To declaw cats or not? New Jersey could be first with ban

TRENTON, N.J. (AP) – New Jersey could become the first state to prohibit veterinarians from declawing cats.

The bill’s sponsor, Democratic Assemblyman Troy Singleton, says declawing is “a barbaric practice” that more often than not is done for the sake of convenience.

The American Veterinary Medical Association does not support having lawmakers tell doctors what to do. The group says declawing is not medically necessary in most cases or even that frequent these days.

The group believes owners should try to modify behavior by providing cats with posts, boxes and carpets to scratch.

Owners also should frequently trim their cats’ nails and consider using caps to cover the nails.

The bill cleared the lower house of the Legislature last month and awaits action in the state Senate.

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