Position Statement

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Declawing Cats

American Humane recognizes that scratching is a natural behavior of cats, and that cats may be defenseless without use of their claws if they, intentionally or unintentionally, go outdoors. American Humane perceives the declawing of cats (onychectomy) and the severing of digital tendons (tendonectomy) to be elective surgical procedures, which are without benefit to the cat. Because of postoperative discomfort and pain and potential behavioral or physical effects, American Humane condemns declawing or tendonectomy surgery when it is performed solely for the convenience of the guardian. American Humane encourages cat owners to defer to veterinarians on what’s best for each patient and client.