First State To Ban Cat Declawing Could Be New Jersey, Thanks To Approved Bill

If approved, it would make New Jersey the first state to ban declawing.

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If a New Jersey bill becomes a law, all cats would get to keep their claws.  Via Thinkstock
If a New Jersey bill becomes a law, all cats would get to keep their claws. Via Thinkstock

After a bill won approval in an Assembly committee on Monday, New Jersey grew closer to becoming the first state to ban cat declawing.

Bill A3899 would charge veterinarians who declaw cats, and people who seek them out, a fine of up to $1,000 or six months in jail, according to NJ.com. Anyone who breaks the law also would face a civil penalty of $500 to $2,000.

Animal advocates oppose cat declaw surgery, likening it to removing the top knuckle of a finger. Via Thinkstock

Animal advocates oppose cat declaw surgery, likening it to removing the top knuckle of a finger. Via Thinkstock

Onychetomy, as the surgery to remove cats’ claws is known, would go on the list of criminal animal cruelty offenses. The article does mention exceptions for medical purposes.

People typically seek the procedure to protect their property from scratches or “because a cat has not learned how to play properly,” according to the post.

Many groups oppose the practice. The surgery removes the claw down to the distal phalanx, which declawing opponents compare to the top knuckle of human fingers. Some cats display character changes and discomfort when using the litter box after the procedure, supporters of the bill told the Assembly Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee.

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Comments

  • I pray to God this bill passes.
    I believe My vets tricked me by not mentioning declawing is amputation, nor that it is illegal in 44 countries.

    I’m sick of hearing excuses, there are none. The only reason to declaw is to make a fortune.

    My cats suffered, claw regrowth, litter box adversion.

    Please don’t listen to or trust vets who declaw cats. There are reprocussions for your cat that you may not even notice. Your excuses are meaningless to an amputee. #AmputationHURTS

    Kat November 15, 2016 8:25 pm Reply
  • I have had all of the house cats I’ve owned declawed. None of them had ANY problems. Banning declawing will result in more homeless cats because you can’t train a cat not to scratch furniture. Clawing is nature. I love my kitties. I’d never harm them.

    Jimmie Busbee November 16, 2016 6:54 am Reply
  • I have had all of the house cats I’ve owned declawed. None of them had ANY problems. Banning declawing will result in more homeless cats because you can’t train a cat not to scratch furniture. Clawing is nature. I love my kitties. I’d never harm them. Also, it is not like a knuckle. They weren’t deformed.

    Jimmie Busbee November 16, 2016 6:56 am Reply
  • Jimmie Busbee,

    Cats can be trained to scratch only acceptable items such as scratching posts, just as dogs can be trained to chew on toys rather than electrical cords. It just takes effort on the guardian’s part to redirect their attention to the desirable object.

    Jessica November 16, 2016 11:59 am Reply

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