7 things to know about Denver's cat declawing ban

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Denver has taken a stand in the oft-controversial debate over declawing cats, with the City Council unanimously passing a ban on the practice Monday night.

The ordinance is effective immediately. Nerves, tendons and ligaments are severed.

The ban, which covers procedures called onychectomies and tendonectomies, would apply only within city limits, leaving suburban veterinarians free to offer elective declawings to Denver pet owners. The Humane Society of the United States says the effects of the surgery can include death of tissue, paw pain, infection, back pain, lameness and death.

"A decision to declaw a cat is affected by many human and animal factors", Andre said at a public hearing November 6.

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Denver veterinarian Aubrey Lavizzo previously said it's not only painful for cats but also leads to behavioral issues that pet owners find challenging like using the bathroom in unwanted places.

Kirsten Butler, a veterinary technician, said she no longer participates in the procedures.

This is the first US city outside of California to ban the procedure, the Denver Post reported. Bans also are common in other countries, including Australia, Israel, Brazil, Japan and across much of Europe.

Declawing, while it certainly stops cats from destroying furniture and rugs, removes the top third of a feline's digits.

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