Declawing the Burmilla is an intense procedure called a onychectomy, performed using anesthesia, which removes the claw from each digit (from the first knuckle out) of the Burmilla’s forepaws. There is always a remote possibility of death during the surgery, and a declawed Burmilla may experience an increased risk of infection and life-long pain in its paws. This operation isn’t appropriate for an adult Burmilla and is referred to as an act of animal cruelty in some places (shown below).
People typically have Burmillas declawed to hinder them from damaging furniture and hunting. Rarely, vicious Burmillas are declawed. In the US, some landlords demand that tenants’ Burmillas are declawed.
Animal doctors are typically negative about the procedure and many refuse to perform it because the lack of claws in a Burmilla:
- Hinders its main self-protection abilities, like escaping from predators by climbing trees;
- Impairs its exercising and stretching routines, which leads to muscle atrophy;
- Impairs its ability to walk on thin surfaces like fence tops and railings, leading to injury from falls;
- Can lead to insecurity and as a result a tendency to bite.
This procedure is not common outside of North America. In Germany, Finland, Switzerland and the Netherlands, declawing a Burmilla is not allowed by the laws against 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 vet deems such non-curative procedures necessary either for veterinary medical reasons or for the health of the Burmilla. In Britain, animal shelters are finding it hard to place imported Burmillas that have been declawed and as a result many are killed.
An alternative to declawing a Burmilla is the application of blunt, vinyl nail caps that are adhered to the claws with harmless glue, requiring periodic changing when the Burmilla loses its claw sheaths (about every 4 to 6 weeks). Although, the Burmilla may still have problems because the capped nails are not as effective as claws.Don’t forget to check out these other articles about Burmillas.
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