I love my cats like I love my kids, and the thought of doing anything to harm them is unfathomable. I'll admit, I really do hate cutting their nails, but I would never consider declawing them. While it would be more convenient for me, it wouldn't be fair to the cat.
Declawing has already been banned in Germany and other parts of Europe, as well as cities in the states like Los Angeles and Denver. That being said, New York state is gearing up to be the first state to outlaw the procedure, which PETA claims is "traumatic."
“Declawing is a violent, invasive, painful, and unnecessary mutilation that involves 10 separate amputations – not just of cats’ nails but of their joints as well,” PETA writes on its website. “Declawing is both painful and traumatic, and it was been outlawed in Germany and other parts of Europe as a form of cruelty.”
New York State Assembly member Linda Rosenthal is the main sponsor of this bill, and has proposed similar laws in the past since 2015. This law passed state legislature, and now all it needs is a sign-off from Governor Andrew Cuomo. Rosenthal says pet owners who use the procedure for convenience are about to lose that option.
"Declawing a cat is not like getting a mani/pedi, it's a brutal surgical procedure that involves removing the first bone of the cat's toe and part of the tendons and muscles," Rosenthal said in a statement. "Now that New York is poised to become the first state in the nation to ban cat declawing, the days when this procedure is cavalierly offered for the convenience of the owners to protect couches and curtain are numbered."
While to you and I this law seems logical, the New York State Veterinary Medical Society opposes the legislation, saying that there are legitimate reasons to declaw a cat.
"Many doctors direct that their patients have their cats declawed when they are immuno-compromised, diabetic, hemophiliac, on immune suppressing medication, and for various other medical reasons," NYSVMS said in a statement. "NYSVMS believes a veterinarian, as a licensed medical professional with the education and knowledge to safely perform medical procedures on animals, should be permitted to make medical decisions after direct consultation with a client and a thorough examination of the patient and its home circumstances."
The legislation tabled by Rosenthal does take these exceptions into account, saying that declawing for "therapeutic purposes" like an illness, infection, disease, injury, or condition that could compromise the cat's health would still be an option. However, those who violate the declawing ban not for any of these reasons could face up to $1,000 in fines.
Personally, I think this bill is a long time coming. If you are not prepared to own an animal and care for them, you shouldn't take on that responsibility.