Ban on declawing cats

By Philippe Djegal - email
Posted by Ellen Krafve - bio | email

TYLER, TX (KLTV) - Beverly Hills and Los Angeles, earlier this week, became the latest California cities to pass an ordinance that bans declawing cats. San Francisco and Santa Monica have similar bans. Proponents of the measure say declawing cats is inhumane. No such ban exists in Texas, but as that didn't stop East Texas veterinarians from chiming in.

They're cute, cuddly, and make a great pet, but there are drawbacks.

"How many apartment dwellers do you have that can have a cat that doesn't tear up their curtains, doesn't tear up their couch, [and] doesn't tear up their kids?" said veterinarian Dr. Marcus Alexander.

That's why East Texas Alexander encourages declawing cats. He says the discomfort period for cats is short and the long-term gain is worth it. Alexander believes if a ban on declawing was imposed in Texas the cat population would diminish.

"Because I don't think people would tolerate their little kids being scratched by them - especially when you have a two-year-old kid who loves a cat around," said Alexander.

"I mean, they've got to be cutting off that much," said Gayle Helms, with the Humane Society of East Texas.

Declawing is prohibited in more than 20 countries. That's because opponents call it 'de-knuckling.' The procedure involves the removal of a joint.

"I remember having my first cat declawed, and he came home with those little bandages all ways up to there, and you know, it was so traumatic," said Helms, who is against declawing cats.

"You know, I know there's always extenuating circumstances," said Helms. "But, in my opinion, it's just an inhumane thing to do."

She says there are less harmful options.

"There are little things you can put on their claws like little softy paws that you can actually glue on," she said.

Or, you could buy a scratching post. But, she says a legal ban on declawing might be a stretch.

"It's choice - it's your cat," said Alexander. "You don't let somebody else tell you what to do."

Helms and Alexander are on the same page.

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