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L.A., Beverly Hills move to ban declawing of cats

The Los Angeles City Council, in a preliminary action, voted unanimously today to ban the controversial practice of declawing cats, which council members described as unnecessary and abject animal cruelty.

The vote was also a repudiation of the state Legislature, which earlier this year voted to bar local governments from banning the procedure beginning Jan. 1.

"I don't think we should allow people at the state level to dictate to us our local actions," said Councilman Paul Koretz, who sponsored the ordinance.

Said Councilman Bill Rosendahl, who owns three cats: "The bottom line is, you take the claws out of a cat, you take away the cat."

The council is scheduled to take a final vote on the ordinance Nov. 17.

The Beverly Hills City Council unanimously approved a similar ordinance Thursday night. A final vote in that city also is expected Nov. 17.

-- Maeve Reston at L.A. City Hall

Comments () | Archives (27)

Good thing our City Council has nothing more important with which to busy itself.

"'I don't think we should allow people at the state level to dictate to us our local actions,' said Councilman Paul Koretz, who sponsored the ordinance."

And I don't think I should allow politicians at the city level to dictate to me what I can do with my pet, Councilman. Mind your own business.

Why are people so evil in the first place?


Sad to think that the City Council of the Great City of Los Angeles is debating the issue of declawing cats instead of other important issues. Don't get me wrong, I care about animals more than a majority of people, but I think that the city has bigger issues to deal with.

Good to hear. People don't realize how cruel the act of declawing is. Essentially the vet is cutting off a knuckle to remove the claw. Not humane at all. At least some things are progressing in the right direction for this country.

The procedure used to declaw a cat would be akin to having your finger cut off at the first knuckle. It is definitely an inhumane practice, and there are other more humane alternatives to making sure your cat doesn't scratch on your furniture.

Or what Sean said. :)

To the killjoys who insist on asking about "more important things" (whatever those are today):

I don't think compassion and concern is a zero-sum game - it's not like caring about one thing means you have no more room to care about something else. In fact, quite the opposite is true.

Anyone that votes for and/or allows cats to have their claws removed should first be forced to have the top joint of their index finger removed - left or right, their choice. Then we'll see how the vote goes. Hey, it's only fair...

1. we don't need government telling us what to do with our pets.

2. This will condemn many otherwise good pet owners NOT to adopt cats

3. We do FAR worse things with other mammals. Cows, lambs, pigs. Why get so emotional about declawing? I repeat, declawing nightmares are mostly hysteria and myth.

4. The hysteria over declawing is over-rated. I know dozens of people (not my cats, however) who have declawed with absolutely zero impact on personality or temperment. Said another way, I have never heard first hand of a person who has had experience with it. On the contrary, it has led to a better relationship with the pet.

5. Cats that are not declawed often are relegated to live out doors--a much more dangerous prospect.

6. A cat with claws can be very stressful--if it insists on doing what comes naturally, it is constantly berated and punished. We all know how well punishing a cat works.

7. To those IDIOTS who say get your fingers clipped if your going to declaw. We neuter our pets. We cut off their testicles and surgically remove their uterus so they will be better pets. SO, by what you are saying, we should also neuter ourselves.

Hey, maybe not such a bad idea for some you shortsighted folks.

Listen. I've had cats which I declawed (years ago) and they were as happy and well-adjusted as any I've ever owned. It didn't change their personality and, as far as I can tell, doing the surgery under anesthesia means there was no pain.

I don't declaw now, but I'm pretty sure it doesn't rise to the level of "abuse." Funny that people have such a problem with this supposedly evil surgical procedure, but they are all in favor of spay and neuter. Can someone explain to me what THAT procedure isn't "abusive?"


Declawing is the only thing that allows some stray cats to be adopted into loving homes instead of put down after a miserable stay in a shelter. If one is concerned about treating animals humanely, it would seem that one would be in favor of allowing pet adopters the choice.

Not to mention (again) that this really is a trivial issue for the city council to be dealing with. But this seems to be a city that expects its government to deal with trivialities, so I guess we get what we deserve.

We purchased softpaws for our cat...it works pretty well and they stay on for a few months.

I'm all for a law banning declawing of cats, but it seems to bypass a much larger and more cruel issue. We continue to allow pet stores in both cities to acquire puppies and kittens from commercial breeding facilities (read: puppy/kitten mills) and then further allow those retail establishments to sell those puppies and kittens as intact animals that may well lead to further irresponsible breeding and overpopulation and perpetuate the abject cruelty inherent in commercial breeding.

Some part of our society knows this isn't right, because we do not allow unwanted pets adopted from shelters and rescues to leave intact. Sso why do we continue to allow it at retail establishments?

Simply, far more animals are directly and indirectly suffering overt cruelty and simple neglect in the pet industry (culminating in the purchase of a puppy or kitten - intact - at retail) than are directly harmed by the barbaric practice of declawing.

If these cities would simply mandate that dogs and cats sold at retail establishments *MUST* be sterilized *prior* to sale, a great impact could be made on a great many more animals not only in those cities but in the entire country.

i have noting against cats. you can't blame a tiger for its stripes. but i grieve the ecological carnage our little exotic domesticated have pets wreaked upon native bird populations for our pleasure.

Declawing is a surgical procedure and is performed without any undue cruelty to the animal. Cats are not people and cannot be treated as such. The city and pet-obsessive people should mind its own business. Just because you treat your pet like a human child does not mean the rest of us have to.

To those who point out that having a cat declawed is the same as having a human's first knuckle removed:

It may be true that any pain received from declawing can be compared to removing the first knuckle, it is not the same thing at all. A cat is not inhibited from performing any actions by having its claws removed. A human would be unable to perform many of the tasks that regular life requires without the first knuckle.

The alternative for many cat owners is to have the cat put to sleep. I'm pretty sure if I were a cat I'd rather have my claws removed.

I think stepping upon spiders is quite cruel...

How many of you liberal ladies want to outlaw that????

Taggart, nobody has any right to tell you what to do with your pet as long as its legal. Declawing will soon be illegal. Incidentally, even if its legal, its immoral and unethical to do this to cats.

If you have the cat's front claws removed when they are young they don't know the difference.
My cat didn't act any differenly or showed any sign of pain.
The cat is now an adult and the experience has been the best I've ever had with any of the 10 cats I have had in the past.
They don't claw and ruin furniture and don't hurt the kids.
However... If done when the cat is older then there is a negative affect on the cat as they are aware and it changes their personality.
I love my cat and would never do anything to hurt it... I believe it was a good decision.

People just don't get it. In our quest to make a perfect society, we will legislate, control, and outlaw every action until the very process of living becomes a burden and every step a crime, or fine. Infractions become misdemeanors, misdemeanors become felonies and super felonies. It makes me sick to see what is happening.

"And I don't think I should allow politicians at the city level to dictate to me what I can do with my pet, Councilman. Mind your own business."

Per the law, it is my business to see that you do not abuse your pet. If I witness any abuse, I could report it and you would face penalties.

Society has a wonderful ability of coming to a consensus about things sometimes!

Cool. All the prople in LA and Beverly Hills who don't want their cats ripping up their carpets and furniture can make a short drive to Orange County to get the declaw procedure done. Thanks for the boost to the OC economy, LA Council!

Oh, and let's not kid ourselves that this even has anything to do with the welfare of our feline friends in the first place. The most telling part of the article was:

"The vote was also a repudiation of the state Legislature, which earlier this year voted to bar local governments from banning the procedure beginning Jan. 1.

"I don't think we should allow people at the state level to dictate to us our local actions," said Councilman Paul Koretz..."

So, basically, this is the council thumbing their noses at the state for trying to tell them what to do.

Personally, I have two kitties adore who are declawed. I don't love declawing, but it allows me to keep them inside, away from cars and coyotes, and also know that my girl cat's overly-enthusiastic kneading won't cause accidental harm to my toddlers. No personality changes for either cat...they are as wonderful as they have always been.

To Dean who said "declawing nightmares are mostly hysteria and myth"

I had two of my cats declawed, the vet botched it, and they had to have surgery a second time a few years later because of it.

Wasn't hysteria or a myth to me or my pets. I'm all for the banning of declawing.

I think they should also ban circumcision.


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