Do you have a cat, or are you thinking of potentially getting one?

If you're a first time cat owner, you might be worried the potential damage a cat could do to your home, by means of scratching.

Photo by Daniel Zopf on Unsplash
Photo by Daniel Zopf on Unsplash
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It's not a pleasant thing, to be sure. As a self-proclaimed crazy cat lady have been affected by more than a few nicks!

Cat claws are very sharp and when they go untrimmed, they can be quite damaging to your house and even cause significant bodily harm. Here's where new cat people might need some help.

A cat's white and black paw
Photo by Francesco Ungaro on Unsplash

This could be where people usually consider the declawing procedure.

Unfortunately, some people are under the misconception that declawing is necessary, harmless and painless. It's important to understand just how wrong these misconceptions are.

According to

"Feline declawing is an elective and ethically controversial procedure, which is NOT medically necessary for cats in most instances. Declawing entails the amputation of a cat’s third phalanx [P3], or third ‘toe bone.’

So if you think of that in terms of the human body, that would be the same assomeone cutting off the first knuckle of your fingers. The one right below your finger nail. That's what declawing is for cats.

Photo by Andrey Metelev on Unsplash
Photo by Andrey Metelev on Unsplash

So if it's so harmful and unnecessary, then you think declawing would be illegal anywhere, right? Wrong. Declawing is only outlawed in two states.

Is declawing illegal in Pennsylvania?

Declawing is legal in Pennsylvania, but it must be done by a veterinary doctor while the cat is under anesthesia:

"The state also prohibits the cropping of dogs' ears, debarking of dogs, docking of dogs' tails, performance of surgical births of dogs, and declawing of cats by persons other than veterinary doctors while the animals are anesthetized."


Will declawing in Pennsylvania be outlawed?

Cat with blue eyes looks at camera
Getty Images

Hopefully! Pennsylvania Bill H.B. 508 is proposing to outlaw declawing unless it's medically necessary:

"This bill, H.B. 508, would prohibit the declawing of cats unless the procedure is medically necessary for a therapeutic purpose and performed by a licensed veterinarian. Under this measure, declawing for cosmetic or aesthetic reasons, as well as for reasons of convenience, would be strictly prohibited."

As a cat mom of two, I'm no stranger to cat scratches. Neither is my furniture. But personally I wouldn't ever consider declawing them for even half a second. The healthiest thing to do for your cat is to give them regular trimmings and plenty of scratch posts to play with to spare your furniture.

If you're adamant about declawing your cat, be sure to have a very at-length conversation with your veterinarian beforehand, and be sure to ask a lot of questions!

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