Declawing the Russian Black is a major operation known as onychectomy, performed with anesthesia, which removes the claw from each digit (from the first knuckle out) of the Russian Black’s paws. There’s a slight chance of a fatality during the operation, and a declawed Russian Black may have an increased risk of infection and permanent discomfort in his paws. This procedure isn’t advised for an adult Russian Black and is termed an act of animal cruelty in some countries (as below).
Owners usually get Russian Blacks declawed to hinder them from damaging furniture and hunting. Seldom, vicious Russian Blacks are declawed. In the US, some landlords require that residents’ Russian Blacks are declawed.
Vets are generally critical of the surgery and at times refuse to do it since the lack of claws in a Russian Black:
- Hinders its primary self-protection abilities, including escaping from predators by climbing trees;
- Deprives it of its stretching and exercise habits, leading to muscle loss;
- Deprives it of its ability to walk on narrow surfaces like railings and fence tops, which can lead to injury from falling;
- Can lead to insecurity and a subsequent tendency to bite.
This procedure is rarely performed outside of North America. In Finland, Germany, the Netherlands and Switzerland, declawing a Russian Black is forbidden by the statutes forbidding animal cruelty. In many other countries in Europe, it is prohibited 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 animal. In the UK, animal shelters are finding it hard to place imported Russian Blacks that have been declawed and as a result most are euthanized.
One alternative to declawing a Russian Black is the use of blunt, vinyl nail caps that are stuck to the claws with harmless glue, sometimes requiring changing when the Russian Black loses its claw sheaths (about every four to six weeks). Yet, the Russian Black may still have difficulties since the capped nails are not as effective as claws.Don’t forget to check out these other articles about Russian Blacks.
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