Lawmaker Introduces Legislation to Ban Cat-Declawing


A lawmaker in New York is trying to make it illegal to declaw cats, except for in the case of a medical reason.

Manhattan Assemblywoman Linda Rosenthal introduced legislation to ban declawing cats and has the backing of Humane Society of New York and the California-based anti-declawing group Paw Project. She is also behind other pet-friend leglislation in New York, including anti-puppy mill laws and laws limiting animal testing for cosmetic products. Putting an end to declawing is Rosenthal’s next step in protecting animals.

“It’s like taking off your first knuckle,” Rosenthal told the New York Daily Post. “(Cats) are born with claws and they are meant to have claws. It’s cruel to remove them for the sake of human convenience and saving your furniture.”

The American Veterinary Medical Association believes cat declawing should be a last resort but has stopped short of supporting a ban on the procedure.
“Declawing of domestic cats should be considered only after attempts have been made to prevent the cat from using its claws destructively or when its clawing presents an above normal health risk for its owner,” the AVMA’s policy states.

Rosenthal gave an interview to Gothamist about the legislation and her goals. “There’s no reason to do it unless the animal has infection that is never going away, or if there is a cancer or tumor-related issue in the claw,” she said. “It’s basically done because humans want it done, and I don’t think it’s our right to mutilate our animals for our own satisfaction.”

She noted that New York would be the first state with a declawing ban in place, should the legislation be enacted. “Nobody’s stepped up to do it, that’s why I’m doing it. People talk about it a lot, but many people still do it, and they have veterinarians who agree to do it, so that has to change. Just like there are some surgeons who will keep performing plastic surgery on their clients as long as they keep paying. It’s the same sort of thing, but I think it’s totally unethical to perform these kinds of amputations on cats.”

Can we just give a loud, boisterous “amen” to Rosenthal’s legislation? If you have a cat you should worry more about its well being and physical comfort, not your goddamn furniture. Besides, when you think about all the zillions of products and tools on the market to help discourage your cat from scratching things around the home, you’re kind of an asshole for opting to inflict this kind of surgery on an animal in your care.

Image via Shutterstock.

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Share Tweet Submit Pin