Kind, easy, & effective solutions for peacefully living with cat claws & natural scratching. 
Cat claws should never have to lead to property damage, declawing, or relinquishment!

celebrate claws - cats do!

Eight California cities have now passed important anti-cruelty legislation within their city limits: they have BANNED the de-clawing of animals!

1. West Hollywood cities were banned in 2003
2. Santa Monica Oct 27th 2009, 6 to 1 vote
3. San Francisco Nov 3rd 2009, 9 to 2 vote
4. Beverly Hills Nov 5th 2009, 5 to 0 vote
5. Los Angeles Nov 6th 2009, 11 to 0 vote (2nd largest city with 4 million people!)
6. Berkeley Nov 10th 2009, 5 to 0 vote
7. Culver City Nov 27th 2009, 4 to 0 vote
8. Burbank December 10 2009, 4 to 1 vote
The Paw Project for more information and what you can do to END de-clawing in your city!

Please sign this petition!
According to the AVMA guidelines, veterinarians are to provide COMPLETE EDUCATION about onychectomy (declawing) to their human clients, yet many US vets encourage it, advertise it, and cross sell it in spay/neuter packages making this unnecessary convenience surgery, that has no benefit to the animal & can cause harm to the animal, a billion dollar industry in America. Tell the AVMA that declawing needs to STOP!  
Ask yourself if you really want a veterinarian caring for your pet that performs unnecessary and harmful cosmetic and convenience surgeries on animals. If you don't, vote with your wallet - - don't support vets that declaw. Check out for a listing of these ethical vets. If you know a veterinarian that does not educate cat parents about the full nature of the surgery (despite the AVMA guidelines) or encourages declawing, please ask them to start tracking how many of their clawed vs. declawed patients develop litterbox issues, aggression (biting) issues, stress disorders, diabetes, urinary tract issues, and skin afflictions. And ask them to please track how many of their clawed vs. declawed patients are relinquished from their home so they can see for themselves that declawing does not "save" cats lives or "keep" them in their homes.

Only Adopt, donate, support, or volunteer for shelters and rescues that educate adopters about humane claw care & declawing, and adopt to families who don't declaw! If you know a shelter that doesn't talk to adopters about declawing, ask them to start tracking how many of their adopted cats end up being declawed, and how many are relinquished from their home. Declawed cats are twice as likely as clawed cats to develop litterbox avoidance, increasing their chance of relinquishment. Shelters truly committed to finding "lifetime" homes for cats, and not just their "next" home, don't adopt to people that don't really want a "cat" to begin with! There is no such thing as a "cat" without claws!
Landlords can require a security deposit to cover any pet damage, or recommend their cat tenants wear
SOFT PAWS or have multiple scratch pads in the apartment.
See the "Landlords & Tenants" page on our website for more resources. Know your rights as a tenant, don't let your landlord make you declaw your cat!
Wear T-shirts, put a Bumper Sticker on your car, & send anti-declaw gifts! If you are good at graphic design, create your own anti-declaw page on - they do the printing and shipping for you!
              Current Paw Project billboard education campaign on Sunset Blvd and Times Square

* USE DECLAW BANNERS in your email signatures and websites (under CARE BUTTONS/BANNERS):          

DID YOU KNOW? Only cats WITH claws can compete in Cat Fancy Cat Shows!!


National Veterinary Clinic Chain Promotes Cat Declawing

Banfield, The Pet Hospital (Banfield), which has over 550 veterinary clinics across the United States, mostly in PetSmart stores (which is a separate business), plans to promote cat declawing through its new Optimum Wellness Plan for Kittens. The proposed new plan will begin later this fall and is expected to generate more income for Banfield. Specifically, Banfield plans to capture more business by having clients sign up for a new Optimum Wellness Plan for Kittens, which consists of a series of vaccinations followed by either a surgical sterilization or declaw procedure. The new plans does not instruct veterinarians who work for Banfield to counsel their clients about the risks of
cat declawing and its deleterious effects on a cat.
AVAR ( opposes cat declawing, or onychectomy, because it is an amputation of a portion of a cat's front toes and sometimes those of the back feet. Declawing involves putting the cat under anesthesia and then cutting through each of the 10 last joints, including skin, tendons, and nerves, thereby removing the distal phalanx (last bone) of each toe. The recovery from declawing can be painful, lengthy, and there is the potential for postoperative complications. These include infection, hemorrhage, persistent "phantom" pain, lameness, and nail regrowth, sometimes requiring additional surgery. Because scratching is a natural behavior in cats, human caretakers should redirect this instinctive behavior by providing environmental enrichments to alter the cat's scratching behavior away form furniture. In addition to the substitution of an acceptable scratching post, the use of nail caps (Soft Paws), repellant material on target areas (Sticky Paws), and more frequent trimming of cats' nails frequently resolve the issue. Anecdotal evidence of behavior changes occurring post-onychectomy provides compelling support for the observation that declawing cats increases their likelihood of expressing litterbox avoidance and aggressive biting. The studies done so far to analyze this relationship have been limited in their ability to control multiple variables and form a definitive conclusion. However, the observations of many veterinary practitioners and behaviorists give strong support for these connections.

