Just say no to declawing
Merlin's Safe Haven Cat Rescue has a zero tolerance stance on declawing. We will not adopt cats to owners who have intentions to declaw, or who have previously had a cat declawed.
Declawing, or an onychectomy, is an operation to remove an animal's claws surgically by means of amputation. Although common in North America, declawing is considered an act of animal cruelty in many countries. Laws and policies governing declawing vary around the world. For example, many European countries prohibit declawing, as do Australia, New Zealand, Japan, and Turkey. It is banned in at least 22 countries.
The below diagram displays the location of the amputation required to "declaw" a cat:
Declawing was first banned in the United States in West Hollywood in 2003, followed by Los Angeles, San Francisco, Burbank, Santa Monica, Berkeley, Beverly Hills, and Culver City. California and Rhode Island enacted statewide bans prohibiting landlords from requiring declawing and devocalization of animals as a condition of tenancy. Most recently, Denver passed a code banning declawing in November, 2017.
Recovery from declawing is long and painful for felines. Behavior problems are common following the procedure. Studies show that biting, aggression, and house soiling increase after declawing procedures. These behavior issues may cause declawed cats to be at an increased risk of being relinquished to a shelter than a non-declawed cat.
There are alternatives to declawing! These include:
- Trim your cats' nails frequently
- Ensure your cats have adequate scratching posts
- Apply cute nail caps
- Cover furniture or use double-sided "sticky" tape to discourage scratching
- Positively reward your cats for using approved scratching devices!