This story was published in March 2016.

This was the ASPCA’s official 2015 declawing position-

“The ASPCA is strongly opposed to declawing cats for the convenience of their guardians. The only circumstance in which the procedure could be condoned would be if the health and safety of the guardian would be put at risk, as in the case of individuals with compromised immune systems or illnesses that cause them to be unusually susceptible to serious infections.”

The ASPCA updated their declawing position in 2016 to this. Here it is ASPCA’s declawing position statement

The ASPCA came up with a new excuse for not supporting banning declawing and here it is, “Legislation to make declawing illegal, while well-intentioned, can be problematic, because, in rare cases, the procedure may be justifiable as a last resort to prevent euthanasia. There is also no meaningful way to enforce a law that includes this exception.”

The ASPCA also uses the death or declaw excuse in their destructive scratching section.  ASPCA Destructive Scratching

The ASPCA says do not declaw cats in their Cat Grooming Tips section. ASPCA Do Not Declaw

This is the last we heard from the ASPCA about this issue when they sent this note to many of City the Kitty’s supporters in 2017 and the note to City the Kitty’s exec. director. There are lies in their note. Laser declawing is not better than the other methods and it’s just as mutilating. There are many studies that prove that declawing causes behavioral issues. 

“Dear Friends of Animals,

Thank you for contacting the ASPCA.
Declawing is one of the most controversial issues in the pet care realm. The ASPCA is opposed to routine declawing of cats. It should be reserved for cases where there are health issues involved or all efforts to retrain the cat to scratch in appropriate areas have been exhausted.
Laser surgery for declawing is considered to be superior to the traditional surgery methods. There is less bleeding and pain, and the recovery time is much shorter.
Declawing is a painful procedure, and is an actual amputation of the first segment of a cat’s toes.  A cat will lose his first line of defense and may have some trouble climbing because he can’t sink his claws into the surface and shift his weight to help balance himself. 
There have been no scientific studies that prove that there are any behavioral repercussions from declawing a cat — only anecdotal claims that declawed cats are more likely to soil out of the litter box, bite or hide.
Declawing is illegal in much of Western Europe but a fairly common procedure in American veterinary offices.
For further information on the ASPCA or other humane issues, you may wish to visit our website at
Thank you for your concern and for being an animal welfare advocate.
Public Information Department”

Here’s the note to City the Kitty’s Exec. Director on March 15, 2017.

“Hi Lori, apologies for the delay in getting back to you. It looks like you’ve already viewed our updated position on cat declawing: We continue to strongly oppose the procedure. As noted in the statement, our experts believe that legislation to make declawing illegal, while well-intentioned, can be problematic, because, in rare cases, the procedure may be justifiable as a last resort to prevent euthanasia. 

All the best,


Olivia Melikhov

Senior Manager, Social Media

Media and Communications



Here is a note they sent to us in 2015.

“Hi Lori, thank you so much for reaching out and apologies for the delay in getting back, I had to consult with a few departments and experts internally here. Our organization is opposed to the inhumane practice of cat declawing and we think it’s really admirable that you and City the Kitty are working to raise awareness about this important issue. We are actually in the process of working with our experts to revise and update our position on declawing. In the meantime, we are refraining from participating in proactive advocacy on the issue.

All the best,

Olivia Melikhov

Senior Manager, Social Media


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Facts- There are thousands of declawed cats that are in shelters/rescues after they were thrown away because of the behavioral issues they have from their declaw procedure. Many are being euthanized. There are many declawed cats who are dying on the operating (torture) table while they are being declawed.  ALL declawed cats have to walk for the rest of their lives with some sort of pain and discomfort from being declawed.

A new peer reviewed study came out in Sept. 2021 that showed that banning declawing doesn’t result in an increase in cat relinquishment or euthanasia. Here’s the study. Declaw ban

Here’s a quote from Brenda Barnette, General Manager of Los Angeles Animal Services Dept., “I am the General Manager of Los Angeles Animal Services Department (LAAS), which operates the public animal shelters in Los Angeles, a city of over 4 million. Los Angeles, where declawing has not been permitted since 2009, has a proud tradition of being on the forefront in the humane treatment of animals.

