Cat Declaw Ban Passes In Denver

The city is the first outside California to prohibit onychectomy.

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Cats in Denver can keep their paws intact. Via Nadezhda Zaitceva/Shutterstock
Anastasia Thrift

Declaw surgery removes the top portion of cats’ toes from the last knuckle onward. Critics oppose the procedure for many reasons, and several California cities have banned the operation.

Now, Denver, Colorado, has become the first city outside that state to ban declawing, the Denver City Council announced via Twitter yesterday. The decision was unanimous, according to KUSA Denver 9 News.

Opponents of declawing, technically known as onychectomy, cite several reasons for their stance. Declawed cats could experience great pain resulting from the surgery — cats often hide their pain as a protective measure, to prevent them from appearing vulnerable to predators, so their level of pain is difficult to gauge — and behavioral issues.

Denver now joins the California cities of Los Angeles, San Francisco, Santa Monica, Berkeley, Beverly Hills, Culver City, West Hollywood and Burbank. Similar legislature has been attempted statewide in New Jersey and New York.

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