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When will declawing finally be outlawed?

I’m just wondering: Why hasn’t the U.S. banned declawing cats? The inhumane practice was once common and even accepted, but times are starting to change. There’s been a national debate on the subject, and most of us now understand what declawing really means—and how traumatic and barbaric it is for the cat. Thankfully, the once-popular practice is now on the decline. Many vets now even refuse to perform the unethical procedure.

But we need to do better. The U.S. needs to protect our nation’s cats and kittens and outright ban declawing, just like Brazil, England, France, Germany, New Zealand, Sweden and other progressive countries have done.

California is working hard in this effort: Declawing is currently illegal in several cities, including Beverly Hills, Los Angeles, San Francisco and West Hollywood. And New York State is trying to become the first state to ban cat declawing! Still in its early stages, the bill is currently “in committee.”

Many cute cats at shelters are already declawed, and they certainly need loving homes, too. But why declaw a perfectly healthy kitten today? We need to share this information far and wide to anyone who needs some education on the subject. A person may save their leather couch, yes, but additional problems can develop: Some cats that are declawed bite more and refuse the litter box. Vets will tell you there are high complication rates associated with the surgery, not to mention the pain during and after recovery. Arthritis can develop in their mutilated feet later in life.

Celebrities are starting to support the movement. Black Sabbath bassist Geezer Butler released a statement via the U.S. Humane Society in support of the bill in New York mentioned above. And here’s what Ricky Gervais, a supporter of The Paw Project, an organization dedicated to educating the public about how declawing is inhumane, has to say about it.

Are claws even so bad? All of the cats I grew up with had their super sharp claws, and we all just lived with it. Scratching posts make a huge difference (it sounds obvious, but give them a safe place to sharpen their claws), and my sister has used Soft Paws with much success. Regular trims, which just take two minutes, help as well.

This cute article shares an American’s experience changing her mind after learning to live with the “clawful” cats of the UK, where the practice is illegal. Her previous cats had all been declawed, but after living in a new country she learned claws aren’t so bad after all.

How can you help? Advocate for the voiceless kittens, support legislation like that in New York, give even a small donation to nonprofits such as The Paw Project, and educate family and friends. And share this video:

What do you think? Raise your paw if you agree it’s time to protect the claw!

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