Cats in New York will no longer have to undergo painful declawing procedures under a new law enacted this week that takes effect immediately.
The law, sponsored by New York Assemblywoman Linda Rosenthal, bans declawing except for therapeutic purposes. New York is the first in the nation to ban declawing. The law establishes a fine up to $1,000 for violations.
“By banning this archaic practice, we will ensure that animals are no longer subjected to these inhumane and unnecessary procedures,’’ Governor Andrew Cuomo said in a statement reported in the media.
Declawing requires the painful removal of bones from cat’s paws and causes unnecessary behavioral problems in cats.
“Declawing a cat is not like getting a mani/pedi,” Rosenthal told the Gothamist. “It’s about a brutal surgical procedure that involves removing the first bone of the cat’s toe and part of the tendons and muscles.”
Scratching is natural behavior for cats. Friends of Animals has long advocated against declawing. To resolve issues such as cats scratching furniture or family members, you can give your cat their own furniture such as rough and course scratching posts or make one by nailing a piece of board to a thick base and covering it with carpet remnants. You can also deter a cat from scratching furniture or people by squirting your cat with lukewarm water while telling it “no.” Additionally, you can also put some scented bath oil on the parts of the furniture that a cat is scratching to repel the cat.
Los Angeles, San Francisco and Denver have also banned declawing as has the U.K, Israel and Switzerland.