Banning the cruel practice of cat declawing is a top priority for Alley Cat Allies. That’s why we didn’t hesitate to testify in favor of Virginia’s declaw ban bill this week. We champion every single measure that will finally end declawing once and for all, and our 33 years of expertise and over 1 million dedicated supporters give us a powerful voice.

Unfortunately, even after compelling testimony by our Director of Programs Alice Burton, the Virginia House Agriculture Subcommittee chose not to move forward on the declaw ban bill this session. But we’re not giving up, and the fight has just begun!

2024 will bring a new opportunity for Virginia to outlaw declawing. We will focus on education and advocacy throughout 2023 to make this ban a priority for the state in next year’s session and give it the strongest chance of success.

For now, new bills to ban declawing have just been introduced in Arizona and New Hampshire, and we will support them every step of the way.

As a global leader in the movement to protect cats and kittens, Alley Cat Allies has worked to save cats from suffering the harmful consequences of declawing. Along with educating communities on the facts about declawing and supporting declaw ban bills wherever they arise, we have also helped provide pain management to declawed cats and surgery to salvage their paws.

We know firsthand that the damage done by declawing cannot be truly repaired. The name of the procedure may call to mind a nail trim, but it’s actually a surgical amputation of the last joints of a cat’s toes.  The severity of the procedure can cause complications including hemorrhaging, paw pad lacerations, swelling, radial nerve damage, lameness, infections, reopening of wounds, and chronic pain.

Without the natural protection of their claws, declawed cats are more prone to biting, and the pain in their paws often causes them to avoid the litter box. These are the most common reasons cats lose their homes and are relinquished to shelters.

The only way to protect cats is to outlaw declawing altogether—everywhere.

Thanks to leadership from Alley Cat Allies, the Paw Project, and other partners, declawing has already been outlawed in Maryland, New York state, and 16 major U.S. cities including Los Angeles, San Francisco, Denver, and Pittsburgh, plus many countries around the world. But as this setback in Virginia reminds us, the work is far from over.

If you were one of the many Virginia advocates who spoke out in favor of the declaw ban, we thank you deeply. Please stay connected with us, because we will let you know when you can take action again. Legislative change like this can be a long and tough road, but together, we will ban declawing in Virginia and across the nation.

Read more on the truth about declawing and share the facts with your community and legislators.

Keep an eye on our action center for ways you can help ban declawing where you live.