California Plans to Ban Declawing

This is another great moment in the battle against cat declawing. It may be the most important moment of all. The states of New York and New Jersey are still debating a ban but I sense that California may get this bill through their state legislature and make it an Act and it would be a great act because it would be the first state in America to ban declawing. I feel confident that other states would follow. California has already banned declawing in 8 of its cities so the state has a pedigree to use cat breeder language.

California plans to ban declawing

The bill is called SB-1441 Animal cruelty: declawing (on the state website). I love the fact that the word “cruelty” is within the name of this bill because it emphasizes that it is a cruel operation. The bill has been introduced by Sen Stern and the co-author is Sen Wilk. The bill has been posted on the California Legislative Information webpage.

The first vote on the bill takes place in the CA Senate Public Safety Committee on April 17. Letters of support are requested by all cat lovers and anti-declaw campaigners.

You should write to Sen Stern to indicate your support for this bill. Your letter can be emailed as an attachment, preferably in PDF format, and preferably on letterhead and signed.

The Paw Project has kindly provided a template which you can see by clicking on the link below and then download it. You can use it is a guide for you own letter (change the heading and the footer).

California plans to ban declawing

Features of SB 1441:

  • Declawing is outlawed. No one may declaw cats and no one may procure a declaw procedure. Procedures to treat physical medical conditions of animals are not restricted
  • Violation of the law would carry a penalty of a fine for the first offense and would be considered a misdemeanor for subsequent offences.
  • Existing local law penalties and penalties for declawing wild and exotic cats will not be superseded

Let’s pray that this time a state of the United States takes that magic step to ban cat declawing. It will be a monumental moment in the history of the fight against this obnoxious practice. It will also shout out to all veterinarians across America that it is time that they voluntarily stopped carrying out this operation because it tells them that enough people truly hate it for what it is: an unnecessary mutilation of often of a young domestic cat which can cause serious complications and which is truly against the oath of all veterinarians in America. It causes and has caused untold misery among millions of cats. The operation should never have been created. It should never have been envisaged or imagined. It is an abnormality across the veterinary landscape in North America. Please stop it.


Note: sources for news articles are carefully selected but the news is often not independently verified.

Michael Broad

Hi, I'm a 74-year-old retired solicitor (attorney in the US). Before qualifying I worked in many jobs including professional photography. I love nature, cats and all animals. I am concerned about their welfare. If you want to read more click here.

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3 Responses

  1. While states’ rights are a vital component of American government, what precludes our 50 state governments from following the examples of our non-declaw neighbors [England, Scotland, Wales, Norway, Netherlands, Israel, Ireland, Australia: a total of 28 nations] whose Parliaments [read:”federal level”] managed to set aside their “state/local” differences, and for the sake of the humane treatment of Felines, banned declawing from within their borders? A national Ban of Declawing at our own federal level seems in order; a Humane Act which would serve to resolve at last, these 60+ years of state-sanctioned abuse.

    • Michael Broad says:

      A federal ban would be fabulous; and dare I say it, it would improve the image of veterinarians and animal welfare in the US across the planet. Declawing is bad publicity for the US. It is not a good look in modern parlance. Thanks for commenting Deborah.

  2. M E King says:

    We need California or New York, preferably California to ban declawing. Other states will become more likely to follow.

    Declawing is outlawed. No one may declaw cats and no one may procure a declaw procedure. Procedures to treat physical medical conditions of animals are not restricted- I feel this is a big ambiguous the actual medical reasons allowing the amputation of a toe need to more clearly spelled out.
    This quite reminds me of the loopholes when abortion was illegal. It was up to the doctor to decide if it was medically necessary.
    I am BTW pro choice on abortion I was simply citing an example of how human beings behave when the laws are not clear and precise. Fluffy getting stuck in the curtain doesn’t need to become the new standard for getting a legal declaw.

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