Please write a letter to Banfield, The Pet Hospital, and tell them that promoting cat declawing is inappropriate. Tell them that they should, instead, be informing their clients about proper cat care, including how to trim a cat's nails and promoting respect for cats by suggesting
that clients work with their cat's basic nature instead of mutilating them.

Write and Email to:
Public Relations Department
Banfield, The Pet Hospital
8000 NE Tillamook Portland, OR 97213,,,, ,,,, , ,

Humane Society Veterinary Medical Association Cat Declawing Position Statement

The Humane Society Veterinary Medical Association (HSVMA) is opposed to any surgical procedure performed on an animal that is done solely for the cosmetic preference or convenience of the caregiver. Examples of such procedures in companion animals include ear cropping, tail docking, and dewclaw removal in dogs; devocalization in dogs and cats; declawing or tendonectomy in cats; and bird pinioning.

Exceptions to this position would be the rare instances in which such surgical procedures are necessitated for therapeutic purposes, such as the need to treat a severe infection or a bone fracture that has not healed properly.

HSVMA urges dog breed clubs to eliminate ear cropping and tail docking from breed standards

Cat Declawing
Cat declawing, or onychectomy, is the amputation of the distal phalanx (last bone) of each toe in order to eliminate the cat's claws. The procedure involves cutting off the last joint of the cat's digits, through skin, tendons and nerves. Declawing requires the amputation of bone because a cat's claw grows directly from the bone of the toe. The procedure is most typically performed on all ten of the toes of the
front feet, but is sometimes performed on each of the eight toes of the rear feet as well.

The recovery from declawing can be painful and lengthy and may involve postoperative complications. Studies indicate that 50% of cats will have immediate surgical complications and 20% of cats will have long-term complications. These include infection, hemorrhage, persistent "phantom" pain, lameness, digital pad atrophy, arthritis and nail regrowth, sometimes requiring additional surgery.

Tendonectomy is a procedure in which the tendons in the toes are severed. The cat still has his/her claws, but is unable to control or extend them. This procedure is associated with a high incidence of abnormally thick claw growth. Therefore, more frequent and challenging nail trims are required. Because of its complications, tendonectomy may lead to declawing anyway.

One JAVMA study has reported that 33% of cats will have a behavior problem after declawing. Another JAVMA study found that declawed cats, when these behavioral problems are taken into account, are more likely to lose their homes than their clawed counterparts.9 Therefore, declawing does not necessarily reduce a cat's relinquishment risk and creates an unnecessary burden on the shelter and rescue system.

Rescue organizations very often refuse to adopt a cat to to a home that will declaw the animal because they are aware of the inherent problems of declawing. For
example, a declawed cat is more likely to bite (presumably due to loss of the claws as a primary defense mechanism) and less likely to use the litter box (presumably because of pain when digging in the sand). Inappropriate elimination and biting are the two top behavioral reasons cited as reasons for relinquishment.

Observation of behavioral changes occurring after declawing provides compelling support for the claims that declawing cats increases their likelihood of expressing litter box avoidance and aggressive biting.8 The studies done so far to analyze this relationship have been limited in their ability to control multiple variables and form a definitive conclusion. However, the findings support these connections.

Declawing is not recommended by infectious disease specialists for cats who live with humans who are immunocompromised or have bleeding disorders. The risks from scratches for these people are less than those from bites, cat litter or fleas carri ed by their cats. Common sense measures such as nail trimming or protective nail caps are sufficient precautions.

