Some cat owners are tempted to give their cat a “cat manicure,” better known as declawing, if the cat scratches the furniture or the owner.
Declawing is far more cruel and invasive than a simple manicure.
When a cat is declawed, the last joint on each toe is removed in order to prevent the claws from re-growing.
Many states like California are taking action to prevent this cruel practice from taking place.
Declawing cats is illegal in 37 countries and eight California cities (including Los Angeles and San Francisco), but the United States has been slow to follow suit and ban the barbaric practice throughout the nation.
AB-1230 Veterinary Medicine: Declawing Animals
In February 2019, California Asssemblyman Bill Quirck (D-Hayward) introcued a bill, AB 1230 Veterinary Medicine: Declawing Animals, that would ban declawing of cats.
“Declawed cats can suffer long-term physical complications as a result of declawing. It’s not just a fancy manicure. It’s painful, unnecessary, and needs to stop,” said Quirck.
If the bill passes, it will make California the first state in the nation to ban declawing. Four other states (New York, New Jersey, Rhode Island, and West Virginia) are considering similar legislation.
Partnership With The Paw Project
Quirck has partnered with The Paw Project, a veterinarian-run non-profit dedicated to making declawing illegal in California, on the AB-1230 legislation.
When he introduced the AB-1230 legislation, Quirk said, “I am proud to be partnering with Paw Project on this legislation.
When this bill becomes law, only licensed veterinarians performing the procedure for specific therapeutic purposes will legally be able to declaw a cat, saving them from a life time of pain and possible lameness.”
Veterinarian and founder of The Paw Project, Dr. Jennifer Conrad, said “Declawing is one of the most painful and unnecessary surgeries in all of veterinary medicine. We’ve seen what these cats go through. We are veterinarians who are standing up against the status quo because it is the right thing to do. We want veterinary medicine to be about helping animals, not helping couches.”
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Benefits of the Ban Already Seen in Los Angeles
After the city of Los Angeles banned declawing, there was an amazing impact on animals living in shelters.
Los Angeles Animal Services Department General Manager, Brenda Barnette, says that since the ban went into effect in 2009, the rate of owner-surrendered cats has decreased significantly.
“I attribute the decrease in relinquishment of cats to our shelters to the decrease in behavioral problems that are the result of declawing. We strongly believe that a ban on declawing saves the lives of cats,” said Barnette.
If owners are worried about having their furniture or their person scratched by their cat, there are better alternatives to declawing.
To make furniture less appealing for scratching, there are sprays available with an odor that deters the cat.
You can also try sprinkling cat nip on the scratching post or approved scratching area. Keeping a cat’s nails trimmed is equally important and doesn’t harm the cat.
The barbaric practice of declawing needs to be banned worldwide. With some luck and the support of citizens, hopefully California becomes the first of many states to enact this ban.