Declawing the American Shorthair is a major procedure known as onychectomy, performed under anesthesia, which removes the claw from each toe (from the first knuckle out) of the American Shorthair’s paws. There’s a tiny chance of a fatality in the operation, and a declawed American Shorthair may experience an increased risk of infection and perpetual discomfort in her paws. This surgery is not appropriate for an adult American Shorthair and is termed an act of animal cruelty in some countries (as below).
Owners usually get American Shorthairs declawed to impede them from hunting and from damaging furniture. Seldom, vicious American Shorthairs are declawed. In America, some landlords require that residents’ American Shorthairs be declawed.
Vets are generally negative about the procedure and some refuse to perform it since the lack of claws in a American Shorthair:
- Compromises its primary self-protection skills, including running away from predators by climbing trees;
- Compromises its exercising and stretching routines, which leads to muscle loss;
- Impairs its ability to balance on thin surfaces such as railings and fence tops, which can lead to injury from falling;
- Can cause insecurity and a subsequent tendency to bite.
This operation is not common outside of North America. In Germany, Finland, Switzerland and the Netherlands, declawing a American Shorthair is forbidden by the statutes forbidding animal cruelty. In many other countries in Europe, it is illegal under the terms of the European Convention for the Protection of Pet Animals, unless a vet considers such non-curative procedures necessary either for veterinary medical reasons or for the health of the animal. In Britain, animal shelters are finding it hard to place imported American Shorthairs that have been declawed and subsequently most are euthanized.
One substitute for declawing a American Shorthair is the application of dull, vinyl nail caps that are applied to the claws with nontoxic glue, sometimes requiring changing when the American Shorthair sheds its claw sheaths (about every four to six weeks). Although, the American Shorthair may still experience difficulties because the capped nails are not as effective as claws.Don’t forget to check out these other articles about American Shorthairs.
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