Animal lovers have something to celebrate this week, after another city officially banned declawing cats.
Seattle’s City Council voted unanimously to ban vets from performing the procedure. Declawing, also known as onychcechtomy, removes the upper third of a cat’s digit. That includes their claws, as well as the nerves, tendons, and ligaments that connect them to a cat’s foot.
While the procedure guarantees that a cat’s claws won’t grow back, pet owners have long complained that the surgery is unnecessarily cruel to the animal. The Humane Society says that if the procedure was performed on humans, it would be comparable to “cutting off each finger at the last knuckle.”
Examples of dangerous botched surgeries have drawn headlines, and the American Veterinary Medical Association says there’s no good reason to declaw a cat. So does the American Association of Feline Practitioners.
Seattle is now the ninth city in America to ban the operation, and the first outside the state of California. Earlier this year, the state of New Jersey also passed a law banning vets from performing the surgery, with a penalty including a $1,000 fine and six months in jail.
But while the ban passed unanimously in Seattle, some people are still arguing in favor of declawing.