San Fran Cats May Get To Keep Their Claws!

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.

For more information about declawing, see If you’re in the San Francisco area and you’re interested in an in-home claw clipping service, contact Feline Minds.

If you like cats, you might like Kitten Smitten, the cat blog at Healthy and Green Living.


Sheila G.
Sheila G8 years ago

many cats to adopt who are already declawed, many cats needing homes. again, again, again, they do not die because they have claws, they die because there are too many of them, not enough homes, not enough people who care more about other life than they do themselves or their possessions.
the shelters are full of cats! I have adopted so many that were declawed and also out in the world, not in homes, not safe, left to roam or set off to be alone. my oldest two are such examples. so declawing means a life of protection and safety? really? does it mean love and a home forever? mI have never had a cat escape me. never had a cat leave me and not know where it ended up, dead or alive, left alone and hurt. promise me, please, that declawed cats suffer no pain, promise me that they will always have a home and care.

Angela C.
Angela C.8 years ago

I am firmly against this ban. Every part of having an animal shouldn't be legislated any more than having a child. A complete ban on declawing animals would result in many people who would otherwise have a cat not get one.

In my home, we've adopted five high-needs cats. The trade-off is they had to each be declawed because I have an autoimmune disorder. One cat scratch will land me in the hospital, and has. Soft Paws come off. That's what happened with the clawed (now declawed) cat we have. Would the better option have been to leave all six of these cats in a shelter to die? If it weren't for my disorder, they would all have claws, but I wouldn't start picketing to outlaw the procedure.

Even if someone doesn't want the furniture scratched, isn't a home that will love a cat and save its life worth the declawing if that's the condition someone will take a cat?

Is death for cats really better than declawing? You might not want to declaw yours, and that's just fine. But trying to force a decision you'd make for yourself onto others via legislation will do nothing more than result in even more animals dying. But whatever helps you sleep at night, I guess. Just be sure to swing by the shelter on your way home from work and tell those kitties it's better for them to die than get to spend the rest of live in a loving home without claws.

H L Rankin
Harriet Rankin8 years ago

Declawing is mutilation, plain and simple. No excuse.

Sheila G.
Sheila G8 years ago

'Not only does this major operation cause physical pain and mental distress, cats use their claws for balance, to jump, and to climb. Cats walk on their toes, not the pads of their feet, and declawing forces them to walk in an unnatural way. The claws play an important role in grooming, and that grooming is the way a cat helps to control its body temperature, its scent signals, and more.'

Sheila G.
Sheila G8 years ago

you accused me of the same, I don't understand why you think you should challenge and I shouldn't reply, you pontificat quite well yourself. and it's your own words that are biting back at you. you seem just a bit too angry, maybe you should search your own reasoning.
a wonderful link:
I wouldn't put on any animal what I wasn't ready to bear myself:

Crystal T.
Crystal T8 years ago

My last sentence got cut off: It read: Especially when San Francisco ultimately didn't ban declawing.

Crystal T.
Crystal T8 years ago


You misrepresent my words. I didn't say that cats are dying in shelters because they have claws. They are dying because there are too many of them abandoned or born for the shelters to handle. What I said is that if you ban declawing, there will be less people providing homes, and hence more cats put into the straining shelters and hence more cats killed. You seem to be the only person here that doesn't understand that or refuses to see that, so I'm not going to repeat myself again. I'm only doing so now to tell you to read my words, not reinterpret them to suit your purposes.

I applaud you for taking in both declawed and clawed cats, but cats with claws are biters, too. I have a beautiful kitten here that is a biter with his claws and I'm in the process of teaching him not to.

As for finding the comments I referred to, I'm not going to go through 178 comments looking for them. I don't really care if you see them or not. You accused me of making unwarranted statements, I told you I was responding to what people had said, but there had been an explosion of comments before I could get back to them. You insinuated they didn't exist, I told you to go look for them because they are there. But I don't really care if you find them or not. If you're interested enough you'll find them & if you want to continue to believe they don't exist, I don't really care either. I'm not going to waste any more time arguing with you. Especially when SF ultimately didn'

Sheila G.
Sheila G8 years ago

so you assume I abuse them? they were shelter animals, and the old male we lost came from an abusive home. the point is, if a cat uses it's claws and then lose them, it will resort to using it's teeth. so declawing doesn't always stop the damaging. as your cats claw you when they jump from your lap, mine don't. my kittens haven't yet learned that technique, so I have and will have for scratches for a long time.
and there you go again claiming cats in shelters are dieing because of claws, if there were less cats in the shelters they could stop kill shelters, as long as we have this pop explosion we will have animals killed in shelters, it has nothing to do with claws.
I figured since you made the statement you would know where you read it. I found one woman claiming to be totally anti de-clawing then she went on to talk about the positive side of declawing.
as I have stated time and again there are extreme situtations such as yours, do you believe that is why most people declaw their cats?
those people who won't adopt a cat with claws can adopt a de-clawed cat, and I have rescued many, with and without claws. they don't die because I won't do my part. mis-information doesn't help them.
I have no blind eye when it comes to animals, when it comes down to them or me, it's them that come first, and I will always choose them because so many other people won't when they should.
maybe you have a bit of blindness yourself?

Crystal T.
Crystal T8 years ago

Thank you for telling your story. I agree that declawed cats don't have any more issues than cats with claws as long as they are in a safe, lovely environment. And given the proper attention to training them just as you would any other cat.

What is sad is the poor cat you described, living in a cage for so long that it no longer has any hope of getting out... I would say that if that cat could have a loving home where it could run and play and jump and cuddle, cageless, it would gladly give up its claws. If it is not outside (and no one should even let their clawed cats outside), it won't know it doesn't have claws because it won't need to defend itself like that.

Sadly, it is true that black cats are the last to be adopted, as people seem to have some unconscious ingrained superstition against them as witches' companions, even if they consciously know better.

For most of my life the cats I've had have been black. My Danny Girl is black Maine Coon mix with a little white. Pacey is a bengal mix and my little baby Mischief is my first creamsicle cat I've ever had... white with orange. Danny is so alpha, I had to make sure I got her a kitty who was a complete opposite to be non-threatening.

Kudos to you for recognizing the extra need of homes for black kittens and for following through on adopting one. We both know how loving they are. Kudos for ignoring those who yell against you declawing and sticking to giving cats your good safe loving home.

Eric D.
Eric D8 years ago

Some people are saying that declawed cats bite. Personally, I've never had this problem with my cats. I'm pretty sure that it's more a personality trait that anything else. If you tolerate some aggressivity when young you open the door for more.

My cats have been all well behave affectionate and absolutely non aggressive.

When I was looking for a cat after my old lady died at 16, I was force to change my choice of a nice 2 years old black female at the S.P.C.A. because she had claws. The poor cat had been there for almost a year in her tiny cage aside for a few months when she was sick and at a foster home.

After so long, she didn't even come to the front of her cage, having lost hope, looking sad.

Sadly, it true some people don't what a cat with claw that will shred their stuff and scratch floor, furniture.

I'm one of those, not ashamed at all. My cats stay indoor, my condo is on the 7th floor, they will never have to defend themselves against a dog.

Looking at them running before and after the operation there is no difference, they run around, jump, leap, they are not diminished at all.

An indoor cat doesn't miss its claws.

I have a black female because they are the last one to be chosen (according to the S.P.C.A.).

The other was a sick female from a private shelter and needed care.

My commitment to my cats is for life.

In my home, I will not have a cat with claw, had one in my youth. Don't want one anymore. Sorry.