How much does it cost to declaw a cat is one question asked amongst feline parents who want their cats sharp fingers taken away for one reason or another.
Declawing your cat is an emotionally debated topic; many people recommend it when you have cat trouble, and others just frown at it.
You, like many, often think that declawing is a fast fix for unwanted scratching or attacking. Remember, claws are the first-line defense of cats, and clawing is a healthy and natural behavior of cats.
Cat declawing alternatives would be to train your cat to behave in the desired manner. Declawing should be used as a last resort.
Even then, you may be wondering how much does it cost to have a cat declawed, as your cat is very naughty and will make you work too much. Cost varies widely, and many veterinary hospitals are hesitant to give a rough estimate as the charges include charges of the recovery period. Let us see the average cost of the surgery.
How Much Does It Cost To Declaw a Cat?
For countries that allow surgery, the cost can range between $100 to $500. However, there could be more costs in case of hidden complications. Procedural costs vary from clinic to hospital depending on the doctor’s experience and prestige and your pet’s medical history.
Physical Exam [Preliminary Examination]
Before the surgery takes place, the doctor needs to get a complete picture of the feline health. This helps the vet to select an appropriate method to remove the claws.
The cost differs amidst clinics. The exam fee approximately ranges from $46 to $47. The cost of the blood work is not included in the fees; it is charged. Additionally, it will be approximately around $50. A blood test is crucial to determine whether a cat has any difficulty recovering.
Types of Declawing Carried Out on Cats
There are varieties of ways available for declawing. You can choose the best type of treatment to proceed as per your veterinarian’s suggestion. In most cases, declawing is done only on the front paws.
This is one of the methods of declawing your cat. The cost falls between $100-$250. The procedure involves surgical removal of the entire first toe joint that has a nail bed. Then, a scalpel is used to sever the bone. This procedure takes more time, so your cat will have greater risks of anesthesia.
Onychectomy is the most popular method used. Even this procedure includes removal of the entire first toe joint. This region contains the nail bed. A guillotine-style nail trimmer is used for the procedure. This is the fastest way to complete the procedure of amputation. Your cat has a lower risk of spending a long time under anesthesia.
- Resco Clipper Method
Resco Clipper Method is one of the methods with the fastest surgery time. First, veterinarians use a sterilized nail trimmer to cut down the bone of the toe. As a result, the bone from which the claw originates is cat lost. After removing the claw, the incision will be closed using suture (fibrous joint) material or surgical glue.
- Laser surgery
Laser surgery is one of the most expensive methods. Averagely, it costs between $250 and $400. However, the procedure is painless compared to other procedures. The risk of surgical bleeding is also significantly less. However, it is important to know you have approached a vet who is knowledgeable in using the equipment. Otherwise, there is a possibility he burns other tissues during the process.
Other Expenses that comes with Declawing Your Cat
- Anesthesia Charges
The weight of your pet and the length of the procedure determines the usage of anesthetic. Vets prefer this surgery during 4 months of age. However, many vets do the surgery up to the age of 5.
The amount of anesthetic used and charges may differ with respect to age. In addition, some of the hospitals include anesthesia charges within the total cost. This may elevate your charges from nominal to heavy; it is important to consult your vet beforehand to get to know the exact picture.
Any surgery comes with a certain risk of infection. Vets prefer using antibiotics routinely to keep the risk of infection lower. In some cases, oral antibiotics are preferred to minimize the further risks of infection once back home. The cost is dependent on the type of antibiotics used.
- Overnight Stay
Vets prefer to keep their pet until the afternoon after observation once your pet undergoes surgery in the morning.
However, if the surgery takes place later and there is a need for an overnight stay, these charges also add up. In fact, the length of the stay is more significant in the overall cost.
The duration your pet should stay in the hospital depends on many factors. If it requires extended treatment, care, and monitoring, then the stay continues.
Remember, if your cat has been spayed or neutered also affects the duration of hospital stay.
- Pain Killers
Obviously, your cat will need some painkillers to recover from the surgery. Some painkillers may be consumed orally, while some can be injected at the clinic or hospital.
The cost of this medication depends on the type of medicine used and the duration your pet requires it. Most of the hospitals include this cost within the procedural fee. However, few determine the charges as per the need of your pet.
Now that we have answered your question: how much does it cost to declaw a cat, let’s find out how you can select a quality, affordable clinic.
Making a Choice of Cost Effective Clinic
This step is important (and makes all the difference). Surgery costs depend on the individuals as the entire procedure is customized as per your pet’s requirement.
The low cost in some clinics is billing many procedures like medications, blood tests, and extended stay separately.
The total bill has quite a few hundred dollars less. Your cat actually needs more time to recover than the estimate provided by the vet.
So, while it is important to ask him/her how much it cost to declaw a cat, it is even more important to inquire precisely more detailed questions.
Make out additional charges that may come up during preliminary tests unpredictably. Here are a couple of questions to help you out:
- Which procedure method is used?
- What are the complications and contradictions in the case as of now and likely to arise in the future?
- What will be additional costs recurred as a result of the complications mentioned above?
You can make an inquiry as regards the complete procedure in more clinics and compare them. However, chances are, it is most unlikely you will meet the veterinarians without incurring consultation or examination fees.
Arm yourself with the knowledge of variable costs and make yourself cautious to discern the additional costs. However, regarding the type of surgical procedure concerned, the competence, the success rate, and efficiency should overrule the list before the costing.
We understand it is difficult for you to cope with the scratching of the cat. But try doing the below simple tips before opting for surgery.
- Be stern and punish your cat for furniture scratching attempts. Exercise care and make your cat understand the act it is up to is punishable. However, make sure you as a person is not associated with the punishment. If you are associated with punishment, your cat may keep away from the act when you are around and go on in your absence.
- Shaking the pennies within a can or Spanking and yelling at the cat is directly associated with the person and not on the act. Using a water squirt bottle is better, but only if your cat does not see where the water comes from.
- Set up booby traps using balloons so that when your pet approaches the target and is about to scratch, the balloon bursts with a loud noise and releases pressured air. Your pet will be shocked and will be reluctant to repeat the act.
- You can attract your cat to scratch post using catnip or offering treats.
- Make your furniture undesirable by covering it with aluminum or plastic foil. You can stick the double stick tape on your sofa so that your pet finds it really hard to accomplish its task. Spraying antiperspirants also keep away your pet.
- Upholster your furniture using tough and unacceptable fabric. This can protect from tears and scratches.
- Trim your pet’s nails and keep ’em short. This is an adequate control method. However, most of the cat’s parents are not aware of the trimming procedure. Be aware of the process, and the non-pigmented nails of the cat make it super easy to identify where to cut.
- One more popular method is using blunt acrylic nail caps. These caps are glued onto the cat’s claws, and as the cap is blunt, it cannot cause damage. You can place the first set of a cap with the help of your vet. Nail caps should be replaced as they are worn out and as nails grow bigger. Mind you, some cats are capable of scratching larger holes in upholstery after wearing nail caps.
- Place lots of scratching posts in your home. Make sure the posts are tough and tall. The length of the post should allow a cat to stretch 3ft or taller. Rougher posts are needed as the soft and fluffy posts cannot withstand the attack.
Things to Know Before Declawing
Before proceeding to declaw your cat, here are things you must note.
- Claws Do Not Appear Like Our Finger Nails
Cat claws are attached to the distal phalanx (i.e., the last one of the toe). Whereas our fingernails are attached to the flesh of our fingers. To remove the claws, it has to go through the process of amputation.
- Postoperative Care
Eliminating claws I a complex procedure. Your pet has to wear bandages on its paws until the surgical incisions heal. It is important to restrict the exercise of your cat for one month after the surgery.
