Cat lovers should be happy to hear that New York is on its way to becoming the first state to ban declawing on cats. On Tuesday, a bill was passed outlawing the procedure after years of protests by veterinary groups.
While the bill makes an exception to the surgery for medical necessity, declawing will be forbidden for cat owner hoping to have the procedure done for “cosmetic or aesthetic reasons.” The Assembly sponsor, Linda Rosenthal, a Manhattan Democrat, said those reasons include pet owners who “think their furniture is more important than their cat.”
According to Rosenthal, declawing the feline animal is “unnecessary, it’s painful, and it causes the cat problems.” She then added that, “it’s just brutal.” While cities like Los Angeles and Denver have banned declawing no other state has made the ban official. However, California, New Jersey and Massachusetts are considering a ban.
“Declawing is a convenience surgery, with a very high complication rate, that offers no benefit to the cat,” said Brian Shapiro, the Humane Society of United States New York director. Shapiro added that the procedure causes “an increase in biting and litter-box avoidance, which often results in the cat being surrendered to an animal shelter.”
Now that the bill has passed, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo must sign it into law. If passed, those who violate it could be faced with a $1,000 fine.