Close to 60% of U.S. owners believe declawing of cats, also called onychectomy, is acceptable, according to a 2011 poll. But some veterinarians are working to educate the public about the procedure, which involves removal of a portion of bone and often is linked to complications. The AVMA calls for use of the procedure only as a last resort after behavioral modification efforts have failed. Data published in the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association in 2001 found one or more complications in 80% of declawed cats and behavioral problems in more than one-third of the animals.

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