Karen Belz
November 21, 2016 9:20 am

Cats everywhere will be pretty intrigued to hear this news. If all goes to plan, New Jersey will ban declawing, and be the first state to issue a fine and a jail penalty for veterinarians who decide to go ahead with the procedure. Since declawing is definitely controversial, we think it’s interesting that the state is finally speaking up and making a call about it.

While declawing — or, onychetomy, as it’s technically known — seemed like a natural thing to do back in the day (especially if you loved your furniture) recent research into the topic made it clear that it can often cause lifelong damage and pain to your cat.

By cutting the bone from your cat’s toes, he or she may suffer from nerve damage and thus have more behavioral problems due to discomfort down the line. While some may assume it’s like getting nails cut, it’s more like getting fingers cut.

 Of course, many vets are disagreeing on the ban, saying that the cat will only feel pain if the procedure is done incorrectly.

However, veterinarians like Eileen Jefferson from New York definitely find it to be cruel, and see it as disfigurement, which is why she refuses to perform the surgery in her office.

The declawing bill was passed by an assembly committee on November 14th, and now it’s looking to pass through the legislature. If officially approved, declawing would be seen as a criminal animal cruelty offense.

If you were unaware of the controversy behind declawing, or are worried because you love both your cat and your couch, don’t worry — there are a bunch of safe alternative that you can try instead.

For one, you can give Soft Claws nail caps a try. These caps fit over your cat’s claws, and dull the impact they have without causing any pain.  Also make sure that your cat has plenty of areas he or she is allowed to scratch (including a scratching post) since — well — scratching is just part of a cat’s nature, and it’s just something to expect when adding a cat to your family.