Declawing a British Shorthair is an intense procedure called a onychectomy, performed with anesthesia, that removes the claw of each toe (from the first knuckle out) of the British Shorthair’s forepaw. There is a small possibility of a fatality in the procedure, and a declawed British Shorthair might have an increased risk of infection and permanent discomfort in her paws. This operation is not advised for an adult British Shorthair and is labeled an act of animal cruelty in some countries (as shown below).
People typically get British Shorthairs declawed to hinder them from hunting and from damaging furniture. Seldom, vicious British Shorthairs are declawed. In America, some landlords demand that tenants’ British Shorthairs be declawed.
Animal doctors are typically negative about the operation and some refuse to perform it because the absence of claws in a British Shorthair:
- Hinders its primary self-protection skills, including escaping from predators by climbing trees;
- Hinders its exercising and stretching habits, which can lead to muscle atrophy;
- Compromises its ability to walk on thin surfaces like fence tops and railings, which could lead to injury from falls;
- Can lead to insecurity and as a result a biting habit.
The operation is rarely performed outside of North America. In Switzerland, the Netherlands, Germany and Finland, declawing a British Shorthair is illegal by the laws against animal cruelty. In many other European countries, it is prohibited under the terms of the European Convention for the Protection of Pet Animals, unless a veterinarian considers such non-curative procedures necessary either for veterinary medical reasons or for the health of the British Shorthair. In the UK, animal shelters find it difficult to place imported British Shorthairs that have been declawed and subsequently many are killed.
One alternative to declawing a British Shorthair is the use of blunt, vinyl claw caps that are affixed to the claws with harmless glue, requiring periodic replacement when the British Shorthair loses its claw sheaths (about every 4 to 6 weeks). However, the British Shorthair may still experience problems since the capped nails are not as effective as claws.Don’t forget to check out these other articles about British Shorthairs.
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