It is recommended to avoid declawing a cat as such a painful procedure is practically never absolutely necessary. However, if the only way for the kitty to stay in the family is by declawing the little guy, then some places might agree to perform the procedure.
Declawing in a clinic can cost up to $1,800. Thankfully, there are places where you might be able to get the procedure done for free. Those include the Humane Society, cat rescue organizations, cat shelters, and veterinary schools.
In what cases would it be humane to remove the cat’s claws and the third phalanx? Let’s find out.
Where Can to Declaw Cat for Free?
There are quite a few places where you can declaw your cat for a fraction of the price or even for free.
- The Humane Society – their Mobile Spay and Neuter Clinic can also get cats declawed. However, in order to qualify for a free service, you would have to prove that the cat is under-socialized.
- Cat rescue organizations – there should be at least one organization of this kind in your city or your area.
- Cat shelters – some animal shelters provide declawing services, while others would be able to direct you to another place that does offer such services at a discounted price or for free.
- Trained in-home vets – some in-home vets make house calls and they may offer declawing services, but that’s usually not for free. However, if you happen to know a professional vet, you might ask him or her to help you out.
- Veterinary schools – most schools of this kind will offer various procedures free of charge as the students need animals to practice on.
Read: Say Goodbye to Cat Allergies: 5 Natural Remedies for Relief
How Much Does It Cost to Get a Cat Declawed?
There are a lot of factors that will affect the cost of the procedure. Those include the location of the clinic, the age and weight of the cat, and so on.
You can expect to pay anywhere between $200 and $1,800. The price does not include the treatment of any complications that might arise after the procedure.
You might be able to save some money if you decide to declaw and spay/neuter the kitty at the same time (you would have to pay for only one anesthesia, in such a case). Some clinics also offer discounts, if you bring a few kitties at once.
Will Vets Still Declaw Cats?
The American Veterinary Medical Association discourages owners from declawing their precious pets as, in the absolute majority of cases, it is not a medically-necessary procedure.
With that being said, cat declawing is not illegal in the majority of states (it is outlawed in some, however). Even in the places where declawing is legal, it might be a bit challenging to find a clinic that does offer such services.
Does Petsmart Remove Cat Nails?
Petsmart offers alternatives to declawing. This is where you can get the nails of your fluffy ball trimmed, for example.
Select locations also offer such a service as nail cap application.
Read: The Unique Personality of the Bengal Cat: Do They Only Attach To One Person?
Why Do People Declaw Cats?
Declawing should be thought of as a last resort. If the only way for a cat to stay in a family would be to declaw it, then certain places would agree to perform the procedure.
- The majority of people decide to declaw their kitties simply to keep the little guy from being destructive (for example, scratching furniture). Do bear in mind, however, that this is not a good enough reason for such a traumatizing procedure.
- If you have plenty of cats living under the same roof, then declawing might be necessary to keep the kitties from injuring each other in a fight.
- Owners who have a weak immune system might also consider declawing their pet as, in such a case, a single scratch might be dangerous for them.
- There are certain medical conditions when a kitty might have to get its third phalanx and claw removed. Those include severe injury, cancer, autoimmune disease, and chronic bacterial or fungal infection.
Read: Comparing the Asian Leopard Cat and the Ocelot: Which Is Right for You?
Is Declawing Cats Illegal?
In the United States, declawing is illegal in:
- New York (the whole state)
- Maryland (the whole state)
- Some cities in California (West Hollywood, Santa Monica, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Beverly Hills, Berkeley, Culver City, Burbank)
- Denver (Colorado)
- St. Louis and St. Louis County (Missouri)
- Austin (Texas)
- Allentown and Pittsburgh (Pennsylvania)
- Madison (Wisconsin)
- Volusia County (Florida)
Cat declawing is also illegal in at least 42 countries – Germany, France, New Zealand, Switzerland, Israel, and others.
Is It OK to Declaw an Indoor Cat?
If it is necessary to declaw your cat, you have to make sure that the little guy becomes indoor-only.
Kitties without claws should not be let outside and they certainly should not be allowed to roam freely as they wouldn’t be able to defend themselves, in case there is ever such a need. The cat also won’t be able to climb, so it would be extremely challenging for the fluffy ball to escape to safety.
Is There a Humane Way to Declaw Cats?
There are quite a few humane alternatives to declawing as the actual procedure can’t be considered a safe and ‘positive’ one.
If it is impossible to not declaw the kitty, then experts recommend laser declawing. In such a case, the toes undergo less trauma, less bleeding occurs, and the nerves get sealed off, so the cat might experience less pain.
Read: The Fascinating Similarities and Differences Between Asian Leopard Cats and Bengal Cats
What Is the Best Age to Declaw a Cat?
It is easier to declaw the cat at spay or neuter time as, in such a case, the kitty will need only one anesthesia (both of the procedures will be done while the fluffy ball is asleep).
Ideally, you would want to perform that between the age of 3 and 6 months.
How Late in Life Can You Declaw a Cat?
The younger the kitty, the faster it will recover from the surgery. Older cats might have to deal with plenty of complications.
Even though no feline friend is too old to be declawed, you should definitely consult your vet and weigh up all the pros and cons.
Read: The Tough Decision to Give Up Your Cat for Adoption: A Step-by-Step Guide
What Can I Do Instead of Declawing My Cat?
- Block the objects and surfaces that you don’t want the kitty to scratch (you can also use a deterrent on them)
- Get your feline friend a scratching post
- Train the kitty to not scratch anything except the scratching post
- Trim the cat’s claws on a regular basis
- Make sure that your kitty is not bored (enrich its surroundings)
- Take the fluffy ball to an animal behavioralist
- Use claw caps
Do Cat Claw Caps Work?
If the claw caps are correctly sized and applied, then the kitty won’t be able to do any damage by scratching.
These tiny plastic pieces get glued to the claws. They do not hurt the kitty, and the little guy would still be able to walk, run, and climb as normal.
The caps will fall off once the trimmed claws grow back, so you would have to get them reapplied.
Are Declawed Cats Happy?
There are quite a few psychological and physical effects of declawing that might prevent your cat from being happy:
- Various post-surgical complications
- Chronic pain
- Joint stiffness
- Litterbox issues