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Claw Counseling: Living in Harmony with Clawed Cats

Claw Counseling: Living in Harmony with Clawed Cats

Claw Counseling: Living in Harmony with Clawed Cats

Dr. Kelly A. St. Denis, MSc, DVM, DABVP (Feline Practice)
Dr. Kelly A. St. Denis, MSc, DVM, DABVP (Feline Practice)
on behalf of American Association of Feline Practitioners


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Normal Price: FREE FREE


Launch date: 17 Sep 2018
Expiry Date: 13 Aug 2020

Last updated: 25 Oct 2020

Reference: 192638

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Latest User Comments

Dr Michael Klingler DVM (1 Oct 2020)
Very comprehensive and compassionate presentation!
Ms Kendra Lawrence (15 Sep 2020)
i learned alot of information to help clients
Ms S W (24 Aug 2020)

I would like to...

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North American attitudes towards the procedure of declawing are shifting rapidly. As we move away from this procedure, it is increasingly important for veterinary teams to focus on educating clients about normal scratching behaviors in cats. Claw Counseling teaches clients how to live in harmony with their clawed cat. This presentation will review the natural scratching behavior of domestic cats with guidance on how to target this behavior to desirable surfaces. It will describe the goals behind Claw Counseling, providing the necessary information for veterinary practices to implement this program immediately. The benefits are mutual as the caregiver learns to understand the cat’s behavior and needs and the cat is allowed to express those behaviors in the most natural way.


Claw Counseling
• Review the physical and emotional reasons that cats need to scratch.
• Review the anatomy of the feline nail and how to care for them in all age groups.
• Explore resource management & environmental enrichment as tools to guide scratching in cats.
• Review the 5 pillars of a healthy feline environment and how to use these towards guiding desirable scratching.
• Review approaches to trouble shooting so-called ‘undesirable’ scratching behaviors in cats.
Dr. Kelly A. St. Denis, MSc, DVM, DABVP (Feline Practice)

Author Information Play Video Bio

Dr. Kelly A. St. Denis, MSc, DVM, DABVP (Feline Practice)
on behalf of American Association of Feline Practitioners

Dr. St. Denis is currently a full-time clinician at the Charing Cross Cat Clinic in Brantford, Ontario, which she opened in 2007. She holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Molecular Biology and Genetics, and a Master of Science in Immunology. In 1999, she completed her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree at the Ontario Veterinary College. Dr. St. Denis has been certified with the American Board of Veterinary Practitioners in the specialty of feline practice since 2013. Dr. St. Denis is a consultant for the feline medicine boards on VIN. She has been a member of the Board of Directors for the AAFP since 2017 and sits on the Advisory Council for the AAFP Cat Friendly Practice Program. Dr. St. Denis is proudly one of the 6 Canadian feline specialist members of Cat Healthy.

Current Accreditations

This course has been certified by or provided by the following Certified Organization/s:

  • AAVSB-Registry of Approved Continuing Education (RACE)
  • 0.50 Hours -
    Exam Attempts: 3
    Exam Pass Rate: 70

Faculty and Disclosures

Additional Contributors

Conflicts Declared

Conflicts of Interest declaration by Author:


User Reviews (41)

