(CBS DETROIT) - Michigan lawmakers are considering a bill that wouldin the state. Opponents of the bill said the decision to declaw should be left to pet owners and their vets, while supporters said the bill would prevent unnecessary harm to cats.
House Bill 4674 is sponsored by Rep. Jimmie Wilson Jr., D-Ypsilanti, among others. It would ban cat declawing except when medically necessary.
Michigan Humane is in support of the bill. Crystal Sapp, vice president of veterinary medicine said pet owners need to understand that declawing does more than remove a cat's nails.
"Essentially declawing is basically an amputation of the first digit. So that prevents regrowth of the nail, but actually is a full amputation," said Sapp.
She said she understands pet owners want to prevent scratching or get protection for their furniture, but there are other ways. For instance, she trims her cat's nails.
"You just kind of push on this little paw pad, and you can see the little nail come out. And you do a little light trimming. Honestly, you can use a human nail trimmer to do it. Their nails are not very thick."
She said cat owners can also find out what kind of scratching post their pet responds to.
"There are caps that you can put on there that are soft and silicone, they come in different colors."
If the bill is passed into law, Michigan would be the third state to ban cat declawing, joining New York and Maryland.
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