Allentown is the 2nd Pennsylvania city to ban cat declawing

Allentown PA bans declawing
Allentown PA bans declawing. Image by MikeB
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In another piece of good news for people who respect the domestic cat and their anatomy, Nathan Winograd has told me in an email that Allentown has become the second city in Pennsylvania to make it illegal to de-claw cats. And I’m pleased to say that they have joined a fairly long list of cities in the USA who have done exactly the same thing and that list is presented below:

  1. Austin, Texas
  2. Berkeley, California
  3. Beverly Hills, California
  4. Burbank, California
  5. Denver, Colorado
  6. Madison, Wisconsin
  7. Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
  8. Louis, Missouri
  9. San Francisco, California
  10. Santa Monica, California
  11. West Hollywood, California

The first city to ban declawing and lead the way was West Hollywood and the other Californian cities followed.

The state that leads the way on banning declawing on a city-by-city basis is California. The state that leads the way in terms of a state-wide ban is New York but Maryland has also banned declawing.

Studies have shown that declawed cats are at significantly greater risk for back pain, aggression through biting and scratching, not using the litter box, excessive grooming a.k.a. ‘barbering’, and on many occasions suffering from complications of the surgery such as arthritis, permanent discomfort and pain, shards of bone left in their paws and so on. You can read about the complications by clicking on this link.

Bone shards are left in the paws because of inadequate and inappropriate surgical techniques carried out by careless and incompetent veterinarians or veterinarians who are competent but carry out the operation at speed which removes precision.

These botched operations are widespread, and they occur in 66% of the cases. I have a page on that as well if you’re interested. It is probably the most shocking aspect of declawing other than the fact that it is barbaric. The veterinarians can’t even do the operation properly, so it really does become pure mutilation on 10 partial amputations. When you think about it, it is pure horror especially when applied to a kitten. Can you imagine a beautiful, innocent kitten being injured like that? And its legal in most of America still!

And Nathan reminds me that when a city prohibits declawing it doesn’t lead to the abandonment of kittens because the owners can’t declaw their cats (according to a study). That’s the argument of the veterinarians. They say that they perform a service because it stops owners abandoning their cats but this is pure BS.

Studies show that banning the practice does not lead to cats losing their homes. “Owners are able to manage normal scratching behaviour and retain cats in their homes without needing to resort to onychectomy”. Onychectomy is the technical term for the declawing operation. Vets should be educating cat owners on this but most don’t. Some encourage declawing. They are not fit to be vets.

America is gradually, very gradually prohibiting the declawing of domestic and captive wild cats. Yes, there have been some horrendous cases of wild cats such as mountain lions being declawed leaving them utterly crippled. You wouldn’t believe how bad it is and how distressing it is to see mountain lions barely able to walk living in a cage. It’s a complete breakdown of decency, common sense and humanity.

Personally, I look forward to the day when either other states ban declawing or perhaps, dreaming, the federal government bans the whole ghastly nightmare.

The Allentown declawing ban is reported in online news which I’m pleased about. They quote Hal Warner, the CEO of Lehigh Valley Humane Society who said: “I don’t think very many vets enjoy doing the procedure for customers. Our vet certainly doesn’t.” Comment: is not a question whether they like it or not, the vast majority simply do it because it makes money. They tear up their oath when they do it but it appears that I’m the only person who mentions that.

The ban came into force last Wednesday apparently. I almost forgot to add that the posts-operative pain experienced by a domestic cat is horrendous. They climb up the walls despite heavy painkillers. And there was a time, back in the day, when veterinarians did not give them painkillers after the amputations in order to prevent the cats using their paws which would open the sutures. An utterly cruel decision which compounded the barbarity of the procedure.

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