Is Cat Declawing Legal in California?

Cat Declawing is legal in the state of California, USA except for in eight cities where it is banned.

The cities where cat declawing is banned are as follows:

  1. West Hollywood
  2. Santa Monica
  3. San Francisco
  4. Beverly Hills
  5. Los Angeles
  6. Buckley
  7. Culver City
  8. Burbank

The first city in California to ban declawing was West Hollywood in 2003. The other seven cities all banned declawing in 2009. The largest city amongst them is Los Angeles with an approximate population of 4 million people. The smallest is West Hollywood at around 35,000 people.

America is yet to benefit from a statewide ban of cat declawing. Both New Jersey and New York state legislatures are in the process of discussing Bills to ban it. Animal advocates worldwide who detest declawing are awaiting, expectantly and hopefully that one or both of these states ban this operation which it is claimed started in 1952 in Chicago.

The Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association published a letter to the editor from a Chicago veterinarian, A.G. Misener. Mr Misener described the operation that he had performed on a cat at his practice. He wrote:

“This is a relatively simple surgical procedure and we believe a practical measure.”

It is believed by one historian of cat declawing that the surgery dreamt up the operation and was the first to practice it. It spread across America.

In a post that I wrote some time ago now I suggested that the origin of cat declawing was dogfighting. Declawed cats were thrown to the dogs as live bait to warm them up for a fight. I suppose what I meant was that the thought that one could remove the claws of a cat (albeit for an illegal activity) germinated and was transformed into a legal process.

It is interesting that the legal abuse and mutilation of cats (as I would describe it) is now gradually becoming illegal in America because people realise that it is inhumane and unnecessary. There can be complications and 10 amputations cause a lot of pain. In addition many of the operations are carried out in a botched manner probably because they are carried out too quickly for financial expediency.

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