Everyone clap your paws together for New Jersey which is on its way to becoming the first state to ban cat declawing. Cat owners have been declawing their cats for as long as it has been normalized. Declawing cats have been thought to be a “quick fix” to stop unnecessary scratching around the house and to avoid being scratched (crazy cat ladies know them as love scratches). However, it is finally coming around that declawing cats is just hurtful and if dogs get to keep their fingers, cats should too (for the people who insist cats are better than dogs)!
On Nov. 14, an assembly committee approved a bill that will ban veterinarians from declawing cats and even add it to the list of criminal animal cruelty offenses. If veterinarians violate the ban and are found declawing cats, they can face a fine of up to $1,000 or six months in jail.
A widely thought misconception of the procedure is that it’s equivalent to us trimming our nails. But, the procedure requires the amputation of the last bone of each toe. So, the real comparison is like cutting off our fingers at the last knuckle — ouch, let’s never complain about breaking our nails again.
Negative side effects of declawing can include infection, tissue necrosis, nerve damage, bon spurs and even regrowth of the nails inside of the paw that we can’t see, but the cat can feel. Let’s not forget about these reasons why declawing is cruel, but let’s also continue celebrating New Jersey’s compassion!
There are good things about scratching. It is a natural instinct for cats. It allows them to keep their balance, to defend their selves, to catch prey, to mark their territory, to stretch their muscles and most importantly, to spend all day attacking the fun scratching posts their fur parents spoil them with.
Before you head off and give your cats a hug and even let them scratch you a little, meet Stevie the blind cat. While I am unsure if he is declawed, I would find it hard to believe he is because he has accomplished climbing a mountain. Being blind, I am sure he depends on his claws even more to explore his surroundings. So, let’s thank New Jersey in advance for the future cats who will be able to climb mountains with their own claws!