SPOKANE, Wash. -- The Denver city council unanimously passed a proposed bill on Monday that would ban declawing cats.
It is a hotly debated issue. Declawing requires surgery to remove the claws. Many people have questions about whether or not you should declaw a cat.
"Declawing what it entails is the removal of the last part of their digit and the nail. The nail and the bone that underlies it. There's three bones in our finger this last joint is where it's removed," said Dr. Greg Benoit with SouthCare Animal Medical Center.
Dr. Benoit said the procedure is painful. He said cats have the same blood supply and nerve supply as humans do in their fingers. He said there are some good alternatives to declawing but it differs from case to case.
“The place we start is where is the cat scratching and why are they scratching. Scratching is a totally normal behavior. It helps them shed their old nails and let the new nail grow. The things we can do to minimize the impact are to direct the scratching to a place we can tolerate,” Dr. Benoit explained. “So, scratching post, get them interested in that so that's the place they go. There are also caps called soft paws. They're plastic and they blunt the nail. More than anything just trimming your cat's nails on a regular basis by teaching them at a young age to sit still and get a nail trim."
Denver is not the only city that has banned declawing cats. Eight California cities have already done so including San Francisco, Los Angeles, West Hollywood. There is also proposed legislation in New York that would make it the first state to ban declawing cats.