Declawing is a cruel and inhumane procedure that is harmful to cats, and thankfully its use has now been barred in yet another jurisdiction. This week the Newfoundland and Labrador College of Veterinarians in Canada passed a resolution barring its members from performing the procedure beginning in January 2019.
The declaw procedure involves more than just removing a cat’s nail. In fact, the whole last bone of the toe is removed, altering the way the cat’s foot strikes the ground and changing their gait, which can lead to pain in the feet and back. Declawing can also cause nerve pain and behavioral issues. For example, when a newly declawed cat experiences pain when pawing litter in their box, they can come to associate the litter box with pain in general and cease using it properly.
Around the world, declawing is banned or restricted in at least 22 countries, including much of Europe, the U.K., and Australia. Newfoundland and Labrador will be the fourth province in Canada with regulations against declawing, joining Nova Scotia, British Columbia, and Prince Edward Island. In the U.S. a number of cities in California have enacted declawing bans and were joined by Denver, CO in November of 2017.
There are many ways to deter and redirect inappropriate scratching, but remember, scratching is a natural way for cats to leave their scent, stretch muscles, and release energy. Visit our Cats & Claws page for more on the declaw procedure and tips for how to encourage appropriate scratching.
Have you worked through scratching issues with your cat? Share your story and tips in the comments!
Alley Cat Rescue is leading in the way in promoting humane and compassionate care for ALL cats.