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Retired veterinarian wants Nova Scotia to be first province to ban cat declawing

'If your furniture is more important than your cat, then you shouldn't have a cat,' says Dr. Hugh Chisholm
(stock photo)

Retired Halifax veterinarian Dr. Hugh Chisholm is hoping Nova Scotia can become the first province in Canada to ban cat declawing.

The item will be on the agenda when the Nova Scotia Veterinary Medical Association meets next month.

Chisholm told NEWS 95.7's The Rick Howe Show, apart from a few cities in the United States, the practice is allowed in North America.

He said recent studies show cat declawing can lead to more than just short-term post-surgical pain, and for some, the procedure could be life-altering.

"Many cats will have limb deformities as a result of the surgery, many cats will have bones starting to regrow deep inside the paw where the bone has been removed from the surgery," he explained. "Some older cats have back problems because of the change in their gait."

He added it can also lead to behavioural changes, like pets soiling themselves in other areas of the house because their paws are too sore to use the litter box.

Chisholm said the only benefit to declawing is to prevent cats from scratching and ripping furniture.

"If your furniture is more important than your cat, then you shouldn't have a cat," he said.

Chisholm put a declawing motion forward in 2014, but it was voted down by Nova Scotia veterinarians, he's hoping the results will be different this time around.

Meghan Groff

About the Author: Meghan Groff

Born in Michigan, raised in Ontario, schooled in Indiana and lives in Nova Scotia; Meghan is the editor for CityNews Halifax.
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