Sunday 28 April 2024

Virginia has become the third state to enact a ban on declawing

Virginia has become the third state to enact a ban on declawing, joining New York, which was the first in 2019, and Maryland in 2022. Concurrently, the Rhode Island Senate has passed a similar ban, which is now pending in the House.

Cats need claws to climb trees to be happy and to express their natural instincts and desires. Image: MikeB.

This development is seen as positive, considering that declawed cats face a significantly higher risk of back pain, avoidance of the litter box, aggression, and excessive grooming. Moreover, the risk of pain is exacerbated if bone fragments are left behind, a consequence of poor surgical techniques in over 60% of declawing cases.

Contrary to popular belief, prohibiting declawing does not increase the likelihood of cats being abandoned. Research indicates that there was no significant rise in the number of cats surrendered to shelters for destructive scratching post-ban, as most declawing was pre-emptive rather than reactive. The study concluded that cat owners are capable of managing their pets' scratching behaviour without resorting to declawing.

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