Written Answer by Ministry of National Development on practice of declawing cats

Nov 7, 2017

Mr Louis Ng Kok Kwang: To ask the Minister for National Development whether the Ministry will consider banning the practice of declawing cats except for medical reasons.


AVA does not encourage the practice of declawing cats.  Such a procedure should only be performed as an absolute last resort or as an alternative to euthanasia. The Code of Ethics for Veterinarians, which was co-developed by AVA and the Singapore Veterinary Association, requires veterinarians to advise their clients about non-surgical alternatives and to ensure that all reasonable efforts have been made to manage scratching problems prior to performing any surgery. Failure to do so can result in written warnings, composition fines, or even suspension or revocation of veterinary licences.

That said, there have been occasions where persistent scratching can harm the cat itself, other pets, or humans in the household.  For instance, repeated scratches could seriously injure a person who has severe immune-deficiencies or bleeding disorders.  In such cases, if the owners are unable to resolve the issue despite having tried all other measures, declawing could well be the only option left for them to keep their cats.  The other option would be to give them up. This would be a worse outcome for both the animal and the responsible owner.

AVA will continue to educate cat owners and raise awareness on alternatives to declawing.  Vets, animal welfare groups and the public can also help to spread the message.