ALBANY, N.Y. – July 22, 2019 – Alley Cat Allies congratulates New York for becoming the first state to ban the declawing of cats. Today Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed a bill from the New York legislature that prohibits the surgical procedure. The ban takes effect immediately.

“Gov. Cuomo and New York legislators have earned our praise by banning this all too common veterinary practice that is agonizing for cats,” said Becky Robinson, president and founder of Alley Cat Allies. “Declawing is a misnomer—it’s more accurate to call this procedure de-knuckling. It amputates the last bone of a cat’s toes, which is like cutting off a person’s finger up to the first knuckle.

“Cats need their claws for behavioral and grooming reasons, so when they are taken, it can lead to lasting psychological and physical harm. For some cats, this even leads to them losing their homes. Doing away with the practice sets New York ahead in the humane treatment of its cats.”

As part of its “Keep Cats’ Claws on their Paws” campaign that pushes for declawing bans throughout the country, Alley Cat Allies supporters sent more than 1,000 messages to New York legislators asking for this ban. Alley Cat Allies also collaborated with The Paw Project on the effort.

“Congratulations to New York for leading the way to outlaw this painful, unnecessary mutilation of cats,” said Dr. Jennifer Conrad, founder of The Paw Project. “We look forward to working with other states to follow New York’s lead and protect the cats in their states.”

While New York is the first state to ban declawing, others are also considering such legislation, including Massachusetts, New Jersey and California. Declawing is already banned in many American cities and most of Europe.

Robinson added that while declawing is often done to address unwanted scratching behavior, there are many resources available for owners to address these behaviors without harming the cat. These could include scratching posts, vinyl nail covers and humane deterrents.

About Alley Cat Allies

Alley Cat Allies, headquartered in Bethesda, Md., is the global engine of change for cats. We protect and improve the lives of cats through our innovative, cutting-edge programs. We are seen around the world as a champion for the humane treatment of all cats. Founded in 1990, today Alley Cat Allies has more than a half-million supporters and helps tens of thousands of individuals, communities and organizations save and improve the lives of millions of cats and kittens worldwide. Its website is, and Alley Cat Allies is on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.