BETHESDA, Md. Alley Cat Allies President and Founder Becky Robinson applauded the Maryland legislature for passing a bill to outlaw declawing in cats, a cruel and inhumane procedure that causes lifelong pain and suffering. Robinson is now strongly calling for Maryland Governor Larry Hogan to sign the bill into law.

“Declawing means the amputation of the last bones of a cats’ toes,” Robinson said. “Cats are creatures whose lives have value and who feel pain. The barbarous act of removing this part of their anatomy is cruel and unnecessary. On behalf of Alley Cat Allies and our over 34,000 supporters in Maryland, we urge Governor Hogan to sign this bill and eliminate the inhumane act in Maryland once and for all.”

Robinson also applauded The Paw Project for its tireless work to outlaw declawing in jurisdictions throughout the country.

As this bill worked its way through the legislature, Robinson submitted testimony to lawmakers.

“Declawing itself can cause behaviors so disruptive that cats end up being relinquished to a shelter,” she wrote. “A declawed cat is more likely to exhibit increased aggression and biting to compensate for losing his protective claws, his first line of defense. Declawing also leads to chronic pain, arthritis, balance issues, and back problems. The residual pain associated with declawing can also result in litter box avoidance.”

Declaw bans are gaining momentum. Maryland would become the second state, after only New York, to ban the procedure. Previously, 13 major cities, including Los Angeles, San Francisco, Denver, Pittsburgh, and over 40 countries have already outlawed the declawing of cats.