Several months ago, I wrote a post about ways to keep cats safe, healthy, and happy. In it, I explained that declawing is a cruel and crippling procedure that causes cats’ pain and impaired balance, and robs them of a vital natural behavior and their first line of defense. So, you can imagine how happy I was when I learned that officials in San Francisco are considering a citywide ban on declawing!
In August, San Francisco Board Supervisor Ross Mirkarimi introduced legislation which would ban declawing, except when deemed medically necessary. The San Francisco Board of Supervisors passed a resolution in 2003 encouraging cat guardians and veterinarians to stop declawing cats, noting that there are humane alternatives, including scratching posts, nail caps, and double-sided tape, which help prevent cats from clawing furniture. Unfortunately, a recent survey reportedly showed that some people just aren’t willing to try the alternatives, and some vets will still perform the procedure whenever someone asks them to.
But, if the ban passes, anyone found guilty of performing, assisting, or ordering the procedure, will face up to six months imprisonment in the county jail and/or a fine of up to $1,000.
West Hollywood, Calif., passed similar legislation banning declawing in 2003. The procedure is also illegal in 25 countries, including the United Kingdom and many European nations.
There is no logical reason why it should not be banned in San Francisco as well. People who care more about their upholstery than animal welfare should not have a cat in the first place–a ban on declawing will hopefully make them realize that they’re better suited to care for a plush toy or a “computerized companion” rather than a living being.
There will always be those who insist that they should be able to do whatever they want to animals. But if people aren’t opposed to laws preventing others from abusing their children, they shouldn’t object to legislation prohibiting people from harming their cats either!
Many people, though, simply just aren’t aware that declawing is inhumane. If a big city like San Francisco bans declawing, it will not only help spare area cats from pain and suffering, it will help educate others around the nation about the cruel procedure.
If you like cats, you might like Kitten Smitten, the cat blog at Healthy and Green Living.