Cat Declaw Ban (Michigan)

H.B. 4883 and H.B. 4674

Proposed legislation would prohibit cat declaw procedures in Michigan unless for therapeutic purposes.


August 2, 2023

Work Type




The Animal Legal Defense Fund supports these bills.

Sponsors: Rep. Jimmie Wilson (D-32)
Introduction Date: June 28, 2023 (H.B. 4883); May 25, 2023 (H.B. 4674)

A cat declaw ban, H.B. 4883, would prohibit declaw procedures in Michigan except for therapeutic purposes and imposes civil fines for violators. Similarly, H.B. 4674 prohibits cat declaw procedures by amending the public health code.

Declawing is an invasive surgical operation in which the last bone of each toe is amputated — similar to severing a human finger at the last knuckle. The procedure is commonly performed for convenience rather than for the cat’s well-being. For example, many people have their cats declawed to prevent them from scratching furniture. Besides post-surgical pain and the inability to perform natural behaviors like scratching, there are other negative implications for well-being associated with declawing.

New York and Maryland are the first U.S. states to ban declawing cats. Many large cities have jurisdictional bans, including Los Angeles, San Francisco, Pittsburgh, Madison, West Hollywood, Austin, Denver, Beverly Hills, and Berkeley.

Why is this law important? These laws are important because declawing is an invasive and painful surgical operation that is rarely necessary.

Coalition Support: The Humane Society of the United States, Paw Project, Humane Society of Huron Valley, Michigan Humane Society, Humane Society Veterinary Medical Association

For more information about animal protection legislation in Michigan and opportunities to take action for animals, visit

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