Declawing, when performed by laser, is still the amputation of the last toe bone of the cat and carries with it the same long-term risks of lameness and behavioral problems as does declawing with scalpels or clippers. Studies have failed to show that laser declawing is less painful for the cat in the post-operative period.

European veterinary medical professional organizations, including the UK's Royal
College of Veterinary Surgeons, have publicly expressed their opposition to declawing, equating the procedure with "mutilation" and stating that declawing for the "prevention of furniture or carpet damage is unacceptable."

Because scratching is a natural behavior in cats, the human caregiver should redirect this instinctive behavior by providing environmental enrichments to alter the cat's scratching behavior away from furniture and other undesirable objects. In addition to the substitution of an acceptable scratching post, the use of nail caps (e.g. Soft Paws®), repellant material on target areas (Sticky Paws®) and regular trimming of cats' nails frequently resolve the issue.

4/26/06--Declawing Hurts.
Urge AVMA To Oppose


First Declawing Ban in U.S. - West Hollywood, CA
AVMA Position Statements: Declawing Of Domestic Cats


The Paw Project:
DeClaw Dilemma:

Declawing Cats: Issues & Alternatives:
The Declawing Information Site:

Good Cats Wear Black:

Cats International / The Truth About Declawing:
Written by Veterinarian, Dr. Christianne Schelling:

Hey - Those Are My TOES!

A Directory to Every Major Declawing Site on the Net:

Why Cats Need Claws, by Gary Loewenthal:

Changing some words and personalizing your comments adds impact to your letter

Headquarters: American Veterinary Medical Association
1931 North Meacham Road, Suite 100
Schaumburg, IL 60173
 ph: 847-925-8070; fax: 847-925-1329;

Governmental Relations Division: American Veterinary Medical Association
1910 Sunderland Place,
 NW Washington, DC 20036-1642
 ph: 800-321-1473; fax: 202-842-4360;

Public policy opportunities for veterinarians:

Dear AVMA:

I commend the AVMA for updating its position statement on feline declawing to "only after attempts made to prevent the cat from using its claws destructively or when its clawing presents a zoonotic risk for its owner(s)." However, veterinarians unified under the oath "above all, do no harm," ought to represent the well-being of animals. Neither the surgical amputation of an animal's toes at the last joint (onychectomy) nor the severing of tendons to disable a cat's claws (tendonectomy) is in the best interest of a cat. "Declawing represents a clear and undisputable risk to the cat," claims Dr. Nicholas Dodman, Professor of Behavioral Pharmacology and Director of the Behavior Clinic at Tufts University School of Veterinary Medicine.
"Declawing is inhumane."

In fact, a Journal of Veterinary Surgery report shows 50% of 163 cats who underwent onychectomy suffered from direct postoperative complications such as pain, hemorrhage, and lameness. Of 121 cats observed for lasting repercussions, almost 20% had ongoing lameness. Bone chips that impair healing, recurring infections, and radial nerve injury are among other outcomes linked to declawing. In over 30 countries, including the United Kingdom, declawing is either illegal or extremely restricted. I urge the AVMA to join its global colleagues with a position statement that denounces declawing as cruel and unwarranted.

In addition, I respectfully ask you to withdraw the misleading AVMA statement: "There is no scientific evidence that declawing leads to behavioral abnormalities..." This claim contradicts studies, as well as innumerable accounts from cat guardians and shelter workers, that attest to behavioral consequences associated with the removal of healthy bone, claw and tissue. National shelter surveys reveal that 70-80% of cats surrendered for offensive behavior are declawed. JAVMA's own 2001 study identified the onset of undesirable behavior in 33% of declawed cats, following onychectomy. Nearly 18% started or increased their rate of biting. Over 15% stopped using the litterbox. Veteran shelter workers are very familiar with post-declaw house soilers and biters. Shelter director William Lombardi, Gloucester County, New Jersey, says cats with claws intact are always relinquished for human-related reasons such as "moving" or "new baby." Conversely, declawed cats are dropped off with behavioral problems. In another JAVMA study (October 2001) Dr. Gary J. Patronek, VMD, PhD., maintains, "...Declawed cats were at an increased risk of relinquishment."

I call upon the American Veterinary Medical Association to firmly oppose declawing procedures. Why inflict pain upon an animal solely for human ease, particularly when so many options for training cats and curtailing scratching damage are now available?

Thank you,
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