Possible Ban on Cat Declawing: Illinois May Join Two Other States in Outlawing the Controversial Practice


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SPRINGFIELD – While some may argue that declawing cats is a necessary measure to prevent them from destroying furniture and other household items, the reality is that it causes significant harm to these animals. With the potential ban of declawing in Illinois, many veterinarians are hoping that this cruel practice will finally come to an end.

Dr. Teachout, a Chicago-based veterinarian, points out that declawing often leads to behavioral and medical problems for cats, including increased biting and house soiling. 

“Declawing often increases biting and house soiling, which are proven reasons for cats to be relinquished to shelters,” Dr. Teachout said in a press release Monday. “Even when cats are destructive, I’ve found there are always workable solutions that do not involve declawing, relinquishing to a shelter, or euthanasia.” 

Despite claims from some veterinarians that declawing is not a common practice, statistics suggest otherwise. According to Pawproject.org, a significant percentage of cats in the United States are declawed. This practice is not only cruel but also unnecessary, as there are many other ways to address a cat’s scratching behavior.

The Illinois State Veterinary Medical Association (ISVMA) has been vocal in its opposition to the proposed ban on declawing, but Dr. Teachout disagrees with their stance. She argues that many veterinarians are pressured into performing the procedure by customers who demand it, and that the ISVMA is disregarding the needs of animals by opposing legislation that could protect them.

Dr. Heath of Our Honor, a veterinary advocacy group, criticizes the ISVMA’s tactics in opposing the ban, calling them manipulative and emotionally charged. She notes that the ISVMA’s sample letter fails to mention the potential negative consequences of declawing, such as biting and litter box avoidance, which can make a cat more likely to end up in a shelter and less likely to be adopted.

Ultimately, if HB 1533 passes, Illinois will become the third state in the country to ban the cruel practice of declawing cats. This would be a significant victory for animal welfare, as declawing is an unnecessary and harmful procedure that should be avoided at all costs.


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