UPDATE (AP): New York has become the first U.S. state to ban the declawing of cats, joining most of Europe, several Canadian provinces and a growing list of American cities* that already prohibit the procedure. Gov. Andrew Cuomo, a Democrat, signed the New York ban on July 22, 2019.
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: Under the new law, 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 in the U.S.: Los Angeles, San Francisco and Denver
**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: