The Canadian Veterinary Medical Association has strengthened its stand against declawing domestic cats, saying the practice causes unnecessary and avoidable pain.
“It is evident that felines suffer needlessly when undergoing this surgery as an elective measure,” Dr. Troy Bourque, the association’s president, said Wednesday.
“The CVMA views this surgery as unacceptable as it offers no advantage to the feline and the lack of scientific evidence leaves us unable to predict the likelihood of long-term behavioural and physical negative side effects.”
The association is sending the new guideline on what it calls “non-therapeutic partial digital amputation” to its 7,000 members across Canada. It also hopes to raise public awareness to reduce demand for the procedure.
It is up to veterinarian regulators in each province to decide whether to ban the practice.
The association’s position could prompt some hissing and growling.
For years some pet owners have had their cats declawed to prevent scratches to furniture, people and other pets.
Supporters of declawing say there is nothing wrong with the procedure as long as it is performed properly under anesthesia.
The CVMA disagrees, noting that declawing involves amputating part of a cat’s toe bones, usually the front paws but sometimes the back paws as well.
The position statement states that scratching is normal behaviour that cats use to mark territory, help with balance,…
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