People are pushing to ban declawing because it's an elective procedure that's done purely for the owner's convenience. Declawing involves amputating a cat's first knuckle to remove the claw entirely. It's usually done to prevent cats from scratching up furniture or other humans.
Studies have found declawed cats tend to suffer from chronic pain and tend to be more aggressive than cats with claws. Not only that, declawed cats tend to bite more often and are three times as likely to be diagnosed with back pain. It's not a benign thing.
Countries like the United Kingdom and other European states have banned the procedure. Activists think the United States should follow suit. It's a cruel procedure without any real need. If scratching becomes an issue with your cat, you should properly train your pet instead of making surgical modifications to your cat because it makes your life more convenient.
Others say declawing should remain legal in order to give owners a last resort option with their cats. A study conducted by the AP found 55 percent of cat owners think declawing is okay. That decision should be left to the owners because they're the ones who are living with cats. They know what's in their pet's best interest.
Proponents say when done properly, declawing is not as bad as critics make it out to be. It's a relatively benign procedure that should have little impact on the cats. If the option to declaw cats is taken away, it increases the likelihood that owners will choose to abandon or euthanize their cat instead.
"It is amputation," Pla says. "But these cats with modern surgical techniques are going home the same day. No bandages. Walking."