Declawing is a major surgery involving the amputation of a cat’s claws and the third toe bones to which they are attached. The procedure is controversial because it is rarely medically necessary for the cat. The AVMA strongly encourages open dialogue between veterinarians and cat owners during the decision-making process to ensure owners are fully educated with regard to the normal scratching behavior of cats, what is involved in performing the procedure, potential risks for the patient, and the various alternatives to declawing that are available.
To help veterinarians have this conversation with their clients, the AVMA has developed educational resources based on its policy and literature review, all of which are available at www.avma.org/declaw .
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