Lake City Pet Hospital is proud to be PRO-CLAW!
Declawing (onychectomy) is a very invasive, traumatic, unnecessary, and overall inhumane procedure. It is essentially 10 separate amputations of the cat’s third phalanges (toe bones) – equivalent to amputating a human’s fingers at the first joint. There are inherent risks and complications with declawing that increase with age such as severe pain, infection, and nerve trauma. It can also lead to long-term complications such as lameness, behavioral problems such as aggression and litter box avoidance, and chronic nerve pain, and severe arthritis.
Declawing is illegal in many developed countries, multiple cities in the United States, and more and more bills are being introduced (and passed!) across the country and around the world to continue banning this cruel procedure.
The major veterinary professional organizations in the US oppose declawing, including AAHA (American Animal Hospital Association), the AAFP (American Association of Feline Practitioners), and the AVMA (American Veterinary Medical Association). The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention does not list declawing as a means of preventing disease in either healthy or immunocompromised individuals.
A cat’s claws are vital to its social, emotional, and physiological well-being, providing protection, balance, and mobility. While we understand that scratching behavior may sometimes be inconvenient for us humans, we don’t believe that a cat should need to lose its claws to remain a beloved part of its family.
There are many humane alternatives available to reduce or eliminate the potential destructive side effects of scratching behavior, including (but not limited to) nail trimming, scratching posts, redirection, and products such as Soft Paws, Sticky Paws, and Feliway. The staff at Lake City Pet Hospital would be happy to discuss these alternatives with you, and help you find a solution that can keep both you and your cat happy and healthy!
A great resource for information about declawing, the negative effects, and humane alternatives is https://pawproject.org/about-declawing/declaw-surgery/