ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) — Cats with claws can destroy furniture or, worse, take a swipe at your eye. But it could soon be illegal to have a cat declawed in Illinois.
The Illinois House passed House Bill 1533 which amends the Humane Care for Animals Act, which forbids declawing cats for anything other than a medical reason.
The law fines owners $500 to $2,500 if they have their cats declawed.
According to the Humane Society, the surgical procedure can cause paw pain, back pain, infection, tissue necrosis, and lameness.
The Humane Society also says that removing a cat’s claws changes the way a cat’s foot meets the ground. And, improperly removed claws can regrow, causing nerve damage and bone spurs.
Long term, declawing a cat can manifest in behaviors such as urinating outside of a litter box and aggression or biting.
Experts say applying nail caps is a non-surgical alternative to declawing a cat.
According to the Paw Project, between 25% and 43% of American cats have been declawed.