New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Monday signed a ban against the declawing of cats, making the Empire State the first to ban the process. The declawing process involves amputating part of a cat’s toes and was once a common part of domesticating a cat. “This is a real triumph for cats and the people who love them,” said Assemblywoman Linda Rosenthal, who spent years championing the ban. The New York State Veterinary Medical Society was against the ban, arguing that declawing should be permitted for cats that won’t stop scratching. In a memo, the group wrote that “medical decisions should be left to the sound discretion of fully trained, licensed and state supervised professionals.” Declawing is already illegal in cities like San Francisco and Denver, as well as many Canadian provinces and much of Europe. Veterinarians will still be able to perform the declawing process in the case of medical emergency.