Israel Bans Cat Declawing: Will U.S. Follow?

Hats off to Israelís parliament for passing a ban on declawing of cats.† The ban was approved by the Knesset Monday, November 28.† And, the new law has some bite to it.† Punishment consists of up to one year in prison and a fine of 75,000 shekels (a little more than $20,000.)

Declawing of cats and kittens is a despicable practice done for the convenience of owners who want to ensure their kitty doesnít ruin the furniture.†† It is an elective surgical procedure which puts the animal at all anesthesia risks but has no medical purpose for the cat.

And Iím ashamed to admit, it is a common practice in the U.S.† It is estimated about 25 percent of U.S. cats are declawed.† Many European countries have already made it illegal or consider it an inhumane practice.† Itís time for America to wake up and follow suit.

What is Declawing?

Declawing is a misnomer because in order to remove a catís claws, the first joints of each toe are actually amputated.† Imagine trying to go through your daily routines of self care with only stubs at the end of each finger.

Declawing is also a very painful surgery that can negatively affect a catís behavior and instinctual abilities.† Many declawed cats will start to bite because their natural defense Ė their claws Ė have been removed and their teeth are all they have left to defend themselves with.

Post-operative recuperation can take weeks with the kitty in severe pain from walking or scratching in their litter box — things they have to continue doing on a daily basis.† Cats instinctively will not show pain; so pain relief is often not addressed as a post operative concern.† It can also cause lameness and balance disturbances.

Alternatives to Declawing

There are some non-surgical alternatives worth considering.† Teaching your cat to use a scratching post, offering cardboard scratching toys and routine nail trimming are but a few.

If your feline indulges in catnip, try embedding it into the scratching post.† There are plastic nail caps that can be easily glued to your catís nails so the scratch doesnít damage flesh or furniture.† Place sticky tape on furniture to deter unwanted scratching.† And citrus sprays will stop some cats from kneading the sofa.

Thank You, Israel!

While declawing in Israel is not common practice, the new law sends a message to the world that amputating your catís toes for personal convenience is unacceptable.

Other countries that outlaw declawing or consider it inhumane are:

  • Australia
  • Brazil
  • United Kingdom
  • Finland
  • Estonia
  • Netherlands
  • Germany
  • Switzerland
  • Austria

Related Stories:

Strange Circumstances make California First to Ban Declawing

San Fran Cats May Get to Keep their Claws

Jogger Saves Cat in Rainy Park Carries Him One Mile in Her Coat


Photo by tkw954 via Flickr


Lesa D
Past Member about a year ago

thank you Israel!!!

Giustina C.
Giustina C4 years ago

I love every part of my cats, including their claws. This barbaric practice should already be illegal. Anyone who wants a cat to be declawed does not love him/her, surely this is classed as animal abuse?!!!

Fi T.
Past Member 4 years ago

Can human nails be removed?

Valentina R.
Valentina R4 years ago

Well, in Israel they slaughter homeless dogs and cats in the streets, so this is a little hypocritical to me.

anne r.
Tom R5 years ago

U.S. allows declawing cats and I wonder why? There is no need to declaw (which is really amputation of a cats toes so they walk on their knuckles sadly) and it will become painful and case poor behavior in the future. You can teach a cat to both use a scratching post, allow to scratch outside (with a leash) or confined. This is cruel of the U.S. to allow this practice. Wish/hope that we can get this banned here too.

nelson dubroy
nelson dubroy5 years ago

I have four scratch posts for two 10 year old cats - sisal posts are the best for me - two posts lay flat on floor & two post's are standing - some cats like one or the other- Check out website sisal rugs direct - these are natural woven sisal cat scratch post's - high quality- the best I found on the web & fair pricing -

Kimberly Horton
Kimberly Horton6 years ago

Amen Ann!! Big UPS Israel! Take a note America!

SeattleAnn S.
Ann S7 years ago

Just noticed there was some comment about owners kicking out a cat because of their natural instincts to claw. Here's my answer to that: if you don't have the time or patience to train/teach a cat in loving ways to not claw your furniture, then don't get one to begin with. It's the same principle with children, DUH.

SeattleAnn S.
Ann S7 years ago

Sometimes we are so ass-backwards in the USA. Bravo and thanks to all the countries that have banned declawing already.

maghon t.
maghon t7 years ago

as a vet tech I see EXACTLY how this is... and I plan to not allow it in my clinic when I finish vet school! it's a terrible thing, especially when Soft Paws are available... the best cat thing ever invented!!!