New York becomes first state to ban declawing cats

Posted: Updated:
WHITE PLAINS -

Declawing cats is now illegal in New York.

The ban is the first of its kind in the country. Pet advocates say the painful declawing procedure that has gone on for decades is cruel.

Kate Bettino of White Plains has had her cat for 13 years and its claws remain intact.

“If you declaw a cat, it’s almost like you’re cutting off a person’s finger or thumb at the first knuckle,” says Bettino. “So it’s painful to do as a procedure and it’s just not natural for cat not to have claws.”

Experts say that declawing cats can affect them psychologically. Some may stop using the litter box as a result.

Ernest Lungaro, Director of the SPCA of Westchester, says the common reason that pet owners may declaw their cats is to protect their furniture.

“There is a recovery period and it is quite painful and the cats can have chronic pain afterwards,” Lungaro says.

Lungaro says a cat’s natural reaction is to stretch out and they also would like to stretch their claws out as well. There are specific devices made for cats to sink their claws into.

Bettino says that’s the risk you take with a cat. “There are plenty of cats in shelters that aren’t aggressive toward furniture and if you got them as a kitten, it is easy to train them,” she says.

 

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