DECLAW SURGERY –
HEALTH PROBLEMS DUE TO DECLAWING
The Paw Project
The Paw Project exists to promote animal welfare and increase public
awareness about the crippling effects of feline declawing, to
rehabilitate big cats that have been declawed, and to end the practice
of declaw surgery.
The Paw Project initiated efforts which led to the ban on declawing in
West Hollywood, CA, the first law of its kind in North America. The Paw
Project was also the sponsor of AB 1857, introduced by Assemblyman Paul
Koretz (D-42nd District). In January 2005, the California Anti-Declaw
Act, signed into law by California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger,
became the first state law in the US banning the declawing of wild and
exotic cats. Scientific research published by Paw Project veterinarians
provided the data behind the 2006 USDA ruling forbidding declawing of
animals by USDA-licensed owners of exotic and wild animals. The USDA
ban is enforced by the federal Animal Welfare Act.
Declawing is a surgical procedure, also called onychectomy, in which
the animal's toes are amputated at the last joint. Most people do not
realize that a portion of the bone - not only the nail - is removed.
Declawing may result in permanent lameness, arthritis, and other
long-term complications. It is actually illegal in many countries. View
case studies of cats that have suffered negative health effects due to
Since April 2000 veterinarians working with The Paw Project have
performed reparative surgery on lions, tigers, cougars, leopards, and
jaguars that had been victims of declaw surgery. Enjoying relief for
the first time after years of suffering, declawed cats that could
hobble only a few agonizing steps prior to reparative surgery are able
to leap, run, and play much more as nature intended.
There are more than 100 big cat sanctuaries in 41 states caring for
over 1000 declawed cats that live each day in constant pain. The Paw
Project's goal is to help every one of these cats by providing support
to animal sanctuaries and veterinarians.