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Friends of Strays Position Statement on Declawing Cats

Friends of Strays Animals Shelter is strongly opposed to declawing cats for the convenience of their owners or to prevent damage to household property and consider it a form of mutilation. The only circumstance the procedure should be considered is when it is necessary for medical purposes, such as the removal of cancerous nail bed tumors, (or in which all behavioral and environmental alternatives have been fully explored, have proven to be ineffective, and the cat is at grave risk of euthanasia.)

Why do Cats Scratch?

What is Declawing?

Declawing is the amputation of the last bone on each toe. The surgery includes the risk of anesthesia, excessive bleeding, and post-operative complications such as pain, infection, lameness, or back pain.

Side effects of declawing

Physical effects:

Declawing changes the way your cat’s feet hit the ground when they walk or run. This can cause pain in the foot, and since the cat must learn to walk and move differently it can cause back pain, joint stiffness, and arthritis later on. There is also the chance of infection, or claw regrowth if the surgery isn’t done correctly.

Behavioral and Psychological Effects:

What can you do to prevent unwanted scratching?

Download a PDF of our Declaw Position Statement