New York (NY) may be the first to ban cat declawing statewide.* New York’s Legislature passed a bill June 4, 2019 that would make the state the first in the U.S.* to make it illegal to declaw a cat.
The bill now heads to the desk of Gov. Andrew Cuomo, whose representatives said he will review the bill before deciding if he will sign it.
Supporters of the cat declawing ban in NY: Animal welfare advocates, cat owners and veterinarians who argue the practice is cruel and barbaric since it involves the amputation of a cat’s toes back to the first knuckle.
Opponents of the cat declawing ban in NY: The New York State Veterinary Medical Society.**
Penalty for cat declawing if bill gets the governor’s approval: Under the bill, people who violate the ban on declawing a cat could face fines of $1,000. Veterinarians could still perform the procedure for medical reasons, such as infection or injury.
*Existing cat declawing bans: Los Angeles, San Francisco and Denver in the U.S. and much of Europe.
**The New York State Veterinary Medical Society’s arguments in support of declawing cats are that it should be allowed as a last resort for felines that won’t stop scratching furniture or humans — or when the cat’s owner has a weakened immune system, putting them at greater risk of infection from a scratch.
See our previous posts on cat declawing: