How Much Does It Cost To Declaw a Cat – Cat Declawing Benefits and Cost

Usually, the name ‘cat’ brings to us an image of a furry little bundle of joy, which we cajole and hug as part of our lives. The domestic cats reared in homes are known by the Latin name ‘Felis catus’ or ‘Felis silvestris catus’.

They are kept as pets for companionship and kept as guard on storerooms to ward off mouse and other household pets. The primitive man who became a farmer must have been the one to domesticate a cat to keep mice from fields, in the first kind of human villages.

Similar to dogs, they have exceptional sense of smell, sight and ability to catch their prey with success. In this article, you will have information on whether declawing of cats is necessary and how much does it cost to declaw a cat in all type of treatments. The first domestication of felines is believed to be in ancient Egypt and domestic cats trace their ancestors to wild cats of Africa.

Cat Health Benefits

Seldom does man think of different ways of improving health. If you have a pet, recent medicinal studies have identified numerous health benefits such as low risk in heart diseases and heart attacks, increase of immunity against common cold and allergies, reduction in stress, anxiety, depression and loneliness.

It has been found that people with cats tend to be smarter than people with dogs.

A cat scratching their claws is a natural phenomenon, but many people make a hue and cry of it. They usually push in and out their legs so that they can stretch their body. History dates the habit back to the good old ages – wild felines have to pat tall grass or soft earth so that they can make a soft bed for sleeping purposes or while giving birth to young ones. The behavior has stayed for ages and your pet does according to its natural instinct prior to giving rest to its body and go for a long sleep.

Animal behavior researchers have found that scent glands exist in soft pads at the bottoms of the paws. When they claw or knead, some of the scent is released which marks a territorial boundary for other cats. In case of a female cat, if she scratches, it is an indication that she is ready to mate. So when your pet cat is kneading on your lap, it is sending signals that you are its own.

If you see your pet clawing more than normal, some change of items have taken place in household. It needs a soft pat or reassurance in words to bring it to normal.

Cats always walk on their toes and the claws are attached to the last one of their legs. They can walk silently, without making a sound, which helps them in catching their prey.

How much does it cost to declaw a cat?Like their cousins, tiger and cheetah, cats have both retractable and protractable claws. Usually, the claws are hidden inside the skin and fur around the toe pads of paws to prevent wear and tear with either the ground or other hard surfaces. The beauty of nature is that the claws on the front feet are sharper and stronger than the rear feet. They generally use their claws during self-defense, hunting, climbing on trees or walls or for grasping on soft surfaces. All of them have five claws in the front legs and four in the rear.

By scratching, they do more jobs in one action. They stretch their bodies, condition their claws, remove worn and old outer claws and expose new sharp ones. But this behavior can pose a problem for the householders as their furniture might get scratched or they can get hurt. You can help your cat and make yourself happy as well, by having cat trees or condos, so that it can scratch on those wooden structures.



Declawing, in medical terms known as Onychectomy, is best described as an operation to remove any animal’s claws through surgical means. The amputation can extend to end bones or distal phalanges in the animal’s toes. This practice is considered illegal and banned in many countries.

The process of declawing is more common in North America. But it has to be noted that no set of rules or practices have come into existence for neither surgical tools nor surgical techniques. General anesthesia or pain management techniques are recommended prior, during and after the surgery.

According to famous veterinarians, patience and proper advice given to owners of pet cats are sufficient to prevent their cats from scratching problems. An alternative method is to apply vinyl nail caps, which you can get in US under the brand names of Soft Paws – they can be affixed to pet claws by using non-toxic glue. These nail caps have to be replaced on regular intervals as pet can shed its claws’ outer cells. There are also other alternatives such as trimming of nails, channelizing the scratching behavior to other inexpensive items like cardboard etc.

The process usually depends on the procedure used and experience of veterinarian. The lower cost range points to Rescoe Slipper method, which is more common and it is a simple procedure. The other method “Disarticulation” method is more costly and will range from 100 to 500. Usually, veterinary hospitals do not give an estimation of the expenses beforehand, as it might involve additional costs.

How Much Does It Cost To Declaw A Cat?

It is better that you have a discussion with the veterinarian to determine the time, expenses and your stay in the clinic. Many will stress on the importance on having a pre-examination before conducting the operation.

The pre-examination will give the vet a detailed report of your pet’s health and pave the way for a suitable method to remove the nails. The charges will be similar to that of a vet’s normal visit and can vary from individual to another. These tests are important to determine if the wounds can get properly healed after the operation. The blood test recommended for checking the function of liver and kidney in your pet can cost 40 to 50 dollars.


1. Onychectomy

Usually, the price comes to around 100 to 250. It can be described as the most preferred treatment by vets. The surgical procedure involves removing the whole primary toe joint containing the nail bed by using a nail trimmer. The duration is small and is preferred by pet owners as their pets are given small doses of anesthesia.

