Declaw FAQs

Declawing cats is a controversial practice, one that many people wish to ban. Florida almost did ban declawing at the beginning of 2020. If you have contemplated declawing your cat, it is important to learn about the procedure first. Our team at West Boca Veterinary Center in Boca Raton wants you to be sure you understand the procedure and its effects. Let’s look at some of the questions that our veterinarians run into about declawing.

Is Declawing Legal in Florida?

As of mid-2021, declawing cats was legal. The state government was on track to approve a bill in early 2020 to outlaw declawing except for certain medical reasons, but the bill died in March after being postponed and withdrawn.

What Happens in Declawing?

Many people think declawing means removing the claw that they can see, sort of like removing a fingernail, but that is not the case. Removing just the claw could result in the claw growing back, often with complications. Instead, the claw and the first bone are removed. This is like having the outer half of your toes removed because you do not want to trim your toenails.

Unfortunately, the procedure can result in difficulty balancing for the cat because now a good chunk of its paws is missing. Declawing can also lead to trauma, arthritis, and litter box avoidance. Cats may also begin biting or hitting with their paws. If the cat gets outside, it is basically defenseless towards other animals.

Alternatives to Declawing

If you are worried about your cat scratching your furniture, do not declaw your cat. Instead, you can learn to clip your cat's claws or use special sheaths that fit over each claw. These sheaths still allow the claws to retract but don't allow them to scratch things. If your cat has problems with claw defects, infections, or more, then declawing, at least partially, may be necessary for the health of the cat.

Determine if Declawing Is Necessary

Our veterinarians at West Boca Veterinary can perform cat declawing procedures when necessary. You will need to speak with our veterinarians in Boca Raton about the procedure and why you want it done. Call our team today at (561) 451-8838 or reach us through our website by using our online contact form.

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