is declawing a cat illegal in ny

Andrew Cuomo signed Senate Bill S5532B /AB 1303, which bans the declawing of cats in the state of New York. Effective immediately, anyone who performs an onychectomy, phalangectomy, or tendonectomy procedure, with limited exceptions, on a cat within the state is subject to a civil penalty of up to $1,000.

Why Do People Declaw Cats?

The short answer is to prevent scratching. Declawing has been and continues to be a common practice among many indoor cat owners, usually to prevent cats from scratching their owners and causing damage to furniture. Certain veterinarians advise owners with weakened immune systems to also declaw their cats, primarily to avoid health issues that may arise from a cat’s scratches.

As per the American veterinarian, approximately 25% of cats in North America are declared, and approximately 70% of veterinarians in North America carry out the procedure. But declawing has grown very contentious; among the first cities to outright forbid the practice were Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Denver; the California cities did so in 2010 and Denver in 2017.

And it appears that the dispute is getting bigger, as New York became the first state to outright forbid the practice. The recently enacted legislation at the state level may present challenges for both landlords and tenants.

Alternatives to Declawing Cats

In New York, declawing a cat carries a $1,000 fine. You could assume the risk and proceed with the procedure, deducting $1,000 from the total cost. Considering that it keeps cat ownership expensive, I don’t think this is a good plan or much of an alternative.

Is it possible to keep a cat without having to declaw them and still avoid paying higher pet fees and deposits?

I sure hope so. As a landlord, I would consider the following solutions to lessen this problem:

Certain cat owners are able to teach their felines not to scratch objects that they shouldn’t be Giving the cat something else to scratch can help keep them off the couch and other furniture, as can rewarding good behavior.

Scratching posts are a cat owner’s best friend. Your cat will become accustomed to using a scratching post because the material helps them stretch out their entire body and remove the outer layer of their nails. Just be sure to purchase one that is strong, long-lasting, tall enough, and offers the cat both vertical and horizontal surfaces to scratch. Acquire several and place them in the rooms where your feline hangs out.

Will New York Landlords Continue to Allow Cats?

The inquiry is based on the possibility that a cat with claws could cause more harm. I put in new flooring and cabinets in a few of my units last year. I expect those enhancements to have a decades-long useful life. In addition, I think a cat could cause a lot of harm, which would shorten the investment’s lifespan.

Since I wasn’t sure if I was the only one thinking this way, our team contacted landlords throughout the United S. to find out their thoughts on New York’s declawing legislation.

Not too surprisingly, feedback varied. But even with the new laws, the majority of landlords with whom we spoke already had policies regarding cats and other pets, and they planned to stick with them.

Cats are currently permitted in Patrick Britton’s ten Chicago rental units, and he plans to keep them that way.

“I would never insist on an owner doing that to their pet because I think declawing is a viciously cruel thing to do,” Britton stated. “To be honest, I support the New York law, but I always charge pet owners more and receive a larger damage deposit,” he continued.

That being said, if a law similar to this were to pass in their state, some landlords who currently do not permit cats would not be more likely to do so.

Owner of two apartments in Pottstown, Pennsylvania, Darin Collins declared, “I don’t allow any pets, especially cats.” “But it’s mostly because of the mess they leave. ”.


Which states is it illegal to declaw cats?

There are only two states in the country where it is illegal to declaw a cat. The first state to ban this practice was New York. New York passed a comprehensive ban on this procedure in 2019. The second state was Maryland, which passed a similar ban in 2022.

When did New York ban cat declawing?

Over the objections of many in the veterinary community, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed legislation on July 22 making the Empire State the first state to ban cat declawing.

Is it abuse to declaw a cat?

Both can cause lasting physical and behavioral problems for your cat. Declawing significantly increases the odds of back pain, litter box aversion and biting. Declawing is banned or considered unethical in dozens of countries around the world.

Are vets against declawing cats?

Standards and professional judgment. Discouraging elective declawing is consistent with positions from the American Association of Feline Practitioners and American Animal Hospital Association, which also discourage declawing and encourage veterinarians to educate clients about alternatives.