Cat Declawing Now Banned in Maryland

The state of Maryland has become the second in the country to prohibit cat declawing.

The procedure of declawing, which typically involves amputating the last bone of each toe, can have lifelong medical implications and adversely affect behavior, according to The Humane Society.

Although many cities in the United States prohibit cat declawing, Maryland and New York are the only states that do so.

The new law will:

  • Prohibit a veterinary practitioner from performing certain declawing procedures on a cat unless the procedure is necessary for a therapeutic purpose;
  • Authorize the State Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners to impose certain disciplinary actions on a veterinary practitioner for willful violations of the prohibition;
  • Specify that a violation of the act is a civil offense; and
  • Provide that a person who violates the law is subject to a fine of up to $1,000.

The bill, which was co-sponsored by Delegate Lorig Charkoudian (D-District 20), was approved by the Maryland General Assembly in April. The bill was signed into law by Governor Larry Hogan (R) and became effective on October 1.

Photo: © Kirill Gorlov –

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