Declawing is banned in 22 countries as a form of animal abuse. In 2017, the Ontario Veterinary Medical Association (OVMA) issued their position that it “opposes elective and non-therapeutic Partial Digital Amputation (PDA), commonly known as declawing.” In 2018, Nova Scotia became the first Canadian province to officially ban the practice.

What is declawing exactly?

Declawing, or “onychectomy,” is an amputation of the end bones of cat’s toes and is a major surgery. This is the equivalent of a human losing the top of each finger at the first knuckle.

What are the risks of declawing?

Unlike most animals who walk on the soles of their paws, cats walk on their toes. This means declawed cats often have trouble walking or exercising properly because they have lost bones, tendons and ligaments in their feet. It can affect their posture and some cats never walk properly again or develop arthritis. Recovery can be painful for cats. There are also emotional and psychological effects.

Some declawed cats develop negative biting behaviours or litter box issues like eliminating outside the box. Essentially, you may be exchanging one negative behaviour – scratching furniture – for another.

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