Emotive and hotly debated, the procedure of declawing has taken another step towards a widespread ban after it was discussed in New York on Tuesday. While some California cities, including Los Angeles, have already prohibited the technique, which involves removing the whole claw and amputating the little piece of bone from which the claw grows, there are currently no states that have forbidden declawing altogether. A number of vets, as well as a spokescat named Rubio, descended upon the State Capitol in order to lobby such a ban. It remains to be seen whether they will successfully encourage a ban across the State of New York, although it would become the first to do so.
Why is declawing such a talking point? Regardless of whether declawing is done medically or cosmetically, a cat will still lose nerves and tendons, as well as a little part of their pads if done via the latter method. It’s a little like losing the very tip of your finger, and cats will experience discomfort to begin with. There are also those of the opinion that, as cats are born with claws, to remove them is purely for the pet parents’ benefit. Speaking at the lobby, Eileen Jefferson, an Ulster County veterinarian, said: “It's a disfiguring, inhumane, and misguided procedure.”
However, members of New York’s Veterinary Medical Society believe that individual cases should always be considered, as declawing can prevent destructive cats and kittens from having to be euthanized. The society’s memo reads: “It is the veterinarian's obligation to provide cat owners a complete education with regard to normal scratching behavior of cats, the procedure itself, and potential risks to the patient. Declawing of domestic cats should be considered only after attempts have been made to prevent the cat from using its claws destructively."
The bill has been presented before the Assembly and the Senate, however, no vote has been scheduled. What are your views on cat declawing? Should New York become the first state to ban the practice?