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City Makes Declawing Cats Illegal, Calls The Practice 'Inhumane'

There's no doubt, cats make for a fun pet. Sometimes they can be so cuddly and lovable. Other times they can get up to hilarious hijinks with their acrobat-like moves. But if you want the benefits of owning a cat, you have to pay the price.

That price is the cost of food, supplies, toys and pet care. The price also includes changing the litter box and putting up with things like hair on your sweater and a few snags or rips on the furniture.

Some pet owners aren't willing to put up with all of these issues, particularly the risk of having furniture ruined. In the 1970s in America, the trend of declawing cats began to gain in popularity.

Pet owners would rush to the vet to have the offending claws removed, thinking that their kitties would survive just fine without nails. They felt that it was a convenient solution to a problem.

The process is more accurately known as onychectomy, and what many people failed to realize is that you can't just remove a cat's nails. Their nails are not like your toenail.

Their claws adhere to the bone, and in order to have the claws removed, the tip of the bones have to be removed.

Declawing is not like when a human loses a nail; it's more akin to when a human has the tips of all their fingers and toes amputated. It's major surgery, painful and traumatic. Just imagine having to use a litter box after a surgery like that.

A lot of cats experience complications after surgery, which can result in the need for more surgery, or costly treatments. Cats often suffer psychologically after the trauma as well.

They may become more aggressive and withdrawn or may begin urinating in inappropriate places. Many owners become so frustrated with their cat's behavior after declawing that the poor cat ends up in a shelter.

The Denver, Colorado city council voted unanimously to ban declawing. It has been deemed by many countries an 'inhumane' practice, and the people of Denver agree.

Colorado isn't the first state where legislation is being passed to stop the practice of declawing. In California, eight cities have passed laws that prohibit pet owners from elective declawing. The procedure can only be done in the case of medical necessity, which is rare.

There are pet owners who actually are fighting the bills that are trying to protect house cats. Declawing supporters say that the pain is temporary. Even the Colorado Veterinary Medical Association opposed the bill, saying that it should be up to the pet owner and the animal's doctor to make the decision on a case-by-case basis.

Some people have accused vets of opposing the bill because they'll lose income. The procedure usually is completed easily these days with lasers and runs up to $250.

The fact is, there are more humane ways to keep cats from scratching up furniture or snagging sweaters. Simple-to-apply rubber claw caps and keeping nails trim and filed can save owners a lot of trouble, without putting a cat through unnecessary surgery.

Bans are more likely to continue spreading than they are to disappear.

Source: American Overlook
Photos: U.S. Air Force/2nd Lt. Belena Marquez, PxHere, Pixabay, Geroithe Chia/Flickr

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