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OSPCA backs proposed bill banning 'painful' declawing of cats

Teddy's law proposes an end to declawing except where a veterinarian deems it necessary for the animal's health
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STOUFFVILLE - The Ontario SPCA and Humane Society support a bill introduced by Davenport MPP Marit Stiles that would put an end to the inhumane practice of declawing cats in Ontario, a procedure that can cause a lifetime of pain for cats.

Teddy’s Law, as the bill is known, would update provincial animal welfare legislation to ban the practice of declawing cats, unless a veterinarian deems it a necessary medical procedure. Declawing a cat isn’t a quick fix to save furniture. The procedure is an amputation, removing the last bone on each toe of a cat’s paw, which can cause pain, discomfort and significant behavioural changes in the cat.

The Ontario SPCA and Humane Society has long worked to educate the public that scratching is a normal behaviour in cats and can be managed to help prevent damage to furniture.

“Declawing is a mutilating and painful procedure that can never be justified as a treatment in response to a cat’s normal behaviour,” says Magdalena Smrdelj, Chief Veterinary Officer with the Ontario SPCA and Humane Society and a Fellow of the Oxford Centre for Animal Ethics. “Declawing should be limited to situations where a veterinarian deems it medically necessary for the health of the animal.”

For more information on Teddy’s Law, visit

To be a voice for animals and speak up against declawing, visit and join the Change for Animals email list to learn more about how you can advocate for animals.