Since the declaw ban, the number of cats entering our shelters dropped 43.3%. I attribute the decrease in relinquishment of cats to a decrease in behavioral problems, particularly biting and litter box avoidance, which are widely recognized to be the result of declawing and that are reasons for cats to be surrendered to shelters. Furthermore, our adoption rate for cats has actually increased. We at LAAS strongly believe that a no-declawing policy saves the lives of cats.”

VCA and Banfield stopped declawing in all their vet practices nationwide in Jan. and Feb. of 2020.
Here is what VCA said, “Studies have shown that if an owner is intolerant of a cat scratching the couch, it is likely that same owner would be intolerant of the cat not using the litter box or beginning to bite harder and with increased frequency.
Why do cats stop using the litter box and begin to bite? When a cat comes home from having the declaw surgery, that cat might go to use the litter box and find the experience very painful to its recently amputated toe nubs, and then might subsequently decide never to use the box again. That same cat might also begin to bite because it feels that is the only way it can protect itself. Most owners won’t insist on declawing their cat if they understand that declawing is linked to other, far worse, behavior problems than the scratching ever was. 
It is a common misconception among veterinary professionals that scratching behavior is one of the most common reasons for relinquishment of cats to shelters.  Our experience and that of shelter operators has taught us differently.  Other problems, house soiling and aggression, are listed as the top two behavioral reasons cats lose their homes. Scratching behavior is far down the list, right next to reasons like the cat requires too much attention, and scratching is rarely a reason given for relinquishment.”
Here is VCA’s 2020 full declawing position statement-
Here is what Banfield’s 2020 declawing position says,Current evidence does not support the use of elective declawing surgery as an alternative to relinquishment, abandonment, or euthanasia.”   Link to it- Banfield Declawing Position
AAFP, American Assoc. of Feline Practitioners came out with a new declawing position statement that said, “There is no current peer-reviewed data definitively proving that cats with destructive behavior are more likely to be euthanized,abandoned or relinquished. The decision of whether or not to declaw should not be impacted by these considerations.”  Link to their statement- AAFP Declawing Position

AAFP banned declawing in all their Cat Friendly Practices in July 2021.

Fear Free Pets announced they will ban declawing in all their practices on Dec. 31, 2021.


Declawing was banned in New York State in July 2019 and there hasn’t been an increase of cats in shelters or cats being euthanized in that state. Here is a June 26, 2020 statement from the biggest animal shelter in the world that is based in New York.  North Shore Animal League America.

“We are approaching the one year mark since the ban went into effect on July 22nd, 2019.  We have not seen an increase in owner surrendered cats as a result of the ban.   NSALA supported the ban and did not provide declawing services in our Pet Health Centers even before the ban went into effect.  There are many other humane options to address the cat’s innate need to scratch.  We have seen firsthand the damage caused by declawing both physically and behaviorally when owners want to surrender their declawed cats.  We are happy to know that this practice has stopped in New York.

Joanne Yohannan, Senior Vice President of Operations, North Shore Animal League America”

Here’s another statement from Animal Care Centers of NYC .

“June 26, 2020

Anyone thinking that the declawing ban would lead to an increase in cat surrenders in New York City might be surprised to learn that ACC, the only open-admission shelter in NYC, has actually seen a decline in cat intake. At the same time we have seen a 25% increase in the amount of direct adoptions our organization has processed over the past year. The ban does not seem to have affected people’s desire to adopt cats in their natural state.

Katy Hansen

Director of Marketing and Communications 

Animal Care Centers of NYC”


These cats were all declawed and thrown away by their owners.


Also, here are facts! In the cities where declawing was banned in California AND in Denver, data from the shelters shows that that number of cats in shelters DECREASED after the declawing bans.


Here’s one of the many examples that shows declawing doesn’t guarantee a cat will stay in a home and often the opposite happens. Humane Society of Midland County Story