AAFP announces end to elective declawing at ‘Cat Friendly Practices’

The American Association of Feline Practitioners announced a policy update ending elective declawing procedures for felines in all AAFP-designated “Cat Friendly Practices.” This follows a 2017 position statement from the organization strongly opposing declawing as an elective procedure.

As of January 1, 2021, all Cat Friendly Practices and new practices wishing to earn the designation are required to follow the policy.

“Feline declawing is an elective and ethically controversial procedure that is not medically necessary in most instances,” according to the AAFP. “Many regions throughout the world, including portions of North America, have banned declawing procedures unless there is a necessary medical reason.

“Many cat caregivers may not realize scratching is a normal and essential feline behavior that relieves stress and allows cats to fully stretch their bodies. With proper education provided by CFPs, cat caregivers will have a better understanding of the procedure and potential risks associated with it.”

More information and resources are available in the announcement from the AAFP.