Animal Planet Star Jackson Galaxy Lends Support to Assemblymember Linda B. Rosenthal’s Bill to Ban Cat Declawing in New York State

May 12, 2017

New York, NY – Assemblymember Linda B. Rosenthal (D/WF-Manhattan) appeared with Animal Planet star Jackson Galaxy this weekend at Cat Camp, a two-day conference and cat adoption event, to raise awareness of her bill in the State Legislature to ban the practice of cat declawing. Jackson Galaxy hosts the immensely popular “My Cat from Hell” show on Animal Planet and is a fervent opponent of declawing cats.

“New York has the opportunity to be the first state in the country to ban the inhumane practice of cat declawing,” said Assemblymember Linda B. Rosenthal. “Declawing is not just removing a cat’s nails. The procedure involves cutting through bone, nerves, and ligaments to remove the cat’s last knuckle. It’s equivalent to slicing off a human’s finger at the first knuckle. And it’s just inhumane.”

Declawing, which often causes lasting pain, forces a cat to alter its natural gait and redistribute its weight, which can cause prolonged joint and back pain. Cats who have been declawed are more likely to bite, to refuse to use their litter boxes, and to develop other behavioral issues.

“For cats, scratching is not a luxury; it's a necessity. Claws are not accessories; they are body parts,” explained cat expert Jackson Galaxy. “There was an unspoken deal we made with these animals when bringing them into our home and calling them companions: we would keep them safe from harm. We must stand by that promise by banning declawing and ending the senseless mutilation.”

Cat declawing is already entirely banned or extremely restricted in some California cities and countries across the world, including Australia, Croatia, Iceland, and Norway. Legislators in New Jersey and West Virginia have also introduced bills to implement state-wide bans on cat declawing. Rosenthal’s bill will establish a civil penalty of up to $1,000 for veterinarians who perform declaw operations.

“Even a comedian knows that cat declawing is no laughing matter,” Rosenthal added, citing comedian Ricky Gervais’ support for a ban cat declawing. “Cat owners can always trim their cat’s nails or buy scratching posts. There is no need to inflict intense, chronic pain on our companion animals,” she said.

Joe Griffo is the Senate sponsor of the bill (A.595 / S.3376), which is currently under review in the Agriculture Committee of both the Senate and the Assembly.