Kitties everywhere are about to rejoice! Well, at least the kitties of New York will if this bill passes! New York State Assembly Member Linda Rosenthal is about to be a hero: She has introduced a bill that would ban declawing statewide. The only exception would be for a medical condition that requires one claw or more to be removed in order to combat an infection or a tumor.
As a proud cat mama, there’s nothing more important to me than the safety and happiness of my two furry babies. I couldn’t even imagine putting them through such a painful and life-altering procedure as declawing. Cats have claws—it’s a part of who they are, and if people can’t accept that, they shouldn’t have a cat in the first place.
“It’s basically done because humans want it done, and I don’t think it’s our right to mutilate our animals for our own satisfaction. I think it’s totally unethical to perform these kinds of amputations on cats.” – New York State Assembly Member, Linda Rosenthal
Cats and cat lovers everywhere agree, and here’s why: Declawing is the equivalent of cutting off a human’s fingers—literally. It involves 10 separate, painful amputations, severing not just the nails but also the whole joint, including the bones, ligaments, and tendons. As veterinarian Louise Murray puts it, “If you look at your fingers, declawing would be like amputating the last section of each finger. If you were declawed, you would have 10 little short fingers. It’s amputation times 10.” If you wouldn’t want that for yourself, why would you want it for your furry little ones?
Declawing can cause many complications—including chronic pain, nerve damage, hemorrhaging, bone chips, recurrent infections, abnormal regrowth of the nails inside the paws, and behavioral problems such as biting and spraying.
Scratching is a natural behavior that allows cats to stretch their muscles and condition their claws. Humane ways to prevent cats from scratching the furniture include trimming their nails regularly and providing them with lots of scratching posts placed around the house.
Declawing has already been banned in England and parts of Europe. West Hollywood, California, was the first city in the U.S. to ban it (and since then, several other cities in California have followed suit), but New York would be the first state to pass a law against it.
What You Can Do
1. Never declaw your kitties! Instead, provide them with lots of toys and safe places to scratch, like scratching posts.
2. If you live in New York, contact your state assembly member and ask him or her to support this precedent-setting bill.
3. Let your friends and family know about declawing. Share this blog!