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Declawing Cats Could Soon Be Illegal In New York


01.14.15 Rhett Jones

Manhattan Assemblywoman Linda Rosenthal, the legislator behind the recently passed bill to ban tattooing and piercing pets, now wants to ban the practice of declawing cats in New York. Rosenthal is seeking a co-sponsor for the bill, which would allow it to be introduced to the state Senate. There, it would need approval before requiring a signature from Governor Andrew Cuomo.

Rosenthal claims that the practice of removing cats’s claws is cruel and that it should only be allowed when medically necessary. The assemblywoman said, “It’s really an amputation, it’s like if you amputated your finger or your toe at the last joint.” She went on to emphasize, “[Cats] are born with claws and they are meant to have claws. It’s cruel to remove them for the sake of human convenience and saving your furniture.”

The American Veterinary Medical Association and various animal rights groups agree with Rosenthal. The AVMA has agreed to call the procedure an “amputation” that “should be considered only after attempts have been made to prevent the cat from using its claws destructively or when its clawing presents an above normal health risk for its owner(s).”

If the legislation passes, New York would be the first state to ban declawing, which is known to cause paw irritation (in some cases it affects a cat’s ability to walk). Alternative options to deal with feline claws include scratching posts, trimming regularly, or using plastic caps that can be glued to the tips of the claws.

(Photo: Deviant Art)