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Raise Your Paws If You Like Having Claws

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Emily Langenberg

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Denver city councilman, Jolon Clark, strokes his family cat during Monday night's meeting regarding the city's declawing ban. (via Reddit)

Denver city councilman, Jolon Clark, strokes his family cat during Monday night's meeting regarding the city's declawing ban. (via Reddit)

Denver city councilman, Jolon Clark, strokes his family cat during Monday night's meeting regarding the city's declawing ban. (via Reddit)

Feline friends all across the Denver metro area let out a sigh of relief as the Denver City Council unanimously passed a bill Monday night making it illegal to declaw cats under elective circumstances.  Now, only if there is medical need for the procedure, a few select veterinarians can still perform the operation. 

Denver is the first municipality outside of California to ban the declawing practice. 

At the city council meeting, Council Member Jolon Clark prominently and proudly held his family’s cat on his lap during a committee hearing on the decision

Surprisingly, the Colorado Veterinary Medical Association spoke in opposition to the council’s decision, under the belief that cat owners should have the right to choose.  

Many cat owners argue that the pain that cats’ experience during the procedure is temporary and well worth the outcome. The practice is generally done to improve “indoor behaviors,” preventing cats from clawing furniture and their owners.

Others looking to protect cats’ natural defense mechanisms, wanted to safeguard their furry friends from the painful procedure, which is argued to require the top third digit be removed–the equivalent to the top knuckle being cut off a human hand.

Aside from the physical trauma, both cats and their owners alike can suffer from psychological aspects as well.

It was noted at the meeting, cats tend to act out more without their claws, in the form of inappropriate urination and biting, which can ultimately lead to many cats being relinquished to shelters.

Sunny Drennen of Denver commented on the decision to ban the declawing process by saying:

“It should be banned everywhere on Earth. Chopping off the ends of an animal’s fingers is barbaric and cruel. If you don’t want an animal with claws, then you don’t want a cat. Choose a pet appropriate for your lifestyle. If you are someone who would consider doing this to an animal just for your convenience then you absolutely do not deserve to have a pet.”

Others feel like the benefits outweigh the harm.

“I’ve had plenty of cats, both declawed and fully clawed. Both groups lived long, happy, fully functional kitty lives. I’ve never seen any of the supposed negative effects of declawing, and it also spared them. Sure, they were missing the very tips of their fingers, but they weren’t going to learn Braille anyway,” remarked Chad Baker on the decision.

With proper cat nail maintenance, many veterinarians believe that there is no need to declaw. Providing cats a proper place to scratch such as scratching posts covered in rope or carpet as well as occasional filing and trimming can eliminate the need for declawing altogether.

Both New York and New Jersey currently have proposed bills to ban the declawing practice as well.

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1 Comment

One Response to “Raise Your Paws If You Like Having Claws”

  1. Michael Catalano on November 22nd, 2017 10:02 am

    I feel bad for the kitty, but know too well, that if it was going to tear up the furniture, hang on the curtains, etc, etc, I wouldn’t get a cat. They were always inside cats only. I feel that this rule may backfire to the point that many kittens will no longer be adopted. I recall always having deep scratches on my arms before the procedure. That’s not healthy either, especially if you have young children.

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