Declawing and Devocalization of Cats as a Condition of a Tenancy

It is that time again when we have to fight for what is right. It is time to politely convince Governor Jerry Brown that there is madness and cruelty in the current practice of landlords insisting on cats being declawed before the cat’s caretaker can sign a tenancy agreement. There was an attempt over a year ago to pass a similar bill, which appears to have fizzled out. I am not sure if this is the same bill resurrected or whether it has taken this long to get to the desk of Governor Brown.

Photo of recently declawed cat provided by a brave and decent vet tech.

I am writing about the Paw Project and HSVMA sponsored bill SB 1229 that is before California Governor Brown for his signature. If the bill is passed into law it will prohibit, in the state of California, landlords from requiring declawing and devocalization of companion animals as a condition of a tenancy agreement.

I am sure there are many thousands of residents of California who strongly disagree with the current situation. What they could do to help California become the first state in the United States to prohibit landlords making these unnecessary and cruel demands is to…

  1. CALL. Call Governor Brown’s office to ask him to SIGN SB 1229. His office number is (916) 445-2841.
  2. EMAIL. Follow up with an email to Governor Brown and ask him to SIGN SB 1229. Here’s a link to the governor’s website where you can fill out a form to contact him:
  3. SPREAD THE WORD. By using Twitter and Facebook. And of course using good old email.

I think it is a matter of common sense and decency that this bill is passed into law. It is obviously wrong to force cat and dog owners to decide between mutilating their cat for no good reason or turning away a decent home that they are possible keen to live in or have no choice about. The current situation encourages declawing at a time when the opposite should be on the agenda.

Landlords have a wide range of measures to protect their commercial interests when letting to people who keep a cat or dog. What about allowing a small dog and having a clause in the lease that makes it obligatory that a tenant must not cause a nuisance due to noise?

What about a clause in the tenancy agreement between tenant and landlord that allows the landlord to receive a larger than average deposit when tenants keep a cat. That would allow the landlord to replace furniture that was damaged (if the flat was let furnished)? There are many other possibilities. Only lazy, uncaring and dare I say it, immoral landlords would insist on a cat being declawed as a requirement to letting a property


Picture of Gov. Brown: by League of Women Voters of California

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Declawing and Devocalization of Cats as a Condition of a Tenancy — 3 Comments

  1. Declawing a cat is not good for cats. It is painful, later in years creates terrible arthritis pain and offers them less protection. Also. They sometimes claw furniture not walls etc. Mine do not claw stuff nor chew. Toys carpet scratch posts or scratch rug houses help. Also cardboard items that are cheap to buy from a store for the scratch purpose.

  2. As a landlord I’d much rather have a clawed cat than a declawed one living in my building. Declawed cats often have litterbox avoidance issues. Which is going to cause more damage and make that flat harder to rent out in the future? Cat’s claws scrarching on surfaces or a pee smell you can’t get rid of? Which will be more of a deal breaker for a future prospective tenant? Besides, with training and some good scratching posts, a cat is not going to be destructive. I bought a used cat tree and spent two days cleaning it for our tenant’s cat. My sister is our tenant, but had it been someone else up there with a cat, I’d have done the same for their cat. Her cat loves it and it ensures his claws get put to good use in a suitable location.

  3. I totally agree. It’s incredible what happens in the world today. Total ignorance I guess is the cause. The landlords probably just don’t have a clue what is involved in declawing. They do probably know its wrong though.

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