Declawing procedure for cats now banned in Denver

SEPTEMBER 7 A cat rests in his carrier at Cat Care Society in Lakewood, Colorado

SEPTEMBER 7 A cat rests in his carrier at Cat Care Society in Lakewood, Colorado

A proposal to officially ban cat declawing in Denver was unanimously approved by city council on Monday night.

Denver City Councilwoman Kendra Black was behind the push to ban the procedure. The procedure is an amputation of a cat's first knuckle.

Denver passes declaw ban!

Many veterinarians offer elective declawing in suburban Denver.

Denver's proposal would provide an exemption when a declawing procedure is deemed to be medically necessary and only if it's performed by a licensed veterinarian who uses anesthesia.

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

The Colorado Veterinary Medical Association, meanwhile, has opposed Denver's measure because it would interfere with delicate decisions that the group's leaders say should be left to medical professionals and cat owners.

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.

In the US, declawing is prohibited in the cities of Los Angeles, San Francisco, Santa Monica, Berkeley, Beverly Hills, Culver City, West Hollywood, and Burbank. Australia, Japan, Brazil, Israel and multiple countries in Europe also have similar bans.

This is the first USA city outside of California to ban the procedure, the Denver Post reported.

A ban could potentially lower the number of cats in rescue shelters.