Animal Welfare: Companion Animals

This page provides access to a variety of resources that can help you make a positive difference in the lives of companion animals.

Featured Topic: Declawing of Domestic Cats

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 .

Are you an AVMA or SAVMA member? We invite you to share your thoughts on onychectomy—or any other animal welfare topic—by joining The Conversation.  Have specific questions or comments about the AVMA’s policy or guidelines? E-mail us at





Literature Reviews           



Animal Abuse:
Dog Bite Prevention:
Cosmetic Procedures:
Pet Selection: