New Jersey could be the first state to completely ban the practice of declawing cats.
A bill was proposed that would ban vets from declawing cats, with possible jail time if they continue to do it.
The bill states that declawing cats is a criminal act of animal cruelty. If the bill passes, any owners and vets who violate the law would face a $1,000 fine and six months in prison.
Linda Rosenthal, who proposed a similar bill in New York, says, "For humans not to respect the integrity of the animal and the animal's body is criminal. However, it's still allowed, it's an option, and that's why we aim to make it illegal."
Declawing cats is a way that some owners use to prevent their pet from scratching. But the procedure itself is fairly cruel to the animal. It cuts bone from the cat's toes and can lead to nerve damage and bone spurs.
"Too often, people think that declawing is a simple surgery that removes a cat's nails — the equivalent of having your fingernails trimmed," The Humane Society writes on its site. "Declawing traditionally involves the amputation of the last bone of each toe. If performed on a human being, it would be like cutting off each finger at the last knuckle."
Some New Jersey vets are saying this bill is unnecessary.
"I don't think it's any more pain inducing than spaying a cat or neutering a cat and they recover from it quickly," says Jim Nelson. He doesn't believe declawing is a cruel procedure.
Some vets also say it's an alternative to euthanasia for cats who are considered to have "destructive behavior."
But most people still hold the opinion that declawing is an inhumane and cruel thing to do to your cat. There are other alternatives, such as regular nail clipping or silicone nail covers.
Where do you stand on this subject? Do you think it should be illegal to declaw cats? Let us know!