WASHINGTON – Dec. 20, 2022 – Alley Cat Allies is urging the Council of the District of Columbia and Washington, D.C., Mayor Muriel Bowser to pass into law a bill outlawing the declawing of cats, an amputation of the last knuckle on cats’ toes that can cause a lifetime of suffering.

”We can’t give declawed cats back their claws, but this law will spare other cats and kittens from this unnecessary and inhumane practice,” said Coryn Julien, Director of Communications, Alley Cat Allies. “It is the obligation of our humane, progressive society to protect cats from lifelong pain by eliminating the elective procedure of declawing and keeping cats’ claws on their paws.”

Peer reviewed research studies have demonstrated the problems that declawing causes for cats. One study found that declawed cats are 18 percent more likely to bite, and 15 percent more likely to avoid the litter box, compared to cats who have not been declawed. Declawed cats will avoid the litter box because of the pain in their paws. They are more likely to bite after losing the natural protection of their claws and feeling unsafe. These are two of the leading reasons cats are relinquished to shelters, where many are killed.

Plenty of affordable humane deterrents exist for unwanted scratching behavior, including nail trimming, nail caps and providing scratching posts with catnip for extra appeal.

In the DMV area, the District of Columbia is poised to join Maryland, which outlawed the declawing of cats earlier in 2022. The Virginia General Assembly will also consider a bill to outlaw declawing statewide in its 2023 session. The state of New York, plus over a dozen major cities including San Francisco, Los Angeles, Denver, St. Louis and Pittsburgh, have already outlawed declawing.


About Alley Cat Allies 

Alley Cat Allies is the leader of the global movement to protect and improve the lives of cats and kittens. Now in our 33rd anniversary year, we are joined by nearly 1 million supporters worldwide.


Alley Cat Allies believes every cat deserves to live out his or her life to the fullest. We exposed an entrenched system in which animal control agencies and shelters have been killing millions of cats for over a century. Today, the programs we introduced in the United States are mainstream.


To achieve our goals, we collaborate with grassroots advocates, animal shelters, municipal managers, and lawmakers to replace deadly laws and policies with ones that protect cats.? We defend all cats by offering cutting edge education online, in person, and through one-on-one dialogue. We advance lifesaving innovations such as Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) and Shelter-Neuter-Return (SNR), high-quality, high-volume spay and neuter, microchipping, anti-declawing legislation, and any program that best serves the interests of cats.

Our website is www.alleycat.org, and we are active on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube.