Animal Advocates

Virginia Poised to Become the Third State to Ban Declawing Cats

A new bill filed with the Virginia General Assembly puts the commonwealth on track to become the third U.S. state to ban the practice of declawing cats.

declawing cats

In July of 2019, New York became the first state to outlaw the practice of declawing cats unless medically necessary, and although Florida and Massachusetts have considered similar laws under consideration for several years, Maryland became the second state to end the archaic procedure on Thursday, April 21.

Now, Virginia is posed to become the third state to end the cruel, elective surgery.

Under House Bill 1382, sponsored by Delegate Wendy Gooditis (D – Loudoun), anyone who performs a declawing procedure on a cat would be subject to a fine between $500 and $2,500, which would go to support local animal control offices. The bill includes an exception for medically necessary procedures, such as infection or a defect in the cat’s paw.

Declawing cats is perhaps the most controversial surgical procedure performed by veterinarians today. So controversial, in fact, that countless people consider it a cruel form of mutilation. It’s illegal in many parts of the world, including England, Australia, Germany, Finland, Brazil and many other countries and all of New York and Maryland, where it’s considered inhumane. The recovery from a declaw surgery results in excruciating pain for the cat. A cat’s claws are vital – they are not only a defense mechanism – they provide balance, mobility, exercise, and stretch, and they allow him to mark his territory.

If the bill is adopted into the General Assembly, Virginia will become only the third state to ban declawing.

To be clear, The Catington Post is a strong advocate against declawing. It’s a painful amputation of a cat’s knuckles – not simply removing claws, as many people still believe. It’s a procedure that’s extremely painful, and can have lasting, even lifelong, emotional and physical effects on a cat, whose very nature is to use his claws.

Instead of declawing, consider one of these humane alternatives.

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