I will tell you why I think that the New York state ban on cat declawing is the single biggest advancement in cat welfare this century in America. It might be the biggest advancement in animal welfare generally this century in the US.
It is the first statewide ban of cat declawing. It is highly likely that in due course, and I would hope very quickly, that another state will follow and also ban declawing. When that happens the country is well on its way to banning declawing nationwide.
On my calculation about 25 million cats are declawed in the USA. Cats suffer a massive amount of pain simply for the convenience of their owner. The reasons are non-therapeutic. All that pain, distress and discomfort for no good reason. A nationwide ban on declawing would remove this amount of pain in the future. It isn’t just the pain in the immediate aftermath of the operation which lasts several days despite painkillers.
There are often complications which are quite profound. Can owners often don’t know what the operation entails. They simply aren’t switched onto it. You can measure the success of animal welfare by how much suffering or conversely contentment humans bring to animals. If you can remove 100 millions days of acute pain and/or anguish suffered by domestic cats going forwards it has to be said that that would be a massive advancement in animal welfare. Nothing comes close that I know of which benefits a huge segment of companion animals in the USA. Ther are more domestic cats than domestic dogs in America and the figure in the order of 90 odd million feline companion animals.
A few words amending an existing statute as is the case in the New York statewide ban results in hundreds of thousands of cats being more content in that state for the future. That’s a huge positive step in the right direction and I’m very optimistic about it. I think too, the new law will educate cat owners that they can live with a cat who has his claws. It’s just a question of changing attitudes and how you interact with your cat. It requires a little more respect of a cat’s behaviour and it can be done. It is done by hundreds of millions of people in Europe to there is no problem with it happening in America.