Sunday July 7, 2013. Blue skies, white clouds, no haze.
Case of the destructive cat.
"$2,000 worth of leather furniture had been clawed," the young American lady said to me. "My husband has had enough. I have tried positive and negative reinforcement training but this cat just would not be trained." She had done a lot of research. However her vet had this no declawing policy. "In America, cats are declawed routinely. Why is it frowned upon in Singapore?"
"It is considered as cruelty," I said. "Declawing is a last resort. How did you do the training?"
"I give a biscuit when the cat scratches the scratching post. It does not work."
"What is your negative training method?" I asked.
"I squirt water from the water gun when the cat claws the furniture. But it does not work. Before re-uphostering the leather furniture at $2,000, my husband wants the cat declawed. I know that this cat cannot be trained. I had a cat declawed in America and he still claws the furniture with his paws but there was no damage."
The 3.5 kg cat was declawed on Sunday and would go home on Tuesday.
"The surgery can be done without the need to top up with isoflurane anaesthesia and with a lower dosage of Dom 0.1 and Ket 0.4 IM provided the vet operates 5 minutes after injection and complete the surgery in 5 minutes," I said to Dr Daniel who had prepared Dom 0.15 + Ket 0.6 which would give a longer duration of anaesthesia. "Once you delay the surgery, you will need to top up with isoflurane."
The cat was operated at the lower dosage without any top up. The owner wanted me to phone her after surgery and today Tuesday, she phoned to enquire about her cat. "She can go home today," I said. Normally, there is no bleeding on Day 3 and the cat goes home with antibiotics and painkillers.
Another two cats needed declawing. For tenants, cats scratching the Landlord's cupboards, back of chairs and other furniture meant a heavy compensation to the Landlord at the expiry of tenancy. I had seen one case of a high end condo in Ardmore Park in which the cat had clawed several of the doors of the high wardrobe with vertical scratches. The Tenant would then have to pay for the damages.