New York has recently banned cat declawing. The bill was passed in mid-July 2019 by Governor Andrew M. Cuomo after legislators passed the ban back in June. The Democratic governor explained that banning this unnecessary and cruel procedure would put an end to the inhumane suffering of cats. When the law was passed, New York became the first state to ban declawing, says The New York Times. The bill was first introduced in January 2015 by Assemblywoman Linda B. Rosenthal, also a Democrat. She has described herself as both a cat lover and a cat owner who believes that this procedure is cruel and inhumane.
The law has gone into effect immediately, and there is a $1,000fine for anyone who performs the procedure on a cat. The one exception is if the procedure is performed for medical purposes. If the procedure is performed for any other reason, a fine will be issued. During her five-year campaign to ban declawing, Rosenthal has repeatedly described the procedure as a barbaric practice. She also said that there were pain-free and low-cost alternatives available, says National Republic Radio. Rosenthal is now hopeful that other legislators may consider introducing a ban on cat declawing. Legislators in Massachusetts are already considering such a ban and it is already banned in some cities, including Denver, San Francisco, and Los Angeles.
Kitty Block, the President and Chief Executive Officer of the Humane Society of the United States, has also issued a statement regarding the new bill. She has described Cuomo signing the historic bill as a watershed moment. If you are not familiar with the declawing practice, you are probably now wondering what it is and why cat owners would choose to have the procedure done. You might also wonder why so many people are opposed to this practice. Declawing is a procedure that is done to remove a cat’s claws. Cat owners opt to have this procedure to avoid some of the problems that cats cause with their claws. Not only can cats scratch their owners, but they can also cause damage to furniture and soft furnishings around the home as they drag their claws along them as part of their maintenance routine.
However, this is not quite as simple as having a manicure to trim your nails, which is what people often mistakenly believe. According to the Humane Society of the United States, this is actually a very serious procedure. Cat claws are an extension of the toe bones, so they differ significantly from human nails. During the cat declawing procedure, the cat claws are trimmed back to the bone, so it is similar to an amputation. Therefore, there is a significant amount of pain after this procedure and there is also the risk of infection. Having this procedure done can also cause problems for your cat in the future. Many cats have trouble using the litter box once they have been declawed. It can also increase the incidences of a cat biting as they can no longer scratch. Cat bites are far worse for a human that the scratching they are trying to avoid as there is a greater risk of infection.
Furthermore, your cat may feel severe discomfort when walking that is similar to wearing a pair of badly fitted shoes. Other potential problems include nerve damage, regrowth of improperly removed claws, and bone spurs. So, what are the alternatives? To understand the alternatives, you should first understand a little about cat scratching behavior. When cats scratch humans, it is usually a defensive action because they feel fearful or they are in pain. To avoid this behavior, pet your cat only when it approaches you first, and check for signs of injuries or illness if you suspect they are in pain.
In terms of furniture scratching, this is not a malicious act intended to destroy your belongings. Cats naturally scratch to get rid of the dead husks off their claws and to mark their territory. They also scratch when they are stretching. They usually begin this behavior when they are around eight weeks old. The best option is to train them to use a scratching post, and you should begin training them to do this at around the age when they first begin scratching. Using a scratching post will help the cats to naturally trim their nails with no need for declawing. There are also some other steps you can take that are better than resorting to declawing. For example, you can keep your cat’s claws trimmed yourself or ask your veterinarian to glue soft plastic caps to your cat’s claws to prevent them from damaging furniture. Another option is to add sticky tape to your furniture as a deterrent to cats.
Declawing is already banned in many countries, and Rosenthal wants to take things one step further now that she has had the bill passed. She hopes to change people’s perceptions of pets as property, over which they have the right to make decisions about their bodies. She has a lot of support in this from animal welfare supporters. One person supporting Rosenthal is Dr. Jennifer Conrad, a veterinarian and a founder of the Paw Project, which is an organization that has advocated the anti-declawing movement. In her opinion, the ban is a positive thing for the cats of New York. However, not everyone shares the views of Rosenthal and Conrad, as there are those who believe that banning declawing was the wrong decision. One group in opposition to this decision are the New York State Veterinary Medical Society. Prior to the bill being passed, this organization released a statement saying that declawing should remain an option. In their opinion, removing this option could lead to euthanasia of cats or abandonment. Since the bill has been passed, this organization has declined to comment.