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SouthCare Phases Out Declawing

As a Gold Certified Cat Friendly Practice with the Association of Feline Practitioners [AAFP], SouthCare Animal Medical Center has taken a pledge to phase out declawing surgical procedures - onychectomy by July 1st 2021.

Onychectomy is not a medically necessary procedure for the cat in most instances. There are inherent risks and complications with this surgical procedure that increase with age.

It is important that owners understand that scratching is a normal feline behavior; it is both inherited and learned. The primary reason for scratching is to maintain the necessary claw motion used in hunting and climbing. In addition, it is done to re-establish claw sharpness via ‘husk’ (or ‘sheath’) removal and to stretch the body.

Finally, it is an important means of visual and olfactory communication. Scratching can be directed to areas that owners consider appropriate. The following steps should be taken to prevent destructive scratching and are alternatives to declawing.

  • Provide sutiable implements for normal scratching behavior

  • Provide appropriate claw care by regularly trimming the claws

  • Consider using temporary synthetic nail caps

  • Consider using synthetic facial pheromone sprays and/or diffusers

  • Provide appropriate feline environmental enrichment

If you have questions or concerns about your feline friends scratching behavior- we're here for you! This is what we do- we love cats!