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  • Writer's picturejulieannsteffen

Declawing Cats - STOP IT

Like, just stop it. Literally why are we still doing this?

1) If you're strongly worried about a cat scratching - consider an older cat vs. adopting kittens. Kittens play - it's normal - and their personality isn't known at kitten age. An older calm cat may be a better fit for adoption.

2) If your vet is still performing elective cat declaws - GET A NEW VET. Stand up for what you believe in and choose to support more modern progressive practices.

3) There are hundreds of youtube videos out there about scratching post options and how to cut a cat's nails. There are also hundreds of youtube videos talking about WHY elective cat declaw is inhumane.

4) Eventually elective cat declaw will be illegal. Like everything else, it's a slow process - and Michigan isn't progressive about animal rights. Part of our 2022 mission will be to further educate about elective cat declaw and push our legislative officials to consider following 21 countries and New York State in banning the practice.

5) If you've declawed a cat before you knew about any of this and now regret that decision, you're not alone. You didn't know what you didn't know - and as we learn opinions change. It used to be common practice until more information became widely available and you have to forgive yourself for what you didn't know and move forward.

6) If truly having a delawed cat is important to you, look to rescue one that's already declawed vs. declawing another post adoption. There are plenty that come through rescues.

The American Association of Feline Practitioners strongly opposes declawing and says it’s the obligation of veterinarians to provide owners with alternatives and education about the procedure.

"We believe that every pet owner has the responsibility for providing a safe and supportive home for their animal that enables appropriate expression of natural behaviors and fully integrates them into the home and family. Every medical procedure supported by our veterinary practices has been put in place with the health and wellbeing of pets in mind and, based on this, we do not support the elective declawing of any animal in our veterinary practices.

Declawing includes surgical onychectomy, digital flexor tendonectomy, and generalized phalangectomy for non-medical reasons. Feline scratching and nail sharpening are normal behaviors and the removal of nails has been shown to lead to chronic pain and, in some cases, to cause long-term behavioral issues. We believe that education of pet owners about appropriate behavioral and environmental modifications are humane alternatives to these elective procedures."

“At Mars Veterinary Health, we believe every pet deserves a safe, loving and supportive home that enables appropriate expression of natural behaviors,” said Jennifer Welser, DVM, DACVO, the chief medical and quality officer with Mars Veterinary Health. “After careful consideration, medical leadership aligned on a new declaw position, and elective declaw surgery is no longer offered at U.S. Mars Veterinary Health practices — including VCA, Banfield and BluePearl — unless determined to be medically necessary,” Dr. Welser said.

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