The Claws Are Out: New York Aims To Ban Cat Declawing

Assemblymember Linda B. Rosenthal sponsors bill to make New York the first state to legally ban declawing in the U.S.

If you have never heard of the controversy surrounding declawed cats, here is a little background: According to Wikipedia, declawing is “an operation to remove the animal’s claws surgically by means of the amputation of all or part of the distal phalanges, or end bones of the animal’s toes.” My fingers hurt just writing the words. Why is this necessary to amputate part of a cat’s toes, you ask?

Related: Declawing Cats: A Cruel and Unnecessary Procedure

The main reason is keeping furniture intact. Some cat owners get upset when their kitties scratch their nails on the sofa and decide that declawing is the best option. The practice was popular back in the ’80s and ’90s. Since then, we’ve learned that the recovery period is extremely painful and also causes long-term damage, from trouble walking to refusing to use the litter box.

Cats need to scratch their nails. This is how they get rid of dead tissue from the claws, spread their scent around when marking their territory and helps them stretch muscles to stay flexible. Cats may have a master’s degree in adaptation, learning to deal with any situation that arises, but there’s something about not being able to walk properly makes them a little bit irritated. And there is nothing cats can do once they go through the declawing procedure – it’s irreversible. That’s why many veterinarians refuse to perform the surgery.

Related: 10 Tips On How To Stop Your Cat From Scratching Furniture

Knowledge is Power

But the vets are not alone. By the end of 2014, the list of countries that ban the procedure include:

  • England
  • Italy
  • France
  • Germany
  • Austria
  • Israel
  • Sweden
  • Brazil
  • Norway
  • Portugal
  • Slovenia
  • Spain
  • Australia
  • New Zealand

But who’s missing from this list? Yes, the United States of America… but hopefully, not for long.

NY to the Rescue

Earlier this year, Assemblywoman Linda B. Rosenthal introduced a bill to ban the declawing of domestic, exotic and wild cats in New York State. Part of her statement explains: “The practice is painful, inhumane and medically unnecessary under all circumstances and should not be permitted.”

If you are a New York resident and want to improve the quality of the cat’s lives, add your name to the list. Sign the petition on Assemblymember Rosenthal website. Let’s make this happen.

Don’t be discouraged if you’re not a resident of that state. Spread the message in your neck of the woods. It starts with NY and ends with our nation’s name on the “countries that ban declawing” list.

Glorimar Anibarro
Glorimar Anibarro

Glorimar Anibarro is a proud Puerto Rican now living in Southern California. She decided to trade in a career in advertising for a bold, new adventure – becoming a bilingual pet writer, sharing her knowledge in both English and Spanish. She also writes, designs and illustrates the chronicles of "Gato Avocado": a two-dimensional cat living in a three-dimensional world.

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