General Question

seekingwolf's avatar

How much does it cost to declaw a cat/kitten?

Asked by seekingwolf (10387points) April 24th, 2012

No one freak out. I’m not planning on doing it (I don’t even have a cat).

I was just wondering how much such a procedure would cost, in the US. Does it matter whether you do it on a kitten or when the cat is older? I’ve heard varying opinions.

Please, let’s not turn this into a PETA scene with sob videos. I just want to know more about the procedure itself, objectively, in the ways that I asked above.

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20 Answers

Moegitto's avatar

It depends on the Vet, there are some that will charge more because they don’t believe in declawing and there are some that will charge a standard rate. It’s hard to find a price because declawing a cat will actually cause FAR more problems for you down the line, without their claws they will use their teeth. I’m not trying to detour you or anything, I’m just saying that finding a price will be difficult, I’ve actually searched Google while I typed this answer and I’m having a hard time finding a price even in the ball park range.

Found a link, there are some ballpark prices, I don’t know where you are so you might be able to call a Vet/Pet hospital and get a tighter price range. Sorry I couldn’t help more :(

Moegitto's avatar

Also, it would be better if you did it to an older cat. The surgery isn’t removing “the claws”, it’s removing the first knuckle of the front paws. As you can guess doing this while the cat is young will cause growing pains. Plus older cats have already learned how to deal with pain, kittens will make “noise”. A lot of meowing and whining.

Coloma's avatar

@Moegitto ” older cats have already learned to deal with pain, kittens will make noise. ”
WTF! That’s a ridiculous statement if I ever heard one. Pain is pain, age makes no difference and anything in pain makes “noise.” “A lot of meowing and whining.” Oh brother!

Moegitto's avatar

@Coloma Cat’s hide pain, kittens haven’t learned that at a young age. It’s part of their survival skills, they hide pain to avoid looking weak to stronger predators.

I’m not attacking you or anything Coloma, but why is it that people with high fluther rank always seem to come out and instantly attack people? This is the second time someone with high fluther did it to me.

Coloma's avatar

@Moegitto I am not attacking you, just saying that I feel that statement is silly. True, all animals mask their pain but it doesn’t mean they don’t feel it My response was just rather incredulous but not meant as an attack. Sorry if it felt that way and “rank” didn’t ever cross my mind, it never does.

Aethelflaed's avatar

It varies by region and vet. Normal declawing is usually $100—$500. A newer method, laser declawing, usually costs a bit more ($50–150 more), to pay off for the new laser machine. However, laser declawing is usually less painful, makes it so there’s virtually no blood, and has a faster recovery time.

seekingwolf's avatar

Cool, thanks for the answers.

Response moderated (Unhelpful)
Skaggfacemutt's avatar

The price varies a lot, so shop around. All of my cats are declawed. I did pay the extra cost of pain meds, just to be sure. When I was a kid, we never declawed the cats, but then we had shredded furniture and snagged curtains AND we lived in the country, so the cats went outside. Nowadays people pay too much for their things to have them ruined, and most of us live in the city where the cats can’t go outside due to traffic.

gambitking's avatar

Declawing is most common for household kittehs as an alternative to shredded furniture, etc. But for this purpose, there’s not much reason to remove their back claws, especially if your very domesticated cat needs to defend itself if it ever gets outside, it’ll still have that line of defense (they pack more punch in the hind claws). So that being said, I only had my cat’s front claws removed, and it cost me about $50 out the door, not bad at all. You might be able to find a good deal if you surf around online.

seekingwolf's avatar

To be honest, I may be getting a cat in the near future, and I’m thinking about declawing the front claws if they scratch up the furniture, even if I have a “jungle” for them to play on. I’ve had cats in the past and they always ruined the furniture, no matter what we did. I mean, just RUINED it. I don’t want that to happen again. I’ve also been scratched by some playful cats and have gotten a scratch infected. Their claws can harbour a lot of bacteria. :( However, I lived in the country so all enjoyed going outside and hunting little mice, so declawing was not an option.

My next cat would ALWAYS be indoor only, no exceptions. I’m moving to the city soon so yeah.

I was worried about voicing my situation here because I was worried I’d have some PETA person come by and virtually splash blood on me, or whatever those guys do when they are mad.

Moegitto's avatar

Both cats and dogs hold ton’s or bacteria on and in them. Look up the toxi- class of worms that cats get, they can easily spread to the baby of a pregnant woman while the cat itself is suffering no symptoms or problems themselves. But just because you remove the claws doesn’t mean they can’t still do some sort of damage to you that will leave an infection. What you had was cat scratch fever, declawed cats revert to using their teeth for self-defense.

I’m not a cat person, so I don’t care if you dehead a cat, but I’m a diabetic so I know a lot about infections and I can tell you bites are far worse than scratches because of the mixed bacteria in the mouths of animals. If you declaw a cat it’s normally a good idea to get them on some sort of mood stabilizers to help with the anxiety of not having their main defense mechanisms anymore, your cat will go into a reclusive state after the surgery and you want to prevent this or the cat will grow to dislike humans.

mothermayi's avatar

Both my cats are declawed in the front and it wasn’t horribly expensive. I think it was about $200? Also, my vet told me they do it a different way, so as to not actually remove the knuckles. I have no idea if he was telling the truth or not, but my cats’ paws don’t look like they’re missing knuckles. I also paid more for extra pain medication. I didn’t want my poor kitties to be hurting badly.

Skaggfacemutt's avatar

@Moegitto None of my cats (or my sister’s declawed cats) have ever bitten anyone. They have never gone through anxiety for not having claws because they don’t seem to know. When they get mad at each other, they “powder-puff” each other with their paws and think that they are beating each other up. My cats still sharpen their “claws” on the furniture and scratching post. And they all still love humans.

elsamay30's avatar

De-clawing cats is cruel and unnecessary….............Maybe choose a different type of pet??

seekingwolf's avatar

I should be getting a cat (strictly indoors forever, not living with any other pets) in the next few months. Depending on the cat and circumstances, I may need to get the front claws declawed. I’ll see…if I don’t have to, I won’t. The vet I know removes them very cleanly and humanely and she would give me pain meds and anti-inflammatory drugs as well. So it’s still an option for me.

SpatzieLover's avatar

@seekingwolf I wish you the best. ALL of my cats, but one have been declawed. I tend to take in some wilder cats and tame them.

Having their claws taken out is not cruel, in some cases it is necessary. If you are willing to open your heart & home to a cat and you have found a responsible vet then it sounds like you’re on a great path.

Responsible vets do not practice cruelty. We do the pain shot and take home at least 10 days of pain meds. If you do as instructed and keep the cat isolated (bedrooms are great for isolation), and prevent jumping/leaping, the cat will heal quickly and be almost pain-free.

seekingwolf's avatar

Thanks Spatzielover. That’s what the vet said too: at least a week of pain medications after surgery. I really trust the vet’s office that I go to because they have done well for our pets, and our dog has a chronic heart condition and they have managed her care well.

I agree – sometimes it’s necessary. I would never declaw a cat that has to be outside and possibly defend itself from other animals. But if it can heal properly, save my furniture, possibly my security deposit, etc…then I don’t see it as a bad thing.

wildpotato's avatar

Seems I came to this question far too late, but FWIW – my cat was declawed as a kitten and she is one of the unfortunates who experienced complications from the surgery throughout her life. The entire first year after the surgery she could not walk on her front paws more than a step or so at a time, and would sit on her haunches in a “chipmunk” stance and meow piteously to be moved to her litterbox, her food, and her bed. The vet told us she was allergic to the surgical glue they used, but I suspect he did a botched job – and this was a vet our family had seen for years and were very happy with. After the first year she has walked stiffly and sometimes with a limp ever since, and now that she’s old she has trouble jumping down and I put cushions everywhere on the floor for her for this reason.

So I dunno if @seekingwolf ended up getting her cat declawed or not, but I just wanted to put a negative experience on this thread to counterbalance all the positive ones related above for future readers. Future readers: Don’t get your cat declawed. If you require a declawed cat, go to a shelter and pick out a cat that was surrendered already declawed. If your cat with claws is destroying your furniture, try Soft Paws and training. Cats are as trainable as dogs as long as only positive reinforcement is used. If you cannot address the problem with strenuous effort, the solution is not declawing – it is rehoming.

seekingwolf's avatar

I have 2 cats now.

One is an older cat. He ruins furniture. I hate it. He won’t respond to training but I put up with it. If he were not older, I would pony up the money to declaw him. But he is too old so I won’t. I know how he reacts to anesthesia. I have him put out once a year to have his teeth cleaned. He has horrible teeth.

My other cat is a younger cat. She could be declawed but she isn’t a scratcher so no need.

I think the reason why many cats have issues is because vets do it the cheap way. They actually cut off the toes with a giant clipper. Horrible.

If I am going to declaw in the future, and you can bet I will if I get a scratchy kitty who is younger, I will not go the cheap route. I will pay $500+ or whatever it is to get them properly surgically removed. Not cut off.

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