Declawing a Maine Coon is an intense procedure called a onychectomy, performed with anesthesia, that eliminates the claw from each toe (from the first knuckle out) of the Maine Coon’s paw. There’s a remote chance of a fatality during the surgery, and a declawed Maine Coon may have an increased risk of infection and perpetual discomfort in his paws. This operation isn’t recommended for an adult Maine Coon and is called an act of animal cruelty in some places (see below).
Owners typically have Maine Coons declawed to prevent them from hunting and from damaging furniture. Seldom, vicious Maine Coons are declawed. In the US, some landlords demand that tenants’ Maine Coons be declawed.
Doctors are typically negative about the operation and at times refuse to perform it since the absence of claws in a Maine Coon:
- Impairs its main self-protection skills, including running away from predators by climbing trees;
- Inhibits its stretching and exercise routines, which leads to muscle atrophy;
- 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 surgery is rarely performed outside of North America. In Finland, Germany, the Netherlands and Switzerland, declawing a Maine Coon is illegal by the laws against 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 necessary either for veterinary medical reasons or for the benefit of the Maine Coon. In England, animal shelters are finding it tough to place imported Maine Coons that have been declawed and as a result most are killed.
One substitute for declawing a Maine Coon is the use of blunt, vinyl claw caps that are stuck to the claws with safe glue, requiring periodic changing when the Maine Coon sheds its claw sheaths (about every 4 to 6 weeks). Yet, the Maine Coon may still experience difficulties because the capped nails are not as effective as claws.Don’t forget to check out these other articles about Maine Coons.
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