SUPPORT: Animal Welfare – Declawing Cats- Prohibited Acts – HB 445
Let’s Stop Nontherapeutic Cat Declawing in Maryland! #protectthepaws
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The most frequent type of declawing is called an onychectomy, which involves using a scalpel or laser to amputate the last bone of a cat’s toes on its paws.
Think of surgically amputating all of a person’s fingers or toes at their top joint. Studies have found that declawed cats have a higher percentage of a stress hormone, cortisol, which is often associated with pain. Scans of declawed cat paws often detect leftover bone fragments from the surgery. This can make it painful for these cats as they step on these tiny bone fragments when they walk.
Cats can continue to feel pain after the declawing procedure. Part of a cat’s weight is distributed on its toes – so after the declawing process their gait must change to redistribute their weight through their paws. Declawing can affect a cat’s balance. Cats rely on their paws, and claws, for behavioral and grooming needs. Their claws help them to protect and defend themselves.
Studies suggest that declawed cats are more likely to have health problems, such as back pain, or behavioral problems. Declawing is a surgical procedure, so cats are at risk for surgical complications such as excessive bleeding, swelling, infections, paw pad lacerations, nerve damage, lameness, and chronic pain. Even using the litter box can be painful on declawed paws.
There are times when this procedure might be necessary. This bill does allow veterinarians to do this procedure for therapeutic reasons, such as a severely infected nail bed or tumor.
New York recently passed a law to ban declawing. Declawing is outlawed in nine U.S. cities—Denver, Colorado and eight cities in California—and in the Canadian provinces of Nova Scotia, British Columbia, Newfoundland and Prince Edward Island. Cat declawing is already illegal in many countries in Europe, including the UK, as well as Brazil, Israel, Australia and New Zealand.
Our cats look up to us and count on us to care for and protect them. Declawing is an act of mutilation that should not be done for our benefit. There are far more humane, inexpensive, and effective ways to stop our cats from scratching the furniture.
Thank you for protecting cats from nontherapeutic declawing!
Thank you again for being an advocate for Maryland’s animals. Remember, Maryland Votes for Animals, Inc. can only succeed with the help of animal advocates like you. Please consider making a donation to Maryland Votes for Animals at voteanimals.org/donate now, so we can continue fighting for Maryland animals.
With compassion, Maryland Votes for Animals, Inc.