The cost to declaw a cat varies depending on the type of declawing procedure as well as the location of your veterinary clinic, but the average price ranges between $600 and $1,800.
Despite the fact that cat declawing is illegal in the United States, the United Kingdom, Brazil, Israel, Australia, New Zealand, and a number of other nations, some cat parents in the US nevertheless ask for this contentious medical treatment.
However, declawing a cat entails a number of hazards, including the possibility of the cat experiencing pain and discomfort down the road. As a result, it is prohibited in a few states and American towns.
Continue reading to see the benefits and drawbacks of cat declawing as well as several safe substitutes.
What is Cat Declawing?
The word "declawing" is misleading because there's more to declawing a cat than just clipping its nails. Declawing a cat involves surgically amputating the last finger, or "knuckle," on its foot. Cats get their whole nail bed removed, down to the very tip of their toes. Typically, cats that are declawed only have their front feet removed.
A declaw is a declaw right?
Sadly, no. The safest and most modern medications and anesthetic for your cat are used by veterinarians without oversight from any regulatory body in the veterinary field. You will probably find the most cost-effective veterinarian if you select the least expensive one. While the most costly might not always be the best, the least costly might very well be the worst. When you get a quote from the vet for a declaw, ask questions. Pre-anesthetic blood tests, pain management, and appropriate monitoring under anesthesia should all be included.
Why Do Cat Owners Consider Declawing?
Declawing is a common method used to discourage cats from scratching objects, people, or other animals. People with immunodeficiencies or bleeding disorders are particularly affected.
Age for Cat Declawing
Cats may adjust better if declawing is done when they are kittens rather than as adults. Nonetheless, the majority of groups oppose cat declawing, including the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), and the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA). At least thirteen localities have outlawed cat declawing, but as of now, only two states in the union prohibit it: New York and Maryland.
You just knock them out and cut off their claws right?
That's not quite how complicated it is. Anesthesia must always be treated with caution. Your cat will require close observation while the declaw is being performed. An endotracheal, or "breathing tube," is used to administer anesthesia and oxygen to your cat. Your cat will receive IV fluids and an IV catheter to help maintain a stable blood pressure and, if necessary, to provide further drugs. Your cat's anesthesia will be specially selected depending on factors such as breed, age, weight, medical history, and blood work.
Will my cat feel pain?
Not if the right safeguards are implemented. For pain management in senior cats weighing more than five pounds, a morphine patch may be utilized. Pain medications that are injectable and oral are other options. On the paws, some vets apply nerve blocks to help reduce pain during the treatment. Imagine having the bone removed from the tips of your fingers. If I didn't take the right prescription, this would hurt so bad.
Types of cat declawing procedures
While there are various techniques for cat declawing (also called onychectomy), the final digit or "knuckle" on a cat's foot is always removed. Six Here are the three primary methods of declawing as well as an other procedure that some vets do.
A sterile clipper is used in the first and most popular surgical technique to cut through the third digit.
Disarticulation, the second technique, entails severing the third bone's ligaments in order to remove the complete bone.
A third technique removes the third digit by using lasers rather than a knife. Although this approach is substantially more expensive, it results in nearly little blood and probably less pain.
Alternatively, some vets do a tendonectomy. To stop cats from stretching their claws, they make cuts in the tendons on each toe. But, if you don't give your cat frequent claw trims for the remainder of their life, issues may arise.
Cons of Declawing Cats
Declawing a cat may appear to be a safe, short-term solution to a bothersome and dangerous issue. It does not, however, take into account the impact or potential health hazards of declawing operation on the cat.
Here are some of the cons of declawing your cat:
Cats can't climb, catch prey, or defend themselves well without claws. For this reason, declawed cats should be kept inside.
- Declawing carries hazards associated with anesthesia and infection because it is a form of surgery.
- Occasionally there are excruciating, long-lasting side effects. Paw soreness, nerve damage, an irregular gait, and persistent back pain are a few examples.
- A cat that has been declawed may decide not to use his litter box in order to reduce foot pain.
- The cost of surgery can include the procedure itself, anesthesia, antibiotics, a physical examination to assess the cat's overall health, and even an overnight stay. The price may be as much as $1,800 or $600.5. Eventually, complications will drive higher expenses.
- Certain cats could experience stress and find it difficult to acclimate.
- After losing his claws, a cat that is protecting himself by scratching may bite more frequently.
Cats Have a Natural Need to Scratch
Declawing is a permanent and often painful answer to a necessary task for cats' physical and mental well-being, which makes it one of the more difficult aspects of the procedure.
Cats have a natural need to scratch. They do so for four main reasons, including:
- To cut off their claws' dead outer layer.
- They use their paws' smell glands—which are located there—as well as their visible markings to mark their territory.
- To flex and extend their claws and feet.
- When they're responding to something going on in their environment or when they're happy to see their owner.
- Teaching your cat how to scratch properly is frequently more beneficial than trying to stop them from scratching at all.
Are There Any Pros to Declawing Cats?
Typically, the pros of cat declawing consist of benefits to the owners rather than to the cat itself. The anticipated benefits include:
- Putting an end to damaging furniture or rug scratching.
- Not picking at small youngsters or those using blood thinners.
- A potential improvement in your relationship with your cat in the event that scratching created significant problems and your cat does not experience behavioral problems following surgery.
- It is not assured that all cats will recover fully and without issues.
A veterinarian may advise declawing in certain rare circumstances, such as "when a cat's excessive or inappropriate scratching behavior causes an unacceptable risk of injury or remains destructive despite conscientious attention to behavioral modification and alternatives," as stated by the AVMA.
The disadvantages mentioned in the previous section usually exceed these benefits of cat declawing. For this reason, a lot of cat owners would rather consider the options provided below.
Rather than declawing a pet, cat owners can use a number of standard options.
Are there other options?
Indeed! Declawing is turning into an antiquated practice. Declawing has even been prohibited in several states. Your cat can maintain their claws with the right deterrents, scratching posts, and training. It is possible to have a cat with claws and prevent your house from falling apart.
Safe Alternatives to Cat Declawing
Remember to clip your cat's nails every two to three weeks by setting a reminder. It's not that hard if you take the right grooming precautions.
1. Trim your cat's nails
If the thought of this happening makes you giggle, take your cat to a vet or groomer on a regular basis to have it done properly.
2. Use nail caps
Think about getting your cat some vinyl nail caps for their claws.3. These won't stop your cat's nails from growing naturally, but as they get longer, they must be changed every four to six weeks. Positive reinforcement in the form of affection and goodies will help your cat adjust more easily, just like it will to anything new you introduce to them.
3. Provide more appealing places to scratch
A more enticing place for your cat to scratch could occasionally be all they need to stop an undesirable behavior.9. Place scratching posts in the vicinity of his preferred scratching spots. Find out which your cat likes by experimenting with different textures and both vertical and horizontal scratchers. To make them more alluring, try dusting them with catnip.
4. Train your cat
Preventing an issue before it arises is the best approach to avoid it. Your cat can learn to use a scratching post instead than your furniture, drapes, or carpet if they receive proper training early in life.
To express your disapproval when your cat scratches in the wrong spot, try hissing. Since many cats dislike the feel or sound of aluminum foil, several pet parents have found success using it to dissuade their feline companions. Pet retailers have a variety of products that work well to prevent scratching, like as sprays and double-sided tape.
5. Look for stressors in the home
Stressed or bored cats can turn to destructive scratching of persons or property. In such a scenario, they could also behave inappropriately when spraying or excessively meowing.
Ascertain the cause of their sense of insecurity and work to make it less severe. If it's a different pet, you might have to reintroduce them gradually. Or maybe there's someone in your home who needs to learn how to play with your cat properly. A stray cat wandering outside at night or newly moved furniture could potentially be the cause.
Playing with your cat more often might make him feel more at ease and entertained, which will reduce his scratching. Get your cat to follow you around the home every day by setting up interactive toys and cat trees. Sprays that simulate the pheromones of cats can also be calming.
Cat owners do not think about declawing for amusement purposes. Usually, when scratching becomes a significant problem, the subject is brought up. But there are lots of healthy, secure substitutes you may try that will make you and your cat happy.
Discuss Declawing and Alternatives With Your Veterinarian
Undiagnosed diseases can also result in stress and excessive scratching. Regular veterinary visits and conscientious cat care can extend your cat's life and improve its health.
Early disease detection can lead to the best possible outcome for your cat's health. Pets Best provides individualized cat insurance policies to assist cover unanticipated medical expenses and accidents so you can afford the best care possible. Request a quote to start pet insurance today!
Is it OK to declaw an indoor cat?
Declawing significantly increases the odds of back pain, litter box aversion and biting. Declawing is banned or considered unethical in dozens of countries around the world. In the U.S., New York, Maryland, the District of Columbia and more than a dozen cities have banned declawing.
Do vets even declaw cats anymore?
Vets do perform this procedure but many of them are opposed and seek out alternatives to declawing cats. The American Veterinary Medical Association suggests several alternatives, which include nail trims, training, and even nail caps.