How Much Does It Cost To Declaw A Cat?

Declawing your cat is an emotionally debated topic. You often tend to think that declawing is a quick fix for unwanted scratching. Remember claws are the first-line defense of cats and clawing is the natural and healthy behavior of cats. Train your cat to behave in the desired manner. Use declawing as the last resort. Even then you may be wondering how much does it cost to declaw a cat, as your cat is very naughty and will make you work too much. Cost varies in a wide range and many veterinary hospitals are hesitant to give a rough estimate as the charges include charges for the recovery period also. Let us see the average cost of the surgery.

How Much Does It Cost To Get A Cat Declawed?

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In the countries that allow the surgery the cost can range from $100 to $500. However, there could be some hidden costs in case there are any common complications. There are many factors affecting the cost. To receive a price range for the cost, you can contact your veterinarian. A preliminary examination is necessary for your cat and this will be the first step. Procedural costs vary from clinic to hospitals depending on the experience and prestige of the doctor, and also on the medical history of your pet.

Physical Exam

Preceding the surgery, it is necessary for the doctor to get a complete picture of the feline’s health. This helps the vet to determine the appropriate method to remove the claws. Cost typically varies across clinics. The examination fee approximately ranges from $46 to $57. Cost of the blood work is not included in the fees, it is charged additionally, and will be approximately around $50. A blood test is crucial to determine whether a cat has any conditions that would affect the difficulty of its recovery.


Types of Declawing

There are a number of ways available for declawing. You can choose the appropriate type of treatment to proceed as per the suggestion of your veterinarian. Declawing is done only on the front paws usually.


This is one of the methods of declawing your cat. The cost ranges from $100-$250. This procedure involves the surgical removal of the entire first toe joint that contains the nail bed. A scalpel is used to sever the bone. This procedure takes more time so your cat will have greater risks from the anesthesia.


Onychectomy is the most common method used. Even this procedure includes the 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 quickest way to complete the procedure of amputation. Your cat has a lower risk of spending a long time under anesthesia.

Resco Clipper Method is one of the methods with the fastest surgery time. Veterinarians use a sterilized nail trimmer to cut down the bone of the toe. As a result, the cat loses the bone from which the claw originates. The incision after removal of the claw will be closed using surgical glue or suture (fibrous joint) material.

Laser surgery

Laser surgery is one of the most expensive methods. It costs between $250 and $400. This surgery is painless compared to other procedures. The risk of surgical bleeding is significantly less. However, it is vital to know you have approached a vet who is well versed in using the equipment, otherwise there is a possibility that he could burn other tissues during the process.


Anesthesia Charges

Usage of anesthetic depends on the factors like the length of the procedure and weight of your pet. Vets prefer doing this surgery around four months of age. However, most vets do the surgery up to the age of 5. The amount of anesthetic used, and charges may vary with respect to age. Some of the hospitals include anesthesia charges within the total cost. This may elevate your charges from nominal to expensive , so it is important to consult your vet beforehand to get to know the exact picture.


Risk of infection is associated with any surgery. Vets prefer using antibiotics routinely to keep the risk of infection lower. In some cases, oral antibiotics are preferred so that it minimizes the further risks of infection once back home. The cost depends on the type of antibiotics used.

Overnight Stay

In one case your pet undergoes surgery in the morning and vets prefer to keep your pet until afternoon for observation. On the other hand, if the surgery takes place later and if there is a need for an overnight stay, these charges also add up. Length of the stay is a more significant part of the overall cost. The duration your pet should stay in the hospital depends on several factors. If it requires extended treatment, care, and monitoring then the stay continues longer. Remember, if your cat is being neutered or spayed it also affects the duration of their hospital stay.

Pain Killers

To help recover from the surgery, it is obvious your pet requires some painkillers. Some of the painkillers may be consumed orally while some can be injected at the hospital or clinic. Cost of this medication depends on the type of medicines used and the duration your pet requires it. Most of the hospitals include this cost within the procedural fee. Few determine the charges as per the need of your pet.

