Social Issues


NH divided on declawing cats - 311 participants

Nov 27, 2016

Last week, a legislative committee in New Jersey recommended passage of a bill that would ban the practice of declawing cats, making it an animal cruelty offense. Sanctions under the bill would fall on veterinarians who execute the procedure or cat owners who request it, resulting in a fine of up to $1,000 or a six month jail sentence. Read more about this issue. On November 27, Citizens Count, NH’s Live Free or Die Alliance decided to put the issue to its Facebook members, posting the question, “Should NH make declawing cats an animal cruelty offense?”

Should NH make declawing cats an animal cruelty offense?

Declawing Cats NH Citizen Voices Chart

Participation: 311 participants gave 622 responses.

A total of 88% of those participating gave a 'yes or no' response to the question. The remaining 12% of participants engaged in the discussion but did not give a yes or no response. In total, this question received 622 responses from 311 individuals. (Click here for details on our methodology.)

What Participants Said

No: A majority of ‘yes or no’ respondents, at 54%, were against making declawing cats an animal cruelty offense.

  • “While it is not an ideal solution, sometimes it provides the cat with a stable home. If the cat scratches a person or destroys furniture, the owner might be forced to give the animal up to a shelter.”
  • “No. Instead, why not make a public issue about it, to raise awareness.”
  • “There are bigger things to worry about than cat claws.”

Yes: A minority, at 46% of ‘yes or no’ respondents, supported making declawing cats an animal cruelty offense.

  • “If you want an animal without claws, then a cat simply isn't the pet for you.”
  • “Declawing a cat is like a human's finger nail being taken off at the first joint. It is extremely painful for the cat and has a lasting effect on the cat.”
  • “Any time a cat is declawed, harm has been done.”

Other: As noted above, 12% of those participating did not give a yes or no response, instead addressing their comments to related questions and issues. These included:

  • Legislation in other locations: “It’s been illegal in the UK for years.”
  • Broadening the discussion: “Should NH make personal freedom illegal? Because you sure want them to run our lives.”
  • Other pet issues: “Should NH have a leash law for cats?”

*Editor selection of actual participant quotes. 


Karen Keyes
- Stratham

Wed, 10/11/2017 - 9:38pm


My husband's family adopted a cat that had been declawed. The cat had frequent seizures and was never quite right; and the family believed it was because the animal had been declawed. That said, I don't believe declawing a cat should be a criminal offense but the public needs to be heavily educated on the adverse effect this distasteful procedure can have on cats.

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