Denver considering ban on declawing cats

DENVER, Colo. -- The city of Denver is considering a ban on declawing cats. 

A city council committee Wednesday will debate the potential ban. Four states in the U.S. are considering similar measures. Los Angeles already has the ban in place.

A councilwoman in Denver says removing a cat's claws is like removing a person's knuckles.

If it passes, it would be up to animal control to enforce the ban.

While the Colorado Veterinary Medical Association has not responded for comment, but council members say it opposes the efforts.

Veterinarian Dr. Kevin Fitzgerald tells KDVR the practice is a "line of last resort" for most vets.

He said declawing used to be very common, but recent awareness regarding the harm it causes cats has made it more rare. He said most times, owners get their cats declawed to protect furniture from scratches.

In other cases, however, he said "it's not always the best thing to be told what to do."

"If the person -- the human owner -- is really sick and has an autoimmune disease that a cat scratch may endanger their health, that's a different story," he said.

Read more here.