July 8, 2020

Of all the unnecessary cosmetic surgeries pet owners choose to put their furry friends through, declawing is one of the most common. However, more Ontario veterinarians are moving in the right direction by refusing to perform the procedure. While this is a positive change being made, Ontario has yet to follow in the footsteps of provinces such as Newfoundland and Labrador and Prince Edward Island which have made these procedures illegal altogether. It’s time for this province to join this group.

P.E.I. and Newfoundland and Labrador implemented a provincewide ban on declawing in January of this year, following in the footsteps of Nova Scotia and British Columbia.

 Cats scratch to remove dead husks from their claws, stretch their muscles and mark territory, according to humanesociety.org. Scratching is a normal and healthy behaviour for cats, and onychectomy, more commonly known as declawing, does not only provide no benefits for felines, but it can have detrimental effects on their cat’s health.

 Declawing is a procedure that involves severing the last toe bone of the cat’s paw, which if performed on a human, would be the same as cutting the fingers off at the knuckle. According to humanesociety.org, some negative health effects that impact a declawed cat include infection, tissue death, back pain and nerve damage.

 According to catsanonymous.ca, declawing your cat can affect their mental state as well. The removal of their first line of defence can lead to anxiety, insecurity and a feeling of helplessness. Behaviours such as excessive biting can be a direct result of this.

 Cats have claws for a reason and declawing them is simply inhumane. Investing in a scratching post, trimming your cat’s claws or putting plastic caps on their claws are all humane and effective ways to save your couches and chairs. It’s also important to keep in mind that a few tears in your upholstery is just part of being a cat owner and is to be expected and considered when getting a pet.         

Declawing needs to be officially banned in Ontario. Banning declawing will spark curiosity and encourage people to educate themselves about the dangers of the procedure, as well as aid the well-being of all our feline friends in the province. The ever-growing number of vets who refuse to perform the procedure is a step in the right direction – but it simply isn’t enough.

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