California Law Blocks Mandatory Declawing of Pets

Landlords in California can no longer force tenants to declaw or devocalize their pets as a condition of renting a property, thanks to a new anti-cruelty law. Property owners can still ban animals from a dwelling outright; however the days of allowing only clawless cats and barkless dogs are over.

The legislation passed in September stems from objections over surgical procedures that might cut down on property damage or noise complaints, but can be painful and cause permanent damage to the animal. To declaw a cat actually means to amputate the last bone in its paws using a laser, scalpel or “guillotine clipper.”