How Much Does Cat Declawing Cost?
Declawing your cat has become a very controversial subject. While the cat’s claws can cause a lot of damage to your home, some believe that the declawing process is cruel and unnecessary. Other people believe that getting your cat declawed is not that big of a deal – it will only cause the cat a few days of discomfort and will make the relationship with your pet much less stressed.
How much does it cost to declaw a cat?
- The cost of cat declawing varies depending on what type of procedure you choose. Overall, the price could be as little as $40 or as much as $400.
- Laser declawing tends to be on the higher end, costing anywhere from $250 to as much as $400.
- If you only want the front two claws declawed, it’s best to cut that budget in half. Those who want all four claws will be within that $40 to $400 range.
- Most veterinarians will also want to have an exam before the procedure to check for any other health problems as well as a few weeks after the procedure to ensure proper healing. These appointments will cost $25-$50 each.
Type of Procedure
How it’s Done
The fastest way to remove claws, the clippers will clip off the toes and bones of the cat. Afterwards, the incision will be sewn shut. In rare circumstances, the claw can potentially grow back.
$100 to $175
Removes the bone where the claw grows from. As a difficult procedure, this can be a tad higher. There are no chances for the claw to grow back.
$200 to $300
As a newer form of technlogy, this is the most prefered method today. With next to no pain and very little bleeding, claws can be removed with the heat of a laser. The claws won’t be able to grow back.
$250 to $400.
What is going to be included?
- The most basic, cheapest, and fastest type of declawing, which is also the most controversial and most painful, is the Resco clipper method. In this procedure, the third bone above the claw is cut, removing the ability for the nail to regrow. This surgery will require two nights in the hospital as well as bandages and antibiotics to prevent infection . This should all be included in the price.
- A more difficult, and therefore slightly more expensive, option is the disarticulation method. Instead of simply cutting through the bone, the veterinarian is much more careful to cut and remove the ligaments that connect the bone, therefore removing the bone in its entirity. This is slightly less painful for the cat, but will still cause a lot of discomfort in the few days following the surgery. Two nights in the hospital, bandages, and antibiotics will also be included in this method.
- The most expensive type of declawing is the laser method. Instead of using a scalpel to cut through the ligaments and remove the third bone such as in the disarticulation method, a laser is used. This results in virtually no bleeding, which ceases the need for bandages in most cases, and also in much less pain. The equipment is quite expensive, however, and will therefore cost you much more for the procedure.
- The least invasive procedure that can be performed is the tendonectomy. This involves cutting the tendon which enables the cat to extend its claws. In this procedure, the cat’s claws are still competely itact, it simply cannot use them to scratch.
Extra costs to be aware of:
- Cats are much more likely to develop arthritis after being declawed. Arthritis treatment usually requires medication and frequent check-ups, resulting in a much higher cost.
- If an infection does occur after surgery, the treatment can be costly.
- Before the surgery begins, a blood test may be required. The typical blood test can cost $25.
- Anesthesia may be required depending on the cat and the vet’s office performing the procedure. Anesthesia can be considered an additional expense.
- After the surgery, most veterinarians will prescribe pain killers to ensure that the cat heals properly.
- If the cat has to stay additional nights, overnight fees can range anywhere from $60 to $150 per night.
Questions to ask:
- What kind of procedure is going to be used? Many vets may use a newer technique that involves a laser.
- What are the complications in regards to this surgery? Can anything arise after the procedure has been performed?
- If there are any complications that do occur, what are the additional expenses that I should know about?
Tips to know:
- As a complex procedure, you will want to make sure that you’re working with the most experienced vet. Try to find a vet that is not only experienced but someone who has done hundreds of procedures.
- Weigh the pros and cons with both procedures. The older way of clipping can cause more pain, while the newer way of a laser can cost less. While a laser is more, your cat will thank you for it later.
How can I save money?
- There are alternatives to declawing that are not only more humane but also less expensive. Consider alternatives such as Soft Paws. A pack of Soft Paws retails for $18 to $25.
- Simply trimming your cat’s nails with nail trimmers on a regular basis can decrease the damage made by the claws and can be much cheaper.
- Comparison shop with various clinics. Some clinics will post their prices on the website while others will give a price over the phone. Consider talking with 3 clinics before making a decision.
- If you have more than one cat, ask the vet to see if you can get a “group” discount. Since it’s not uncommon for pet owners to have two cats declawed at once, you can potentially save 20 percent.
- There are other ways to prevent your cat from scratching. If you feel that this is the only way, don’t do it. Consider healthier alternatives such as using nail caps, scratching pots and clip the nails on a daily basis.