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There are many cruel things that we do to animals that are considered legal in the United States. While issues pertaining to the treatment of farm animals and animals used in entertainment tend to be more widely known, cruelty towards companion animals often flies under the radar.

We consider our cats and dogs to be members of our families. We love them unconditionally and do all that we can to ensure they lead happy and healthy lives, however, some of the things we do to our pets that are considered “normal” are actually incredibly cruel. Declawing a cat is one of these things.

While we are told that declawing cats is the logical thing to do for indoor felines as it keeps them from destroying furniture and curtains … most people don’t stop to think about what this procedure is really doing to cats. We think of cats’ claws like our own nails, but they are way different. Declawing isn’t just clipping a nail, it is a highly invasive procedure that involves amputating the last toe joint. This is an incredibly painful experience for a cat and it can cause nerve damage and even behavioral changes in your beloved kitty.

Luckily, Manhattan Assemblywoman, Linda Rosenthal has just introduced legislation that would ban declawing, unless it is done to remove a tumor or another medical reason. This bill has not yet been introduced to the Senate, but it is backed by the Humane Society of New York and the Paw Project, a California based non-profit.

The American Veterinary Medical Association believes that declawing should only ever be done as a last resort, but many people do not heed this advice and declaw their cats for the sake of their furniture.

When you adopt a cat, it is crucial that you understand the entirety of this responsibility. Like dogs, cats need to be taught what they can and cannot scratch in your home, failure to instill this positive behavior in cats is not a failing on the part of the cat. It is cruel to subject them to being declawed when there are much more humane ways to handle undesirable behavior. Here’s to hoping Rosenthal’s bill becomes law in New York!

Image source: NYDailyNews