To claw or not to claw? NY cat proposal sparks frisky debate

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ALBANY, N.Y. — Legislation in New York to ban declawing cats is singling out a once-common procedure that veterinarians say is now on the decline.

The measure has divided veterinarians. Some say declawing is cruel because it involves amputating the first segments of a cat’s toes. But others say it must remain legal as a last resort for troubled felines whose scratching behavior can’t be controlled.

New York lawmakers are also considering eliminating sales taxes on pet food. They have already voted to allow dogs to join their owners on restaurant patios. Many states have banned a controversial procedure that removes a dog’s vocal cords, and all 50 states now have laws making severe animal cruelty a felony.