BOSTON (AP) — Massachusetts lawmakers are weighing a ban on the practice of declawing cats.

Supporters of the measure say declawing is cruel and painful. They say cats rely on their paws and claws to groom themselves and to help protect and defend their bodies. The practice involves amputating a cat’s toes to the first knuckle.

READ MORE: Power Outages Climb To 101,000 Across The State As Nor'easter Hits Saturday

A bill that would prohibit declawing is scheduled for a public hearing at the Statehouse on Monday before the Committee on Consumer Protection and Professional Licensure.

READ MORE: Who Has The Most? Snow Totals For January 29 Storm

Lawmakers in New York last month voted to approve a bill banning the declawing of cats. The bill was sent to Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

Declawing a cat is already illegal in much of Europe and in several Canadian provinces, as well as in Los Angeles, San Francisco and Denver.

MORE NEWS: Bruins Win 17th Straight Over Coyotes 2-1

(© Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)