New York Becomes First State To Ban Cat Declawing


New York has become the first U.S. state to ban the declawing of cats statewide.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) signed a bill into law on Monday that outlaws the procedure and imposes a $1,000 fine on veterinarians who perform it. Declawing will still be legal in any case where it’s medically necessary for the cat.

“Declawing” is a misleading term, because the operation does not simply remove a cat’s claws. Because cat claws are attached to bones in their paws, declawing actually involves amputating the first knuckle of a cat’s toes.

Declawing can lead to chronic pain, as cats have to adjust to walking on their surgically altered feet. The procedure is already prohibited in multiple European countries and some U.S. cities and towns, including Denver, Los Angeles and San Francisco.