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Save Cats From Cruel Declawing!

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Sponsor: The Animal Rescue Site

Urge the American Veterinary Medical Foundation To Change Their Policy On Declawing!

Declawing cats is banned in the EU, Australia, Japan, and dozens of other countries, but sadly still a very common occurrence in the United States. Despite the international consensus against it1, American cats are subjected to this barbaric act.

Cat declawing — the practice of surgically removing a cat's claws — is a cruel procedure that can be likened to having the last bone of each of your toes amputated. It is unnecessary because there are more humane ways to keep cats from scratching furniture. And for the animal the consequences last a lifetime, including behavioral and health problems2.

The American Association of Feline Practitioners has pointed out for years that cats can experience arthritis, long-term pain, lack of balance, and behavioral changes due to declawing. It also removes a cat's main means of defense in the wild. Declawing is only for a human's comfort and convenience. It never benefits the animal3.

"Some studies suggest cats who have been declawed have a higher percentage of cortisol [the stress hormone], which is often associated with pain," says Steve Dale, an animal behavior consultant and pet journalist in Chicago4.

"Very few people actually do it properly - the procedure tends to leave bone fragments," says Prof Gunn-Moore, adding that this could leave cats stepping on tiny fragments of bone when they walk.

Dr Endersby says that cats can continue to feel pain after the declawing procedure. "Part of its weight is borne on its toes - so after the declawing process their gait changes as they put their weight through their paws."

New York was the first state in the U.S. to outlaw the practice of declawing cats, though it has already been banned in most European countries, along with some Canadian provinces and U.S. cities including Denver, San Francisco and Los Angeles5. Nearly every state has had petitions and movements started by its citizens to get legislators to develop anti-declaw legislation. Some state lawmakers have introduced bills to ban declawing, but none have passed and been made into law7.

This brutal and unnecessary procedure needs to end in the United States as it has in the rest of the world. Sign the petition below and tell the American Veterinary Medical Association to make the refusal to perform onychectomies part of its membership criterion!

More on this issue:

  1. Declawing.com (2021), "Places Where Declawing is Illegal."
  2. Kitty Block, The Humane Society of the United States (5 March 2021), "Austin is the latest city to ban cat declawing. More cities, states consider ending the harmful practice."
  3. American Association of Feline Practitioners (2017), "Declawing Position Statement."
  4. Helier Cheung, BBC News (6 June 2019), "Cat declawing: Should it be banned, and why does it happen in the US?."
  5. Dani Matias (23 July 2019), "Cats Can Keep Their Claws; New York Bans Declawing."
  6. Jenna Stregowski, RVT, (9 February 2020), "Is Declawing Cats Illegal?."
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The Petition:

To the current President of the American Veterinary Medical Association:

I am writing to you in an effort to protect the millions of cats across the country from a horrific procedure that is banned in almost every other country in the world. Declawing is an outdated and unnecessary procedure that is strictly for human convenience.

As the leader of the AVMA, you are in the unique position of being able to effect nationwide changes in the veterinary community. The United States has fallen behind dozens of other countries that have outlawed declawing cats due to the harmful and unnecessary nature of onychectomies. We believe that the U.S. should be a leader in the humane treatment of animals, and you can help us in that goal.

A strong message from the AVMA taking a stand against declawing would effect wide-ranging change with veterinary practices across the country, and beyond. Help us stand up in defense of our furry friends by requiring members to refuse to perform onychectomies!


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