State Assembly votes to make New Jersey first to ban cat declawing

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GILLETTE, N.J. — Betty “B" drives a blue Subaru with the license plate “CAT RSCU” — and began rescuing cats when she discovered a neighbor’s property overrun by abandoned cats.

“I think there were probably a total of about 100. Took me almost two years to get the project totally finished by taking a trap over every other day,” she said.

She spent her own money to treat or find homes for them all.

Today, she’s still advocating for cats. She's happy to hear that the state assembly voted to make New Jersey the first state to ban cat declawing.

“No matter what any vet tells you, it’s a painful procedure. It is a maiming surgery,” she said, adding that some cats will change their behavior and begin biting or urinating inside after the procedure.

“In today’s world, that doesn’t apply,” said Dr. Robert Gordon, a veterinarian.

Dr. Gordon said studies show that cats do not alter their behavior after surgery and modern pain management has changed declawing from what it was 30 years ago.

There are veterinarians and studies that will argue either side of this debate.

Dr. Gordon said that he never had a patient report negative effects after declawing. But he also said he would never recommend it, unless it is absolutely necessary.

A woman undergoing cancer treatment came to his office this morning with doctors orders to get rid of her cats because if they scratched her it could be very serious.

“She said I heard this bill is going to pass in New Jersey, what am I supposed to do? Turn the cats loose? Take them to a shelter? Make my kids suffer the loss because their mom got sick?"

The New Jersey State Senate still needs to consider this bill before it can move forward.