Cat declawing officially banned in Denver

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

But the council is poised Monday night to make Denver the first US city outside California to ban a procedure that critics see as inhumane and painful to the felines.

Declawing basically amputates the last bone of each toe on a cat's paw to prevent the growth of claws. Some cat experts call the procedure, known medically as an onychectomy, cruel and unnecessary and liken it to removing portions of a human's fingers.

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

Most veterinarians already say they won't perform a declaw surgery for an owner's vanity.


Veterinarian Aubrey Lavizzo told the NBC affiliate that it's not only painful for cats but also leads to behavioral issues that pet owners find challenging, like house soiling.

"A decision to declaw a cat is affected by many human and animal factors", Andre said at a public hearing November 6. Australia, Japan, Brazil, Israel and multiple countries in Europe also have similar bans.

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

Declawing, or onychectomy, is the operation to remove an animal's claws surgically.

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

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