Denver passes bill banning cat declawing

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The Denver City Council passed the measure banning declawing cats within city limits on Monday.

The measure was first introduced by Councilwoman Kendra Black.

Removing a cat's claws isn't as simple as it sounds, critics say, noting it requires several partial toe amputations.

The bill applies only to elective declawing.

The ban outlaws the procedure in Denver unless a surgery was medically necessary. The Colorado Veterinary Medical Association opposed the bill, somewhat surprisingly, saying it was an issue that should be left up to cat owners and their pets' doctors.

Declawing occurs in a procedure known as onychectomy.

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Alternatives to declawing include regular trimming of cat's claws, stable scratching posts around the home, soft plastic caps for the cat's nails and a special tape that can deter cats from scratching furniture.

Denver joins San Francisco, Santa Monica, Beverly Hills, Berkeley, Culver City and Burbank, which have all enacted similar bans.

The local impetus for a ban is Denver veterinarian Aubrey Lavizzo, the local leader of the Paw Project, who persuaded Black to push for it. Declawing bans are also common in most of Europe.

Some argued before city council that the ban would take away options for cat owners.

Although it is the first of its kind law to pass in the US outside of California, the idea to ban declawing is not new.

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