DENVER — Among cat owners, it's a divisive practice that draws either sympathy or outrage. Soon, declawing cats could be illegal in the Denver metro area.
Denver City Councilwoman Kendra Black is behind a push now to ban declawing procedures — which remove portions of a cat's paws to prevent the growth of claws — throughout the city via a new ordinance.
In an interview with the Denver Post, Black called the practice cruel and unnecessary.
"Many people aren't aware of what the medical procedure entails," Black said. "In the past it's been presented as, 'Get your cat spayed, neutered and declawed.' We want to make sure cats don't suffer in this needless procedure."
Several cities across the U.S. have enacted such bans after awareness campaigns by veterinarians and cat experts who liken the procedure to removing portions of a human's fingers.
Most commonly, the medical procedure is used to prevent damaged furniture, but in some cases it can be medically necessary. In those cases, declawing procedures would be allowed in Denver.
Black told the Post that she hopes the City Council helps create the ordinance, although enforcement would be difficult. The council would likely have to create a committee to create rules and decide fines and regulations.