2. Rescoe clipper

A sterilized clipper is used to cut the toes containing the claws and tip of bones of the claws. The incision will be stitched by the vet. The disadvantages are infection and regrowth of claws.

3. Disarticulation

The method is similar in cost price and procedure to onychectomy, but the difference is using a scalpel to sever the bone, instead of nail trimmer. The duration of operation may be more and the anesthesia has to be given in large doses to the cat which might be risky.

4. Laser Surgery

The price varies from 250 to 500 USD. Although expensive, it is less painful, but the vet has to be qualified or the process might burn the tissues around the claws.

How Much Does It Cost To Have A Cat Declawed? – Other Charges

1. Anesthesia charges

More the duration of the operation, more expensive the treatment becomes. More anesthesia is also needed for your pet to be unconscious. The amount of anesthesia given depends on the weight of your pet. If you are in the process of declawing your cat at a very nascent stage, say four months, then the amount charged will be minimum. In the discussion, ensure that this topic is taken care of or you will have to shell out some more money from your wallet.

2. One Night Stay

There are vets who perform surgery in the morning so that they can keep the animal under their care till afternoon to see any signs of discomfort. Some procedures might cause the stay overnight and the cost will be more.

3. Antibiotics

Any surgery performed, either on humans or animals, stand the risk of infection. Your pet will be given antibiotics to ward off infection. While in some surgeries, oral antibiotics are prescribed and in other cases injections can be preferred. The cost will vary on the antibiotic used in surgery.

4. Pain Killers

You are a human being and you communicate with others by language, but pets have a language of their own. The process of declawing might have been painless, but the road to recovery cannot be exempted from pain. Although you might have a very good relationship with your pet, you will not always be able to understand all the signs and gestures. Pain killers are prescribed post surgery, but the expense will depend on the type of pain killers used and the duration your pet needs. Medication patches are suggested by vets to relieve pain.

5. The best clinic to be chosen

You could bear an expensive charge for your pet, but you can be smart if you can have a questionnaire prepared to ask the vet regarding the costs and fee structure. There are chances that your pet recovery time will be more than the time prescribed by the vet. The questions might be:

  • The type of procedural method used
  • The type of complications or contraindications that can arise out of following the prescribed method
  • Types of additional costs that might incur

It is not possible to become a vet through the navigation of some internet pages. However, it is useful if you get basic information on the price, method and additional charges before selecting the best hospital or clinic. But ensure that your pet gets the best treatment irrespective of the cost.

Finding a vet who is specialized in declawing surgery might be difficult and even if you get one, there are few who approve of the idea. You can, however, ask the vet to recommend another professional who can perform this procedure. But as a pet lover, it is your duty to visit the clinic and have a discussion with the concerned person to ensure that your favorite pet is in safe hands.

How To Declaw A Cat By Yourself And Humanitarian Aspects

Many animal lovers and nature enthusiasts disagree with declawing surgery. They consider the process as entirely selfish, in which some people try to change nature for their own convenience. Nature has designed every living body based on the modifications of climate and necessary factors required for their survival. Declawing is neither a pedicure nor manicure, but it is painful surgery performed on the animal’s defensive parts. The nails or claws are adhered to the bone and in surgery the last portion of the bone has to be removed. In all cases, unless you are a vet, even if you roam the world or possess Alladin’s magic lamp, you would not know how to declaw a cat by yourself in ages. Post surgery, your cat would have to live its full life without the defensive parts. You would have to keep the pet cat indoors or it could end up being an easy prey for enemies, predators etc. For example, it cannot climb trees to escape from a dog because its body is devoid of nails.

Claws are Mother Nature’s gifts to cats to give the agility, grace and beauty. A cat can jump from a height and land on its knees without getting injured. Declawing option affects the architecture of their feet.

But declawing is also necessary/mandatory in some circumstances. If a claw has been extremely damaged or it is suffering from infection or tumor then declawing is necessary.

In homes where there are elders, a scratching cat can pose risks as they (elders) will have less immunity and they can get infected with diseases. Similar is the case of persons suffering from HIV or less immunity disorders. But in these cases, the cats can be given as pets to others instead of making them go through the declawing process.

Complications in surgery can occur multi-wise. If the surgery has not been performed properly, the claw might grow back, but not in its original form and size. There can be infection related problems or nerve damage. Your pet might start to bite because it has lost its self-defense parts and might become more aggressive.

About Author:

I'm a dog food judge. I specialize in examining dog food nutrition so that I can recommend you food that will preserve your dog's health and extend his life. Good food will help you prevent dog health problems like obesity, diabetes, pancreatitis, gastroenteritis, nutritional imbalance, and many others. Also, by preventing serious illnesses you won't have to pay huge veterinarian bill later.

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