Maryland Residents: Ban Cat Declawing


This action is ONLY for residents of Maryland

On February 19, Maryland’s House Environment and Transportation Committee will hold a meeting to discuss an important bill to prohibit the declawing of cats, an outdated surgery that does harm to a cat’s physical, mental, and emotional well-being.

According to top veterinary experts, declawing does not protect human health or keep more cats in homes. In fact, just the opposite. The behavior and medical issues caused by declawing, such as biting, avoiding the litter box, and chronic pain and arthritis, are the main reasons cats are relinquished.

Claws are an extremely important part of a cat’s anatomy and should stay on their paws. There is never a need to declaw.  There are inexpensive and effective ways to redirect unwanted scratching. Declawing is a non-therapeutic practice, meaning it has no benefit for a cat. It’s time for it to end.

On or before February 17, ask your House Environment and Transportation Committee to support HB 445 and ban declawing in Maryland


  • State Representative Charles J. Otto
  • State Representative David 'Dave' Fraser-Hidalgo
  • State Representative Brooke E. Lierman
  • State Representative Dana M. Stein
  • State Representative Mary A. Lehman
  • State Representative Carl L. Anderton Jr.
  • State Representative Anne Healey
  • State Representative Jim W. Gilchrist
  • State Representative Regina T. Boyce
  • State Representative Marvin 'Mel' E. Holmes Jr.
  • State Representative Melissa Wells
  • State Representative Bill Wivell
  • State Representative Dalya Attar
  • State Representative Jen Terrasa
  • State Representative Kumar P. Barve
  • State Representative Gerald 'Jerry' W. Clark
  • State Representative Vaughn Stewart
  • State Representative Andrea Fletcher Harrison
  • State Representative Neil C. Parrott
  • State Representative Sara Love
  • State Representative Barrie S. Ciliberti
  • State Representative Jay Jalisi
  • State Representative Jay A. Jacobs


Please Support House Bill 445 to Prohibit the Declawing of Cats

Dear [Decision Maker],

As a resident of Maryland, I thank you on behalf of my fellow constituents and our state's animals for considering HB 445. I am writing today to urge you to support this critical bill to prohibit the declawing of cats, a practice that has negative effects on a cat's physical, mental, and emotional well-being.

Declawing, an amputation also known as onychectomy, is not done for medical purposes. The most common reason for this non-therapeutic surgery is the protection of furniture. However, there are inexpensive and effective deterrents to redirect a cat's natural scratching behavior, such as regular nail trims, nail caps, deterrent sprays, and even training the cat to scratch in appropriate areas.

Declawing will not keep more cats in homes--a fact that the American Association of Feline Practitioners (AAFP) acknowledges. A recent study found that the primary reasons people relinquish their pets are behavioral issues and medical costs that are direct consequences of declawing. These issues include, and are not limited to, increased biting, litter box avoidance, chronic pain, balance issues, arthritis, and back problems.

Declawing does not protect human health. The National Institutes of Health, The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the U.S. Public Health Service, the Infectious Diseases Society of America, and the Canadian Medical Association all have specifically stated that declawing is "not advised" even for the cats of persons who are severely immunocompromised, including those with HIV.

There is never a reason to remove a cat's claws, which are an essential part of her anatomy, unless a medical procedure is necessary to improve her health. That procedure would not be declawing as we know it. That is why I want Maryland to enact a declaw ban like those in place in New York State, seven of the ten Canadian provinces, eight cities in California, St. Louis, Missouri, and the City and County of Denver, Colorado.

Declawing is not performed in most of the world. Please ensure Maryland can join those many, many humane communities. Please support HB 445 and ban declawing.

[Your Name]
[Your Address]
[City, State ZIP]
[Your Email]


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