Declawing a Scottish Fold is an intense procedure known as onychectomy, performed under anesthesia, which eliminates the claw of each digit (from the first knuckle out) of the Scottish Fold’s paws. There’s a slight possibility of a fatality in the operation, and a declawed Scottish Fold might have an increased risk of infection and permanent pain in its paws. This procedure isn’t appropriate for a full-grown Scottish Fold and is considered an act of animal cruelty in some regions (as below).
Owners generally have Scottish Folds declawed to prevent them from damaging furniture and hunting. Rarely, vicious Scottish Folds are declawed. In America, some landlords require that tenants’ Scottish Folds are declawed.
Vets are usually negative about the surgery and some refuse to perform it since the lack of claws in a Scottish Fold:
- Inhibits its primary defense skills, such as escaping from predators by climbing trees;
- Hampers its stretching and exercise habits, leading to muscle atrophy;
- Deprives it of its ability to balance on narrow surfaces such as railings and fence tops, leading to injury from falls;
- Can lead to insecurity and as a result a biting habit.
The operation is rare outside of North America. In Germany, Finland, Switzerland and the Netherlands, declawing a Scottish Fold is not allowed by the laws against cruelty to animals. In many other countries in Europe, it is illegal under the terms of the European Convention for the Protection of Pet Animals, unless a doctor deems such non-curative procedures necessary either for veterinary medical reasons or for the health of the animal. In the UK, animal shelters find it hard to place imported Scottish Folds that have been declawed and subsequently most are killed.
An substitute for declawing a Scottish Fold is the application of dull, vinyl nail caps that are affixed to the claws with harmless glue, requiring periodic replacement when the Scottish Fold sheds its claw sheaths (about every 4 to 6 weeks). Although, the Scottish Fold will still experience problems because the capped nails are not as effective as claws.Don’t forget to check out these other articles about Scottish Folds.
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