from an animal that did that at some point. There is no way you can get it from the cat licking your eyelids, or any other part of your body. Oh yes, and any individual cat is only capable of passing on toxoplasma for about two weeks in its entire lifespan.

It also doesn't cause blindness in adults. The only way toxoplasma can cause blindness in a human being is if a pregnant woman contracts toxoplasmosis (by one of the above methods) at the crucial stage in her pregnancy, leading to the baby being born with congenital toxoplasmosis. Impaired eyesight may be involved in that condition.

The pathogen you're probably thinking about that may be involved in "blindness" is Toxocara. Again that can only be contracted by ingesting faeces (or faeces-contaminated soil) from a kitten or puppy which is less than six months old. And again it's old faeces that's the problem, not fresh poop. Puppies and kittens over six months of age don't excrete the ova. And actual blindness is almost unheard-of from that cause, as it's really bad luck if a larva ends up in an eye and to cause blindness both eyes would have to be affected. It's very rare even for one eye to be affected, but when it does happen the larva can be broken up by laser treatment and normal sight restored.

It's also far more likely to be passed on by puppies than kittens, in fact the danger from kittens is more theoretical than actual.

Moral of the story, clear up all pet poop promptly, wear gloves when gardening and wash your hands before you suck your fingers, and don't eat undercooked meat. You'll be fine.

Even if your cat does lick your eyelids, the natural defences of the eye will handle any bacteria. Stop worrying.
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Old 7th June 2019, 10:38 AM   #153
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Originally Posted by TragicMonkey View Post
Anybody who lets a cat lick their eyelid needs to learn more about human eye health. There are cat-specific pathogens that do serious damage to human eyes. Toxoplasmosis, for instance, can cause permanent blindness in humans.
Is the permanent blindness because the human is permanently dead? Not seeing it listed as a symptom.

https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-...s/syc-20356249

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Old 7th June 2019, 10:39 AM   #154
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Originally Posted by Elagabalus View Post
As a general rule, I don't recommend rubbing cat feces in one's eye.
Originally Posted by TragicMonkey View Post
As cats lick their own anuses there is never more than one step between feces and everything else a cat licks.

So cute!
A quick search (CDC, Mayo clinic) indicated that human infection is mainly by ingestion. Maybe not licking your eyelids right after your cat does would be enough to avoid infection.

ETA - what Rolfe said.
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Old 7th June 2019, 10:47 AM   #155
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Okay, I guess I'm wrong about that. When I had a retina tear the doctors did test for toxoplasmosis, suspecting the spot on my retina was that. Perhaps they assumed I could have been immunocompromised? These were retina specialists, it's not like I just made it up on my own.
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Old 7th June 2019, 10:47 AM   #156
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Originally Posted by TragicMonkey View Post
If you ask the cat whether it would prefer to lose its claws or its balls which would it pick? We're already altering these animals (which our ancestors bred into existence by domesticating them) to suit our convenience. Why are some alterations acceptable and others not?

On the first part of that, as vet and a cat-lover I can say with confidence that they'd far prefer to lose their balls. I do know of people who have objections to the "sexual mutilation" of puppies and kittens, but they're regarded as fruitloops. I think it's projection, myself. In later life castrated tomcats are so obviously happier than entire ones that even cat breeders have their prize stud toms castrated when they're about eight or nine.

Originally Posted by TragicMonkey View Post
I could see an argument for cruelty based on the cat knowing it had had claws and then been deprived of them, but suppose we get good at genetic engineering and create breeds of cats that never develop claws at all? Would that be cruel to the cats born without claws?

Yes, I think it would. They're so essential to "being a cat" that I don't think you've bred a cat that way, you've bred a congenitally crippled animal that's only a bit like a cat.
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Old 7th June 2019, 10:48 AM   #157
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Originally Posted by TragicMonkey View Post
Okay, I guess I'm wrong about that. When I had a retina tear the doctors did test for toxoplasmosis, suspecting the spot on my retina was that. Perhaps they assumed I could have been immunocompromised? These were retina specialists, it's not like I just made it up on my own.

That makes no sense at all. Are you sure they didn't test for toxocariasis? That at least makes a little bit of sense.
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Old 7th June 2019, 10:50 AM   #158
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Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
That makes no sense at all. Are you sure they didn't test for toxocariasis? That at least makes a little bit of sense.
I thought it was toxoplasmosis, but it was a while ago and I may have been slightly distracted what with my retina ripping. They did an HIV test and I may just have a mental association there.
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Old 7th June 2019, 10:51 AM   #159
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Originally Posted by Steve View Post
A quick search (CDC, Mayo clinic) indicated that human infection is mainly by ingestion. Maybe not licking your eyelids right after your cat does would be enough to avoid infection.

ETA - what Rolfe said.

You couldn't even get it that way. By far the commonest way of getting toxoplasmosis is by eating undercooked meat. About half the population of France is seropositive for toxoplasma. The next most common way of getting it (and it's trailing way behind) is gardening with bare hands and then not washing your hands afterwards. Strikingly, it's usually the people who don't own a cat who are affected, possibly because the cats are territory-marking and that tends to go on at the periphary of their territories.
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Old 7th June 2019, 10:53 AM   #160
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Originally Posted by TragicMonkey View Post
I thought it was toxoplasmosis, but it was a while ago and I may have been slightly distracted what with my retina ripping. They did an HIV test and I may just have a mental association there.

I'm mildly surprised they'd bother to test for toxocara because you either have a larva in your eyeball or you don't, and if you do they're not hard to see, but maybe there's some association I'm not aware of on that one. It wasn't toxoplasma though, that's entirely different.
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