Pet First: New York May Become the First State to Ban Cat Declawing

Pet First: New York May Become the First State to Ban Cat Declawing

The internet loves cats. We love cats. Everyone loves cats. That’s exactly why we invented a pet GPS tracker so that we could track our beloved cat’s whereabouts thanks to a simple tracking collar — a lot of people have tracking chips installed as an alternative. Clearly, we love our pets and want to make sure they’re safe.

But even with real-time tracking, it’s not possible to protect your cat from everything, especially if they’re declawed.

Declawing is a process, believe it or not, that involves amputating part of a cat’s toes. The idea is to keep them from scratching up furniture and objects inside the home, or even hurting people when they’re ornery. It also removes one of the most important defensive traits they have and essentially cripples them. In some cases, it can change the very personality and nature of the cat in question, making them more nervous, defensive and temperamental towards humans.

For that reason, declawing is a very divisive procedure. It’s actually illegal in much of Europe, Canada, Germany, Switzerland and several U.S cities — including Los Angeles, San Francisco and Denver — because of how inhumane the practice is. A lot of people in the United States have come to agree in recent years. In fact, the sentiment about declawing back home has done a complete turnaround. Most people tend to avoid doing such a thing to their pets and speak out against those who do.

New York is taking that a step further. They may actually be the first U.S. state to ban declawing through legislation.

New York Could Ban Declawing Completely

Welfare advocates, cat owners and animal lovers alike are all in support of legislation that would see declawing made illegal in the state of New York. The bill would activate a hefty fine for any veterinarian that does conduct the procedure despite restrictions, in the sum of $1,000.

The New York State Veterinary Medical Society opposes the bill, which is the largest vet-specific group in the state. Veterinarians, however, are more divided. Almost all regard the procedure as what it is, barbaric and inhumane. Although, there are a few that believe it should exist for various reasons.

Some vets believe that it’s a necessary procedure not just to keep cats from scratching, but also to protect potential owners who have a weakened immune system. One scratch from a cat is a huge risk for their immune system. Of course, there’s an argument to be made that you shouldn’t be putting yourself at risk in the first place.

Others still believe the procedure is necessary to prevent owners from leaving their cats at a shelter which would mean euthanization in most cases. Declawing is much better than seeing a healthy animal euthanized, merely because they wouldn’t stop scratching.

Veterinarian Michelle Brownstein — from the Rochester area — stopped declawing pets about 15 years ago. She says that it creates lifelong problems in treated cats, including behavioral issues and chronic pain.

Brownstein believes that declawing “is a barbaric procedure that results in the mutilation of the animal. Frankly, if you’re worried about your furniture, then you shouldn’t be getting a cat.”

Plus, there are alternatives to removing the claws entirely.

Scratching posts and similar toys are ideal for teaching your pets when and where they can pop out their claws. But if you want to stop the scratching altogether, you can use simple nail care, which involves clipping down their sharp claws — not taking them off completely. You can also purchase plastic caps that sit over a cat’s nails.

As cat lovers at heart, we just want to see our furry friends taken care of. What do you think?