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Should I Declaw My Cat?

By Dr. Ian Kupkee
Earlier this year, New York became the first state to ban the declawing of cats. This came as a surprise to many pet parents who remember a time when the procedure was fairly routine. In recent years, however, veterinarians have begun to question declawing, and many clinics, including mine, no longer declaw cats.
During the declaw procedure, the last bone of each toe is removed. This alters the cat's natural footfall, which can result in both orthopedic and soft tissue pain. More and more practitioners have begun to suspect such pain may contribute to common problems such as lameness, obesity, litter box aversion and aggression.  If you are considering declawing your cat or kitten, ask your veterinarian about alternatives. Since Florida may follow New York's lead in 2020, the time to do your research is now.

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