Ginger cat sharpening claws. Michigan bill to ban cat declawing being discussed.
(Photo Credit: Elizabeth Livermore | Getty Images)

Proposed Michigan Bill Aims To Prohibit Cat Declawing

In Lansing, Michigan, supporters and opponents of a proposed House bill are engaged in a debate regarding a specific procedure that has garnered significant attention as of late. The question at hand is whether the legislation constitutes humane protection for cats or a case of government overreach.

Addressing the concerns of declawing cats

As per UpNorthLive News, the executive director of the Little Traverse Humane Society — Elise Ramsey — said, “Yeah, we have cats. We have plenty of cats in the shelter. We have a ton of cats that are looking for homes.”

The Little Traverse Bay Humane Society continuously works towards finding ideal homes for cats — a task that never ends.

Ramsey shared, “We’re actually taking about 20 more in today. So, we always have a need for placement with cats.”

Prospective adopters must go through a straightforward process, where they find a cat and fill out an application that includes providing some essential background information. Interestingly, the form also contains a section on the matter of declawing.

Ramsey said, “If somebody says yes, they are going to declaw, we’re not going to allow them to adopt that animal until we have a conversation and explain, really the horrors of declawing,”

Evidently, many animal organizations, like them, are increasingly condemning the once common practice of declawing — and they are not alone in this.

Michigan’s push to make cat declawing illegal

Michigan State Representative Jimmie Wilson, Jr. is strongly against cat declawing. He wrote House Bill 4674, which, in summary, seeks to ban the procedure under most circumstances.

According to Ramsey, the bill, as it’s worded, permits declawing only if it’s medically necessary. “So certainly, we’re not saying that any animal has to suffer if it needs a procedure relating to that,” she continued. “We’re just saying that the elective surgery of removing…the claws of the animal is inhumane.”

Should this become law, Michigan will be joining New York and Maryland as states where the procedure is prohibited. That said, several prominent veterinary associations have indicated that such legislation isn’t necessary. They argue that the decision to declaw should be left to a discussion between pet owners and their vets.

Ramsey stated, “We can’t stop that behavior because the behavior is the cat’s nature. But we can control it.” For owners who insist on a declawed cat, Ramsey suggests that there is no need to subject another feline to this procedure as there are already a number of homeless kittens that are without claws.

“There are declawed cats that exist that are looking for homes. So shelters might already have animals that have been declawed and there are always options if you have a desire to bring a pet into your home,” Ramsey said.

Although the legislation was initially presented three years ago, it didn’t gain any traction. Currently, while there is an increase in support, it remains far from being voted into law.

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