American Veterinary Medical Association – Take a Stand against Declawing Cats

  • by: Judith B.
  • target: American Veterinary Medical Association, USA

Mutilating your pet because her natural behavior annoys you might seem incomprehensible but happens every day across the United States. Declawing cats doesn’t mean a nail trim; it is the equivalent of amputating most of a human’s fingers and toes.

Declawing causes serious pain in the short term and can result in chronic pain and lameness for life. As a result, declawing cats for non-medical reasons is illegal in many countries, including Australia, Germany, the UK, Israel and Switzerland.   

Although many individual vets refuse to carry out the procedure, the American Veterinary Medical Association’s vague guidelines on the topic provide no end of loopholes. This milkwater position has got to change. Deliberate, unnecessary cruelty to animals, legal or not, is not something any vet should participate in.

Tell the AVMA to condemn the declawing of cats for non-medical reasons.


We the undersigned ask that you take a firm stance against onychectomies on cats for convenience. The operation constitutes cruelty in the short and long term, with no benefit to the animal, and so is not something any ethical veterinary surgeon should consider doing.


AVMA’s guidelines on declawing are vague in the extreme, allowing for it whenever the cat might be rehomed otherwise. Basically, if an owner insists, AVMA’s position is that all a vet needs to do is advise on alternatives before carrying out the procedure.


This is nowhere near strong enough for an immensely cruel and utterly unnecessary operation already banned in many countries. Declawing cats might not be illegal in the United States as yet, but the AVMA should make it clear that it should never be done, no matter the home circumstances, unless required for medical reasons.


Please amend your guidelines accordingly.


Thank you for your attention.

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