Michigan bill would ban declawing of cats

Declawing causes lasting physical pain in cats

VARNA, BULGARIA - DECEMBER 23: A cats scratches its claws on a frame outside a cat house for abandoned cats in the village of Kichevo on December 23, 2020. (Photo by Hristo Rusev/Getty Images) (Hristo Rusev, 2020 Hristo Rusev)

LANSING, Mich. – Legislation has been introduced in the Michigan House to ban the declawing of cats.

Michigan could become the third state to ban the inhumane practice. It is currently illegal to declaw cats in Maryland and New York. Declawing cats is also illegal in several other countries.

Declawing involves the amputation of the last bone of each toe. The Humane Society compares it to cutting off a person’s fingers at the last knuckle. The amputation can cause lasting physical and mental problems in cats.

According to the Humane Society, declawing can cause nerve damage, phantom pain, pain from bone fragments, and arthritis. The pain can cause your cat to bite or use the bathroom outside of their litter box.

Last week, state Rep. Jimmie Wilson Jr. introduced HB 4674, which would end the practice of declawing cats in Michigan. The bill would prohibit any surgical procedure that prevents the normal functioning of the claws, toes, or paws unless the procedure is necessary to treat a medical condition.

“Declawing when done to cats and kittens is equivalent to amputating the entire last joint of a human finger; it is done for cosmetic and owner convenience reasons, with no medical benefit or increased quality of life for the animals. Declawed cats may require repair surgery, experience phantom pains, have behavioral issues and be on pain medication permanently,” Wilson said on social media. “I believe we owe it to our furrry family members to protect them and not allow unnecessary suffering, which the declawing procedure is. Please join me in fighting for our Michigander cats and kittens and making Michigan the third state to End Declawing.”

About the Author:

Kayla is a Web Producer for ClickOnDetroit. Before she joined the team in 2018 she worked at WILX in Lansing as a digital producer.