ALBANY, N.Y. (NEXSTAR) – Declawing cats is a procedure some animal advocates are calling inhumane.
Both chambers of the New York State legislature took up the issue to make the practice illegal.
Declawing is a common procedure for cats in the United States, but some veterinarians say it’s painful.
“This is something that’s done almost entirely for convenience,” Eileen Jefferson, DVM, The Paw Project NYS Legislative Affairs Director, said. “The people who seek it out will often seek it out because they think that it’s going to bring them this convenience of not having their animals destroy their furniture.”
Advocates in favor of banning cat de-clawing from ‘The Paw Project’ have been working on the effort for nearly five years in New York. They say declawing can lead to your cat’s behavioral problems.
“When you declaw a cat, you’re actually amputating their toe bones so now they’re subject to phantom pain. They go to use the litter box, it hurts. They won’t use it ever again, they don’t have their way to protect themselves so now they have to bite to protect themselves,” Jennifer Conrad, DVM, The Paw Project Founder and Director, said.
The current legislation would only allow vets to declaw a cat for “therapeutic” purposes to the animal.
Meanwhile, the New York State Veterinary Medical Society which opposes the bill says:
“Cat owners should not need to face relinquishment or euthanasia of their pet because the option to declaw cats is unavailable.”
According to the Paw Project, four other states have introduced anti-declaw bills this year.
“New York is going to be the first. I think it’s going to start the avalanche of other states banning de-clawing because once the cat is out of the bag that de-clawing is amputating a cat’s toe bones, people are not going to stand for this anymore,” Conrad said.
Under the bill, the punishment for de-clawing a cat would be a fine of up to $1,000.
The Paw Project says 9 US cities outside of New York have banned cat declawing so far.