One of the most controversial issues for pet owners is the practice of declawing cats.
The surgical removal of a cat’s claws was once commonly done as a way to prevent scratches and furniture damage, but it has been increasingly viewed as painful and inhumane to cats.
Thankfully, more and more legislatures throughout the US have been enacting bans on declawing cats, from major cities like Pittsburgh to whole states like New York.
Now, another city has joined the effort against declawing: Madison, Wisconsin recently passed a new law that will ban elective declawing surgery. According to WMTV, the Madison Common Council voted on the new law on Tuesday night, and it passed with unanimous support.
The Madison Common Council approved a ban on elective cat declawing in its meeting Tuesday night, putting an end to the practice in the city. https://t.co/DpFhu96MkF
— NBC15 News (@nbc15_madison) December 8, 2021
The move was celebrated by supporters of the ban, including Madison Alder Lindsay Lemmer, who called declawing “cruel and outdated” and hoping their city will set a good example for others.
“Today, every cat in Madison lands on its feet as we set an example for the rest of the state and join the numerous cities throughout the country that have already banned this archaic practice,” Lemmer said, according to WMTV.
We are ecstatic,” added Colin Steinke, executive director of the Madison Cat Project. “This is a big step forward toward a better world for cats, and to see Madison take this step to join the other cities and states who have done so before us is really exciting.”
The practice of declawing cats has been one of the most controversial medical treatments for pet owners.
While there are occasional humane reasons to declaw a cat, such as removing cancerous nail beds, it is more often an elective procedure to prevent scratches and protect furniture.
It was once commonplace, and seen as relatively harmless — but activists and vets have warned that it is more like losing fingers than getting a nail trim.
“Declawing traditionally involves the amputation of the last bone of each toe,” the Humane Society writes.
“If performed on a human being, it would be like cutting off each finger at the last knuckle.” “It is an unnecessary surgery that provides no medical benefit to the cat. Educated pet parents can easily train their cats to use their claws in a manner that allows everyone in the household to live together happily.”
Due to this, it has been outright banned in many countries around the world, though the US has been slow to adapt: it’s estimated that 20 to 25 percent of American cats have been declawed, and it is still legal in the vast majority of the country.
It has been up to individual cities and states to ban declawing themselves, and Madison, Wisconsin is the latest to join the cause.