A blog by spcaLA president, Madeline Bernstein

Dec 13, 2011

Israel Bans Cat Declawing

Israel has joined the list of over 20 countries to ban cat declawing. Unless performed within the narrow medical necessity exemptions, the procedure has been declared, by Israel's legislature, to be a crime, punishable by up to 1 year in jail and a fine of up to $20,000. Countries on the list include England, Norway, France and Portugal. The practice is legal in the United States and Canada.courtesy of Google Images

Declawing is primarily an elective surgery, known as an onychectomy, which eliminates the claws by amputating part of the toes. It would be analogous to cutting ones fingers off at the top knuckle. It is not a manicure.  The procedure is painful, can affect the cat's behavior permanently, and will render the cat defenseless should he/she leave the house.

Absent a medical, non "elective" need to perform the surgery, such as a the presence of a tumor,  the removal of which would still be limited to the affected toe(s), an onychectomy is usually requested so a pet cat will not scratch, ruin furniture or require weekly nail trimmings. Some justify the procedure by asserting that more cats would be euthanized as families simply don't want to deal with the claws and would not adopt the cats.

Providing a cat with designated scratching areas, capping their claws with glue on soft nail tips, and learning how to keep nails trim are all humane and practical alternatives to elective surgery.

Finally, choosing fabrics and floors that are stylish, pet friendly, resist and camouflage hair and scratches allows for matching the decor to the cat rather than surgically altering the cat to match the decor. Additionally, decorating with pets in mind will ultimately reduce stress and foster a lasting bond between the humans and their companion animals.

Article first published as Israel Bans Cat Declawing on Technorati.

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