The Act of Declawing Cats is Now Illegal in Maryland

October 1, 2022


Maryland has become the second state in the county to ban the act of declawing cats, unless deemed necessary for therapeutic purposes. It was banned in New York in 2019. The bill was approved back in April and Governor Hogan signed it for the law to go into effect on October 1. Sen. Cheryl Kagan and Del. Lorig Charkoudian,  both Montgomery County Democrats, were the lead sponsors for the bill in their respective houses.

According to the Humane Society, declawing involves the amputation of the last bone of each toe. If performed on a human being, it would be like cutting off each finger at the last knuckle.

According the Maryland General Assembly, the law authorizes the State Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners to “impose certain disciplinary actions on a veterinary practitioner for willful violations of the prohibition; providing that a violation of the Act is a civil offense; and providing that a person who violates the Act is subject to a fine of up to $1,000.”