Categories Op/Ed

Letter to the Editor: Pa. Should Outlaw Declawing of Cats as New York Has Done

letter, LTE

I was glad New York state outlawed the declawing of cats.

For those who are unaware, declawing means amputating the last bone of the cat’s toes, not just removing the claws, which will grow back. Like any amputation, it can result in “phantom pain’’ lasting for the rest of the cat’s life, and leave it afraid to use the litter box, because digging in litter is painful.

Declawing is not only cruel to the cat, but can also be cruel to cat owners. These days the majority of apartments in this area don’t allow pets. Even those claiming to be “pet-friendly’’ usually require cats to be declawed, in addition to the usual payment of a pet deposit.

Such is the case even with most Housing and Urban Development-subsidized apartments. A low-income senior citizen such as I, having no alternative but to live in a subsidized apartment, can search for years without finding an apartment that will accept my cat, unless I mutilate his paws. A dog — no problem. But I had to leave my cat behind to get an apartment.

I hope Pennsylvania will soon end this cruelty to cats and to us cat lovers forced to live without our cats in order to keep a roof over our heads.

PATRICE SWADEY

Elizabethtown

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