In the US, cat declawing is still legal in most states. However, some state laws are now banning cat declawing.
In addition to the cat declawing ban in England and Wales from 2018, there have been several countries that have also banned cat declaw including Brazil and Switzerland.
With so much debate on this issue happening in the US, it is time for us to take a closer look at cat declaws and the pros and cons of how it would affect a pet cat.
New York is the first US state to ban cat declawing.
On July 22, 2019, Governor Andrew Cuomo signed Senate Bill S5532B/AB 1303, which bans the declawing of cats in the state of New York.
The ban implies that anyone who performs an onychectomy, phalangectomy, or tendonectomy procedure, with limited exceptions, on a cat within the state is subject to a civil penalty of up to $1,000.
Critics mentioned cat declawing to be a “barbaric and inhumane” method to prevent scratches and marks.
However, the New York Veterinary Medical Society claims that it should still be an option as people leave cats abandoned or put down.
In many countries throughout Europe, including the United Kingdom, Brazil, Israel, Australia, and New Zealand, as well as in many other countries around the world, declawing cats is already a crime.
Why pet owners do cat declawing?
Onychectomy is the most frequent type of declawing, in which a scalpel or laser is used to remove the bones from where the claws grow.
This is often compared to cutting off a person’s toes or fingers at their top joint.
There are times when the surgery is required for medical reasons, such as “if there’s an infection in the nail bed or a tumor,” according to Dr. Sarah Endersby, veterinary development manager at International Cat Care, a charity.
However, there are circumstances where many people declaw cats to avoid them from scratching furniture, which Dr. Endersby refers to as an essential form of mutilation for the owner
Declawing, on the other hand, was “generally uncommon” in the United Kingdom before it was banned in 2006, according to Prof Danielle Gunn-Moore, a veterinarian and chair of feline medicine at the University of Edinburgh.
Outdoor cats may find more suitable scratching material, such as trees. It’s also dangerous to declaw cats that go outside since they may need their claws for self-defense.
Why did cat declawing become controversial?
Declawed cats are more likely to have health issues, such as back pain, or behavioral issues, such as aggressiveness, according to studies.
A study that examined declawed cat paws discovered that “very few individuals do it correctly,” according to Prof Gunn-Moore, with cats potentially stepping on tiny bone shards when they walk.
Because it’s an ineffective treatment, many veterinarians now condemn the practice as unethical.
Cat declawing bans in the US
In addition to the passed law of cat declawing in New York, cities such as Los Angeles and Denver have also banned declawing.
Recently, Pittsburgh City Council passes legislation to ban cat declawing practices.
Councilman Bobby Wilson, who also described cat declawing as “cruel and inhumane,” said that if passed, this policy would make Pittsburgh the first government in Pennsylvania to ban declawing.
The legislation was approved without discussion. Mayor Bill Peduto’s office hasn’t decided on whether or not he’ll sign the bill.
Veterinarians who perform declaw surgery on cats would be fined $500.
The declawing ban in the UK is a step forward. This measure will stop many cats from suffering long-term health problems, such as back pain and behavioral problems like aggression.
Cats may be more likely to act out due to their inability to defend themselves when they are no longer able to use their claws for defense or hunting prey.
What do you think about the cat declawing ban? Do you agree with it? Let us know in the comment box below!