Replace your cat litter with shredded newspapers to prevent the litter granules from entering into the healing tissue. However, your vet may provide you with the required medication to recover. If changes in behavior, swollen paws, appetite patterns, bleeding, and reluctance to walk, contact your vet immediately.
- Type Of Surgery
Traditional surgery using a clipper or scalpel is one of the procedures. Laser surgery is another alternative available. Cats that are young and not overweight can opt for laser surgery. Tendonectomy is the surgical alternative for declawing. The tendons on the underside of the paw are cut instead of removing bones. This causes claws to remain resiled in the paw. If your pet is undergone tendonectomy, then there is a need to trim the claws regularly.
Enjoying this guide on how much does it cost to declaw a cat?
- Other Alternatives
Before you research how much it costs to declaw a cat and actually go through with the process, many vets recommend other alternatives (which we discuss later in this article).
You can distract your pet and convert this natural behavior to acceptable alternatives. Vets often advise the owners to keep the surgery as a last resort. Regular nail trims, scratching posts, using vinyl nail caps, and making furniture unattractive using deterrents are some of the tips that may work.
- Threat Of Potential Complications
Effect of Paw claw removal process can weaken the back and leg muscles. As the cat always walks on the tips of its toes, the surgery may change the way the cat’s body works.
The other complications include nerve damage, bone chips that prevent healing, postoperative hemorrhage, and if amputations are not done properly, it may result in the re-emergence of claws within the paw pads.
- Behavioral Problems
You may notice your cat becoming gradually more aggressive once declawing is done. For example, a cat without claws may feel frustrated and bite.
This may also result in defecating or urinating outside the litter box. The cat may feel shy and become anxious. On the other hand, few cats are just normal soon after the surgery.
- Surgery Becomes Essential
At times, surgery becomes necessary. For example, few cats with several toes never touched the ground, and the claws grew into her paw pads.
In this case, your vet would recommend declawing so that it does not affect the cat. It is in the best interest of the cat.
Declawing a cat using one of the two common humane methods often costs between $100 and $250, depending on the vet and which procedure is used. The “Rescoe clipper” method is more common and usually cost lesse because it is a simpler procedure and takes less time.
Commonly, declawing cats cost anywhere from $40 to$300, although it may cost $100 or so more if you use laser declawing. Although declawing can help protect your family and home, it should be avoided whenever possible. The procedure is cruel and can result in some serious complications.
Declawing a cat using one of the two common conventional methods usually costs between $100 and $250, depending on the veterinarian and which procedure is used.
Declawing a cat using any of the listed methods usually costs between $100 and $250, depending on the vet and which procedure is used. The “Rescoe clipper” method is more common of all methods and cost less.
Nowhere, you will need to pay to have this procedure done. Do not attempt to declaw your cat on your own when clearly you lack the practical knowledge.
The only humane way to declaw a cat is by allowing your vet perform the operation.
It costs between $100 and $250 to declaw a kitten. Same price for an adult cat
Pros And Cons Of Declawing Cats
Should you declaw your cats? What are the pros and cons? Let’s take a closer look.
Pros Of Declawing Cats
Cat’s that have had their claws remove pose a much lower risk to children and other pets. This is one of the biggest reasons that influence this decision.
May Save A Life
Aggressive cats that have severe behavior problems pose a safety risk due to their claws. Getting them removed saves these cats from having to be euthanized or left at a shelter because of their behavior.
Cats scratch, it is a natural thing for them to do. Expensive furniture often suffers because of this feline trait. Declawed cats cannot scratch up furniture. Thereby saving its owner money!
Normal Function Remains
While there are some bad side effects of the procedure, most normal functions can still be performed without problems. This includes climbing, walking, and pad sensations.
May Improve Relationships
Due to the fact that the cat can no longer scratch humans and other animals, their relationships with them may improve greatly. You are able to feel a closer bond with an animal that you are not afraid of.
Cons of Declawing Cats
Weakened Self Defense
Cats that have had their claws removed may feel extremely cornered because their main line of defense was taken. This level of hostility can actually make them act out even more.
The hostility and pain that cats typically experience after this procedure can cause severe troublesome behavior problems. Not using the litter box is the most common. This is due to the pain that they feel in their feet, the litter box may make it worse. They will stop using it and this will become habit.
It’s An Amputation
When a cat is declawed it is not just the claw that is removed. In order to remove the claw the actual toe is also shortened at the knuckles. This is equal to removing your fingertips.
If a cat has serious behavior problems, then declawing may not solve these issues. Cats still have their teeth and back claws to defend themselves or attack with.
The tendons that are cut during the medical procedure of declawing can cause a cat to develop arthritis in their paws. This is a very painful injury for the cat.
The bones that are left in the paw after the procedure can continue to dig into the skin. This digging is extremely painful and can cause serious problems like infections.
Let Cats Be Cats
Scratching is a completely necessary and natural trait of cats. This feline behavior is normal and should not be altered.
In many cases, declawing of a cat is not a complete necessity. People often think that it is their only option, but it is often not.
There is a very high amount of things that can go wrong during the medical procedure done to declaw cats. This risk is higher than with most other veterinarian procedures done.
Important Facts about Cat Declawing
Cats scratch for many reasons. It is normal feline behavior to help them maintain their nails, preserve muscle tone, defend themselves and mark their territories.
There is a common alternative procedure to declawing called tenectomy. This involves cutting and disconnecting the tendons that extend the claws out. This also has medical consequences, however.
Cats, even felines with troublesome scratching tendencies, calm down significantly as they age. So if your cat is exhibiting these behaviors, give it time!
There is a rapidly growing number of veterinarians who are refusing to declaw cats. They consider it cruel and inhumane, the unnecessary form of mutilation.
Cat Declawing Alternatives
Here are 5 furniture-saving and cat declawing alternatives or humane alternatives to getting your cat declawed.
Cats are opportunists and will always pick the best option if they’re given the chance. Since they’re instinctually driven to scratch, they’ll dig their claws into whatever is available. Adding a scratching post or two to your home can redirect her scratching habits to a more appropriate place. Choosing a scratching post that’ll be more alluring than the side of your couch isn’t always easy but is always worth it!.
If you have an indoor cat that doesn’t need sharp claws to defend her against other animals, simply trimming her claws is a great option. Make sure you understand how to trim her claws safely before you embark on this process. If you don’t feel confident that you can trim them without harming her you can get them trimmed by a groomer or your veterinarian.
Several companies like Soft Paws make caps that fit over your cat’s individual nails. While wearing nail caps, your cat will still be able to get the stress relief and stretching benefits of scratching.
Several companies like Soft Paws make caps that fit over your cat’s individual nails. While wearing nail caps, your cat will still be able to get the stress relief and stretching benefits of scratching without leaving a trace on your furniture.
If you’re concerned your cat won’t be able to shed the outer layer of her claw while wearing the caps, Soft Paws says “As the outer layer of the nail sheds, it takes the nail cap along with it. There are 40 nail caps per package, enough for 4 front paw applications.”
Because scratching is a healthy behavior for your cat, you should only use deterring methods if you’re also providing her with a more acceptable option like a scratching post. Once you’ve introduced her to the new scratching post (and perhaps sprinkled a bit of catnip on it to make it more exciting) you can use tin foil or double sided tape to cover the undesirable spot. They should feel uncomfortable enough on her paws to deter her.
Inappropriate scratching can be a sign that your cat is really stressed out. In a multi-cat home, cats also use scratching to mark their territory– both visually and with the scent glands located in their paws.
Soft Paws diffusers use a synthetic version of the pheromones cats use to mark places and objects they’ve deemed to be safe and comfortable. Using a Feliway diffuser can effectively trick a cat that is stressed or territorial into feeling happy and content enough to stop scratching.
I hope I have answered your question about how much does it cost to declaw a cat clearly. If you have found it useful and wish to express your response, please drop them in our comments section. Let your cat claw through happily in a harmless way.
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