AAFP bans elective onychectomy at Cat Friendly Practices

dvm360dvm360 February 2021
Volume 52

The more than 1000 member practices must cease performing unnecessary declaw procedures within 6 months.

cat scratching post with claws

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The American Association of Feline Practitioners (AAFP) has announced an update for all designated Cat Friendly Practices (CFPs): Elective feline onychectomy procedures is no longer allowed at these hospitals.

The policy change aligns with the association’s 2017 statement that strongly opposes onychectomy as an elective procedure. The ethically controversial procedure is rarely medically necessary and is already banned in many areas.

The update went into effect on January 1, 2021, for all new CFP locations in North, Central, and South America. Going forward, it will also be standard in all practices seeking CFP designation. Current CFPs that continue to offer elective declawing procedures after July 1, 2021, will maintain AAFP membership but may not use the CFP designation.

The AAFP and International Society of Feline Medicine established the CFP program in 2012 as a global initiative to help make veterinary care less stressful for cats and their owners. A CFP designation is a recognized symbol that acknowledges a practice’s commitment to providing better experiences for feline patients, their owners, and veterinary staff.

The AAFP has developed a Claw Friendly Educational Toolkit that provides resources to veterinary teams and cat owners about living with clawed cats. The comprehensive toolkit includes:

  • A summary of relevant scientific literature
  • Scratching resources, including claw counseling
  • Implementation plans to stop elective declawing in veterinary practices
  • Testimonials from practices that have stopped elective declawing
  • 2 complimentary webinars
  • FAQs for veterinary professionals and pet owners
  • Phone scripts
  • Client resources

To learn more about feline declaw alternatives and for additional resources, go here.

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