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Dr Michael Klingler DVM (1 Oct 2020)
Very comprehensive and compassionate presentation!
Ms Kendra Lawrence (15 Sep 2020)
i learned alot of information to help clients
Ms S W (24 Aug 2020)
Mrs Selena Kealy (15 Jul 2020)
Very informative
Amy Stubbs (22 Apr 2020)
Good tips!
Dr Kendi Horner DVM (3 Apr 2020)
A great guide in discussing clawed cats/declawed cats with great resources for client discussion.
Amber Steppler (6 Jan 2020)
Good information, just a bit muffled sounding
Mary Giles (4 Dec 2019)
There is some good advice in here to help deter cats from scratching undesirable places but it is a bit unrealistic to expect cat owners to completely turn their lu es upside down to cater to their pets. Honestly if declawing was outlawed I think we'd see a large rise in homeless and euthanised cats.
James McMinn (30 Nov 2019)
I was excited about the content but the poor audio quality made it difficult to understand.
Vanessa Babineau (11 Oct 2019)
his course provided me with the knowledge to be able to help people with this problem the right way.
Dr Thomas Noyes (13 Aug 2019)
very organized and complete
Rachel Schut (28 Feb 2019)
Very complete!
Raena Luttman (19 Feb 2019)
Great information that I'm excited to share with my "auto declaw" clients.
Mrs Charlene Coakley RVT (8 Feb 2019)
Good webinar. My only suggestion for improvement would be for better sound quality. The audio was a bit muffled. Thanks!
Diane Coleman (6 Feb 2019)
Very informative! A good companion to the Environmental Enrichment Guidelines.
Jennifer Russo (22 Jan 2019)
Very thorough and informative.
Leah Tucker (19 Dec 2018)
Nice info
Erin Wendt (28 Nov 2018)
It would be helpful to have this particular course available for all of our staff to view, so that clients are receiving the same message from everyone in the hospital and so that everyone can feel confident in the recommendations being made.
Mr Brad Webb (20 Nov 2018)
Poor audio quality
Heather Martland (6 Nov 2018)
Very informative!!!!
Jennifer Miller (31 Oct 2018)
I will have some bullet points for cat owners on what they need to do/items to use to enrich their cat's environment to encourage scratching in the appropriate locations.
Cassie Delaplain (27 Oct 2018)
A little disorganized - there are some breaks between topics & then it goes back to a previous topic I had thought was finished. I can see ways I may be able to implement this into my hospitals culture and thought the content was very valuable!
Miss Marissa Taylor CVA (25 Oct 2018)
Not as well organized as other webinars, but that only really affected note-taking :) Other than that, great information and resources. Maybe combine webinar with more information on specific types of cat trees as well, since there are so many types on the market, and most of them contain the scratching posts/pads discussed.
Diane De Bruyn (23 Oct 2018)
Lots of great information, the course is short and to the point.
Ms Ellen Carozza AAS, LVT (17 Oct 2018)
Great CE lecture. Thank you.
Jennifer Rockwell (15 Oct 2018)
The content was excellent but the sound was less than desirable and difficult to listen to. Not sure if it was my computer or the program itself. Thank you.
June Wolf (13 Oct 2018)
Appreciate the referral to other claw counseling resources for clients and clinics.
Rebecca Josephs (5 Oct 2018)
Webinar itself was very good. The quiz at the end, I think, could easily be passed without viewing the webinar or even knowing much about cats.
Dorene Culp (2 Oct 2018)
The sound quality was a little difficult at times, not very clear throughout the presentation. It was good information, and I appreciate the website resources being added for further training materials for both staff and clients.
Adam Cosgrove (25 Sep 2018)
I feel like you could know nothing at all about cats and scratching behavior and answer the 5 questions after the course correctly.
Dr Kerry McKinney DVM (23 Sep 2018)
Good organized presentation of client-relevant information.
Ms Julie Bell (21 Sep 2018)
I thought that overall this was a good webinar in that it discussed how to talk to clients about redirecting unwanted scratching. I do wish that there was more information regarding counseling clients about the health risks of declawing a cat. The sound quality was a little off as another reviewer pointed out.
Dr Jessi Pizzuli DVM (20 Sep 2018)
For feline-only practices there was no new information on counseling owners on scratching issues. The presentation seemed redundant as several slides had the exact same information, just in a different order. The recommendation of a variety of products was good for providing a starting point for clinics and owners to successfully resolve the issues.
Ms Joanne Buitenhuis RVT (20 Sep 2018)
Dr Nadine Desautels (19 Sep 2018)
Very helpful, tk you Kelly Nadine
Pamala Coker (19 Sep 2018)
Great training for new employees and good reminders for us old folks too!
Anne Clayton (19 Sep 2018)
The sound quality was muffled, but overall, the content was great!
Caroline Montgomery (18 Sep 2018)
I enjoyed the lecture. Learning to come at the problem not as to how to stop the cat from scratching a surface but figuring out why that surface has been chosen will open up a lot of discussion between my client and myself in order to figure out what that particular cat needs. Thanks you
MaryAnne Schadler (18 Sep 2018)
Concise, clear, plenty of information to help clients understand and impact scratching behaviors and challenges. Great!
Ashley Ackert (18 Sep 2018)
Very helpful in discussing all solutions and how to get an appropriate and helpful history from the owner.


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