September 25, 2021
The Pittsburgh City Council unanimously passed an ordinance to ban the painful practice of declawing cats.
In the past, choosing to declaw a cat to preserve the beauty of furniture or walls was accepted. Thankfully, that mindset is changing as the cruelty of this painful procedure is illuminated. Declawing a cat is surgery, not a nail trim. The first joint of their distal phalanx is amputated. This amputation can deter cats from walking naturally on their toes, leading to joint problems, and digging, causing problems in the litter box. When cats cannot cover up their waste, they may abandon using the litter box altogether and opt for the floor. Biting is another negative behavior that can arise from declawing. Cats use their claws to protect themselves. Removing this defense makes way for them to use their teeth more.
Not only are cats subjected to physical pain and altering instinctual behaviors after declawing, but they can suffer neurologically and experience phantom pain from the nerves cut during the procedure. In 2019, New York became the first state to ban declawing. Many countries and some U.S. cities have banned this practice because of the negative impacts they have on our feline companions. According to a news article, the Pittsburgh City Council greatly supported banning declawing cats, and on September 28th, they unanimously passed the ordinance.
Take Action: Pittsburgh residents, thank your councilmember for supporting efforts to protect cats from this inhumane surgery.