AVMA discourages declawing as an elective procedure and supports non-surgical alternatives. Declawing is a major surgery involving amputation and is not medically necessary for the cat in most cases. There are, however, some situations in which declawing may be considered, such as when a cat’s excessive or inappropriate scratching behavior causes an unacceptable risk of injury or remains destructive despite conscientious attention to behavioral modification and alternatives.
Read AVMA's policy: Declawing of domestic cats
The decision whether to declaw a cat should be made by the owners in consultation with their veterinarian. Veterinarians should provide complete education about the normal scratching behavior of cats, the procedure, and potential risks to the patient.