Massachusetts senators passed a bill (S2552) on Thursday, January 11th that would make the declawing of cats illegal. This bill still allows declawing procedures to be performed by a licensed veterinarian in cases of medical necessity.
When a cat is declawed, the first bone on each toe is amputated and the tendon in each toe that controls the extension of the claw is cut. The Humane Society of the U.S. has said that cats who have had their claws removed are more likely to experience paw pain, back pain, infection, tissue death or lose the ability to use their legs. The cats are also more likely to incur nerve damage and bone spurs as a result of claw regrowth.
This procedure, that is widely misunderstood and requested by owners, “is an abhorrent practice that most veterinarians view as inhumane," said Sen. Mark Montigny, the lead sponsor of the bill. Angell Animal Medical Center-Boston, has not performed declawing surgery for decades because “it is not in the interest of the animal, often involves painful complications, and can create lifelong behavior problems," said Kara Holmquist, Director of Advocacy for the MSPCA-Angell, calling the procedure "unnecessary amputation.” The passage of this bill makes Massachusetts the third state to outlaw these procedures.
Mass. Senate votes to ban declawing cats by Sam Drysdale, channel 10Boston.