To Declaw or Not to Declaw: Addressing the Scratching Problem

declawWhether cats should be declawed or not has become a hot-button issue in recent years. As a result, the declawing of cats has been banned in more than a dozen countries and in several California cities, and a bill is currently being considered that would make New York the first state to outlaw the procedure. The surgery is currently legal in Colorado, although attempts have been made to introduce legislation that would ban the procedure to declaw a cat.

The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) has taken the stance that declawing is not a medically necessary procedure, but that it can be beneficial in instances where the cat would otherwise be given up for adoption, or when the owners are immunocompromised and cannot risk being scratched.

The AVMA and the staff here at Lone Tree Veterinary Medical Center agree that, before making a decision, cat owners should be fully educated on normal cat scratching behavior and alternatives to the declaw procedure, as well as the risks involved. Our medical team works diligently to help cat owners with these alternatives. In the rare situation where all alternatives have been tried over time and have failed, in order to keep a cat in its forever home or avoid euthanasia, our veterinarians will provide the procedure.