Declawing a Ragdoll is an intense operation known as onychectomy, performed under anesthesia, that removes the claw from each toe (from the first knuckle out) of the Ragdoll’s paws. There is a remote chance of a fatality in the operation, and a declawed Ragdoll may have an increased risk of infection and permanent discomfort in its paws. This surgery is not advised for an adult Ragdoll and is considered an act of animal cruelty in some countries (below).
People generally get Ragdolls declawed to impede them from hunting and from damaging furniture. Rarely, vicious Ragdolls are declawed. In the US, some landlords demand that tenants’ Ragdolls be declawed.
Veterinarians are generally negative about the surgery and at times decline to do it because the lack of claws in a Ragdoll:
- Hampers its main defense skills, like running away from predators by climbing trees;
- Hampers its exercising and stretching routines, leading to muscle loss;
- Hinders its ability to balance on narrow surfaces such as fence tops and railings, leading to injury from falling;
- Can cause insecurity and as a result a tendency to bite.
The surgery is uncommon outside of North America. In the Netherlands, Finland, Germany and Switzerland, declawing a Ragdoll is illegal by the statutes forbidding animal cruelty. In many other countries in Europe, it is not allowed under the terms of the European Convention for the Protection of Pet Animals, unless a vet deems such non-curative procedures beneficial either for veterinary medical reasons or for the health of the animal. In the United Kingdom, animal shelters find it tough to place imported Ragdolls that have been declawed and as a result most are euthanized.
An substitute for declawing a Ragdoll is the use of wide, vinyl claw caps that are stuck to the claws with harmless glue, requiring periodic changing when the Ragdoll loses its claw sheaths (about every 4 to 6 weeks). However, the Ragdoll will still have difficulties since the capped nails are not as effective as claws.Don’t forget to check out these other articles about Ragdolls.
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