CVMA Policy on Declawing of Domestic Cats

The CVMA discourages the declawing (onychectomy) of cats as an elective procedure and supports non-surgical alternatives to the procedure.

The decision to declaw a cat should be made by the owner(s) in consultation with their veterinarian on a case-by-case basis and only for a medical reason or when scratching presents a health risk to the owner(s).

The veterinarian has an obligation to educate clients on alternatives to the declawing procedure and what a declawing procedure entails, including the potential surgical complications. A declawing procedure should not be performed unless all alternatives have been explored and attempted.

More information about declawing may be accessed here.

(October 2021)

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