(CNN) — Cat declawing is a controversial practice sometimes done to protect furniture that may result in chronic pain to cats.
But now in New York, it’s illegal.
Governor Andrew Cuomo signed a bill on Monday to ban the surgery.
New York is the first state to do so.
Removing a cat’s claws requires a partial amputation of each toe and can strain leg joints and the spine.
It also leaves a cat without the ability to climb a tree to safety if threatened outdoors.
The law takes effect immediately.
The bill makes exceptions for “therapeutic purposes” or if declawing would help the cat’s health.