Despite the growing ranks rejecting the procedure, it remains a source of heated debate among veterinarians.
Jennifer Conrad, founder of The Paw Project, and longtime opponent of the practice, estimates declawing is performed on between 25 and 45 per cent of cats in the U.S.
Also a veterinarian, Conrad puts much of the blame for those numbers on her own field's reliance on quick-fixes through surgery.
"Vets are like, 'Oh, there's a behavior problem? We don't know how to deal with behaviors. But we do know surgeries. So there you go. We will do surgery,'" she explains to The Dodo.
"And that is inappropriate."
Some veterinarians see it a little differently.
"I can see both sides of the issue," Sonja Olson, a veterinarian at BluePearl Veterinary Partners, tells The Dodo. "I've had this conversation so many times."
Declawing "can definitely harm cats," she says, but she also acknowledges that she's seen lots of cases where the owners were either going to declaw their cat - or drop him at a shelter.
"Some families simply can't have cats who scratch," she explains. "Especially if they scratch another pet in the home, or even a small child. That behavior could get cats sent to shelters and possibly euthanized."