Declawing the American Curl is a major procedure called a onychectomy, performed under anesthesia, that removes the claw of each digit (from the first knuckle out) of the American Curl’s paws. There’s a tiny chance of a fatality in the operation, and a declawed American Curl might have a slight risk of infection and life-long pain in its paws. This procedure isn’t suitable for an adult American Curl and is termed an act of animal cruelty in some countries (see below).
People typically have American Curls declawed to prevent them from hunting and from damaging furniture. Seldom, vicious American Curls are declawed. In the United States, some landlords demand that tenants’ American Curls are declawed.
Doctors are typically critical of the surgery and some decline to do it since the absence of claws in a American Curl:
- Impairs its primary defense abilities, such as running away from predators by climbing trees;
- Reduces its exercising and stretching routines, which can lead to muscle atrophy;
- Hinders its ability to balance on thin surfaces such as railings and fence tops, which could lead to injury from falls;
- Can cause insecurity and as a result a biting habit.
This operation is not common outside of North America. In the Netherlands, Finland, Germany and Switzerland, declawing a American Curl is not allowed per the laws forbidding cruelty to animals. In many other European countries, it is illegal under the terms of the European Convention for the Protection of Pet Animals, unless a veterinarian considers such non-curative procedures beneficial either for veterinary medical reasons or for the health of the American Curl. In Britain, animal shelters are finding it hard to place imported American Curls that have been declawed and as a result most are killed.
An alternative to declawing a American Curl is the application of wide, vinyl claw caps that are adhered to the claws with nontoxic glue, requiring periodic changing when the American Curl sheds its claw sheaths (about every four to six weeks). Yet, the American Curl will still have difficulties since the capped nails are not as effective as claws.Don’t forget to check out these other articles about American Curls.
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