UPDATE – 10/1/2021 

The City of Pittsburgh in Pennsylvania has officially banned cat declawing!

Mayor William Peduto signed the ordinance prohibiting declaw surgery into law on September 30 and it went into effect immediately. Pittsburgh now joins New York state, cities including San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Denver, most Canadian provinces, and at least 42 other countries in outlawing this cruel, unnecessary procedure. 

This is a huge victory for cats in Pittsburgh and the voice of our Pittsburgh supporters helped make it happen. For all who took action in support of this ban, we deeply thank you. Cats’ lives will be saved because of your advocacy.

Please stay tuned as we continue working to end declawing around the United States and the world. 

Original Story – 9/24/2021

Pittsburgh is on the verge of becoming the first city in Pennsylvania to ban cat declawing—and joining a growing number of compassionate communities across the country and the world in safeguarding cats from this traumatic, needless surgery that can cause lifelong damage to a cat.

On September 28, the full City Council of Pittsburgh will take the final vote on whether to approve 2021-1997, an ordinance to ban cat declawing citywide. The ordinance already passed a council committee and is on a promising track to becoming law.

Alley Cat Allies is urging all Pittsburgh residents to stand up for the cats in their community and ask their councilmembers to vote YES on this important ordinance. If you live in Pittsburgh, you can take action right now.

Alongside experts including The Paw Project, Alley Cat Allies has championed outreach and advocacy to end cat declawing for decades and mobilized thousands of people to stand against the cruel practice. We rallied to make New York the first state in the United States to ban declawing, and we continue to advocate for similar legislation across the country.

The truth of the matter is that declawing is far from a nail trim. It is the surgical amputation of the last joints of a cat’s toes and is virtually always nontherapeutic, meaning it has no medical benefit.

Declawing can cause permanent physical and mental harm to cats, with the pain and discomfort of the procedure inhibiting many of their natural behaviors. Without their claws, cats can also feel unsafe and experience issues with walking and balancing. Declawed cats are often in so much pain that they avoid the litter box or bite to defend themselves. These are two of the most common reasons cats are taken to animal shelters, where the majority will be killed.

Major health organizations agree that declawing cats is not advisable and does not protect human health. Ten percent of all veterinarians in the United States and Canada have positions against declawing, and the surgery has been banned in major hospital chains like VCA, BluePearl, and Banfield. Recently, the American Association of Feline Practitioners (AAFP) declared that its 1500+ Cat Friendly Practices® must stop declawing in order to remain certified.

Cat declawing bans are the standard for the health and wellbeing of cats and continue to gain steam around the world. Along with New York state, St. Louis County in Missouri, 10 major U.S. cities, nearly all Canadian provinces, and at least 42 countries have laws on the books to prohibit declaw surgery for cats. That number will rise as multiple states and cities consider declaw bans of their own—and Pittsburgh could be the next to lead the way.

We will keep you updated on Pittsburgh’s declawing ban and let you know when and how to take action if a declawing ban is considered in your community. To learn more about our position on declawing, visit alleycat.org/StopDeclawing.