New York Set to Vote on Bill to Ban Cat Declaws

PetMD Editorial
Updated: January 31, 2018
Published: January 22, 2015
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New York Assemblywoman Linda Rosenthal wants you to know that even if your cat scratches the furniture or digs into you with her claws, deciding to remove those claws is an inhumane practice and should be stopped.

“It's like taking off your first knuckle," Rosenthal told the NY Daily News. “(Cats) are born with claws and they are meant to have claws.”

That’s why Rosenthal, a huge advocate for animals, has introduced a bill that would ban declawing of cats in New York State. The Humane Society of New York and the Paw Project in California back the bill.

Many veterinarians across the country have already stopped the practice, citing several medical and behavioral problems associated with declawing.

Utah veterinarian Dr. Kristen Doub says that X-rays of declawed cats reveal that 66 percent of declawed cats have bone fragments left behind by a sloppy surgeon, and 30 percent of declawed cats develop osteomyelitis, a painful bone infection. Other problems related to declawing include litter box avoidance, bladder inflammation and lower urinary tract disease, and aggression.

“It is a selfish decision to decide to declaw your cat,” says Doub. “Cats are born with claws and using them is part of their physiology and way of expressing themselves. People declaw because they are worried about damage to furniture, etc. It’s like taking a living creature and turning them into a stuffed animal.”

Rosenthal’s bill has not yet been introduced into the state Senate, but the Assemblywoman hopes that it gains enough support to pass. And while feline declawing is already banned in over 37 countries and in several California cities, passage of Rosenthal’s bill would mark the first statewide ban on declawing in the country.

Previously, Rosenthal has seen success on several animal-related issues, including a bill banning the tattooing or piercing of pets.

Image: phasinphoto / Shutterstock

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