Making a Choice of Cost Effective Clinic

This step makes all the difference. Surgery costs depend on the individuals as the entire procedure is customized as per the requirements of your pet. The reason behind the low cost in some of the clinics is billing numerous procedures like blood tests, medications and extended stays separately. The total can end up being quite a few hundred dollars less. The price can change if your cat requires more time to recover than the estimate provided by the vet. It is extremely important to enquire beforehand precisely. Ask them detailed questions and find out the additional charges that may crop up during preliminary tests unpredictably. Here are few questions to help you out:

  • Which procedure method is used?
  • What are the contradictions and complications in the case as of now and likely to arise in the future?
  • What additional costs can be incurred as a result of the above-mentioned complications?

You can enquire the cost for the entire procedure in several clinics and compare them. Though it is unlikely you will happen to meet the veterinarians without incurring consultation or examination fees. Equip yourself with the knowledge of the variable costs and make yourself cautious to discern the additional costs. However, regarding the type of surgical procedure concerned, the success rate, competence, and efficiency should overrule the list prior to the costing.

Non-Surgical Remedies

It is difficult for you to cope with the scratching behavior of the cat. But try doing the simple tips below before opting for a surgery.

  1. Punish your cat for furniture scratching attempts. Be careful and make your cat understand the act it is up to is punishable. In the due course make sure you as a person are 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.
  2. Spanking or shaking some pennies within a can and yelling at the cat is directly associated with the person and not on the act. Using water in a squirt bottle is better but only if your cat does not see where the water comes from.
  3. 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 a lot of air releasing. Your pet will be shocked and hesitate to repeat the act.
  4. You can attract your cat to a scratching post by using catnip or offering treats.
  5. Make your furniture undesirable by covering it with plastic or aluminum foil. You can stick the double stick tape on your sofa so that your pet finds it difficult to accomplish its task. Spraying antiperspirants also keeps away your pet.
  6. Upholster your furniture using tough and unacceptable fabric; as this can protect from scratches and tears.
  7. Trim your pet’s nails and keep them short. This is an adequate control method. However, most people are not aware of the proper trimming procedure. Be aware of the process and the non-pigmented nails of the cat makes it easy to identify where to cut.
  8. One more popular method is using blunt acrylic nail caps. These caps are glued on to the cat’s claws and as the cap is blunt it cannot cause damage. You can place the first set of caps with the help of your vet. Nail caps should be replaced as they wear out and as nails grow longer. Mind you some cats are capable of scratching larger holes in upholstery after wearing nail caps.
  9. Place multiple scratching posts in your home. Make sure the posts are tall and tough. 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.

1. Claws Do Not Appear Like Our Fingernails

Cat claws are attached to the distal phalanx. This is the last bone of the toe. Whereas, our fingernails are attached to the flesh of our fingers. In order to remove the claws, it has to go through the process of amputation.

2. Postoperative Care

This is a complex procedure. Your pet has to wear bandages on its paws until the surgical incisions heal. It is necessary to limit your cat’s exercise 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 help with recovery. In case of changes in behavior, appetite patterns, swollen paws, bleeding and reluctance to walk contact your vet immediately.

3. Type Of Surgery

Traditional surgery using a scalpel or clipper 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 retracted in the paw. If your pet has undergone tendonectomy, then there is a need to trim the claws regularly.

4. Other Alternatives

Before declawing, many vets recommend other alternatives. Since declawing usually prevents destructive scratching, 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 by using deterrents are some of the tips that may work.

5. Threat Of Potential Complications

Declawing can weaken the leg and back muscles. As the cat always walks on the tips of its toes, the surgery may change the way the cat’s body works. Later it is easily prone to joint and back pain. The other complications include bone chips that prevent healing, nerve damage, postoperative hemorrhage, and in case the amputations are not done properly it may result in the reemergence of claws within the paw pads.

6. Behavioral Problems

You may notice your cat becoming more aggressive once declawing is done. A cat without claws may feel cornered and bite. This may also result in urinating or defecating outside the litter box. The cat may feel shy and become anxious. On the contrary, there are few cats that are just normal soon after the surgery.

7. Surgery Becomes Essential

Sometimes surgery becomes necessary. There are few cats with several toes that never touch the ground and the claws grew and went into her paw pads. In this case, vets recommend declawing so that it does not affect the cat. It is in the best interest of the cat.

I hope I have answered your question of how much does it cost to have a cat declawed 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 life happily in a harmless way.


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