It's Now Illegal to Declaw a Cat in Denver

A proposal to ban cat declawing passed in Denver's city council Monday night.

The council unanimously approved a first reading of the ban, 11-0, last week.

The ordinance is effective immediately.

9 News reports that during the surgery, all or most of the last bone of each of the 10 front toes is removed, and tendons, nerves and ligaments that allow for normal function of the paw are severed.

If the bill passes, it will become illegal to declaw cats in the city.

According to The Denver Post, practicing veterinarian Casara Andre said declawing can be performed in a way that prevents pain for the pet, although she opposes the surgery as a routine operation.

"A decision to declaw a cat is affected by many human and animal factors", Andre said at a public hearing November 6.

Butler said she has chosen not to help with declawings anymore.

Veterinarians call declawing a major and often painful surgery.

But vets say they want the option to do so in case it's a health issue with the pet owner.

Eight cities in California, including Los Angeles and San Francisco, have passed bans on declawing.

Declawing, while it certainly stops cats from destroying furniture and rugs, removes the top third of a feline's digits. Bans also are common in other countries, including Australia, Israel, Brazil, Japan and across much of Europe.

Vanessa Coleman