Is Declawing Cats Legal in Indiana? Here’s What You Need to Know
I'm one of the few men I know who likes cats. I had cats growing up and have had a few since moving out on my own many, many years ago. We had a majority of those declawed because, at the time, that's what you did. We didn't know any better. We were just trying to protect the furniture. However, opinions change as we're exposed to new information, and the practice of having a cat declawed is considered inhumane by many people. As a matter of fact, the procedure has been outlawed in a number of cities and states over the years. Is Indiana one of them?
We currently have two cats at our house. One is 10 or 11 years old that we've had since he was a kitten, and the other is getting close to two years old which we took in when he was around eight weeks old. We had the older one declawed when we had him neutered, because, again, at the time that's what you did with cats and we didn't know any better. Once we learned how the procedure works, we decided against having it done to the younger one which is obvious if you come to our house and look at vinyl on our dining room chairs.
How Cats Are Declawed
The procedure of declawing a cat isn't simply removing the claws from the tips of its toes like if you decided to remove one of your fingernails for some strange reason. In order to declaw a cat, a veterinarian literally cuts off the ends of the cat's toes at the first knuckle which is essentially the equivalent of cutting the ends of your fingers off in humans.
Cities and States That Have Banned Declawing
As information about the procedure has become more widely known over the years, many people have called on their state legislatures to ban it altogether. 42 countries around the world have banned it, while here in the U.S., more cities than states have laws in place making it illegal.
As it stands right now, only two states have passed laws making the procedure illegal; New York and Maryland. However, a few states, including our neighbors to the west in Illinois, have introduced legislation as recently as this year (2023) attempting to ban the practice.
At this time, Indiana does not have a law on the books, nor is there any evidence that a state representative or state senator has proposed one, meaning that for now, the procedure is legal in the Hoosier State.
With that said, you may be hard-pressed to find a veterinarian in your area that would be willing to do it unless there is a really strong argument for why it would be in the cat's best interest.
The Paw Project lists the vets from every state who refuse to do the procedure. You can see the Indiana list here.