Ban declawing of cats in Manhattan, Kansas

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People often mistakenly believe that declawing their cats is a harmless "quick fix" for unwanted scratching. They don't realize that declawing can make a cat less likely to use the litter box or more likely to bite. Declawing also can cause lasting physical problems for your cat.
Many countries have banned declawing. The Humane Society of the United States opposes declawing except for the rare cases when it is necessary for medical purposes, such as the removal of cancerous nail bed tumors. 

Too often, people think that declawing is a simple surgery that removes a cat's nails—the equivalent of having your fingernails trimmed. Sadly, this is far from the truth.

Declawing traditionally involves the amputation of the last bone of each toe. 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.

The standard method of declawing is amputating with a scalpel or guillotine clipper. The wounds are closed with stitches or surgical glue, and the feet are bandaged.

Another method is laser surgery, in which a small, intense beam of light cuts through tissue by heating and vaporizing it. However, it's still the amputation of the last toe bone of the cat and carries with it the same long-term risks of lameness and behavioral problems as does declawing with scalpels or clippers.

If performed on a human being, declawing would be like cutting off each finger at the last knuckle.

A third procedure is the tendonectomy, in which the tendon that controls the claw in each toe is severed. The cat keeps their claws, but can't control them or extend them to scratch. This procedure is associated with a high incidence of abnormally thick claw growth. Therefore, more frequent and challenging nail trims are required to prevent the cat's claws from snagging on people, carpet, furniture, and drapes, or from growing into the cat's paw pads.

Because of complications, a cat who has been given a tendonectomy may require declawing later. Although a tendonectomy is not actually amputation, a 1998 study published in the "Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association" found the incidence of bleeding, lameness, and infection was similar between tendonectomy and declawing.