What Is the Typical Cost to Declaw a Cat?

The cost to declaw a cat depends on your location. Many veterinarians feel declawing is an inhumane treatment and refuse to do it. If you live in an area where you really have to search to find a vet willing to perform a declawing, you'll end up paying top dollar.

One Instance Where Declawing May Be Necessary

There is one instance when a veterinarian will suggest a cat has one claw removed. In polydactyl cats, cats with extra toes, sometimes the claw on the extra toe becomes ingrown causing infection and pain. If your cat is a polydactyl, having one toe declawed will not cost as much as a full declaw procedure.

Some pet owners find keeping the nail cut extremely short helps eliminate this problem. Don't rush into the declawing, talk to your vet to find out of that extra claw is going to be problematic or if keeping it trimmed will be enough.

Process Involved with Declawing a Cat

There are three methods available for declawing a cat. The cost to declaw a cat is dictated by which procedure is used at your veterinarian's office.

Veterinarians can use Resco Clippers to cut off the tips of the bones, where claws grow, and then stitches the incision. This method is cheapest because it is fast. Problems include the claw growing back, especially if not enough bone is removed. If the claw grows back, additional surgery is needed to prevent infection.

Disarticulation is a method in which the veterinary surgeon removes the ligaments from the bone before removing the entire bone. There is no possibility of the claw growing back, but it takes longer and is therefore more expensive.

Laser declawing is a newer technique. It's beneficial because it reduces bleeding and pain. A laser is used to remove the bone from which the claw grows. The procedure is relatively quick and more humane, but the laser machinery is expensive. Therefore, it carries the highest cost to declaw a cat.

With a laser declaw, your cat goes home the same day. With other procedures, the veterinarian may want to keep the cat in his office for a few days to monitor pain medications and to keep the healing wound disinfected.

Average Cost to Declaw a Cat

Every declaw procedure is different. Some veterinarians will require you to pay for pre-surgery blood tests to make sure the cat is healthy enough to undergo the surgical procedure. This test generally runs $40 to $60. The number of paws you are having declawed also matters.

For the average cost to declaw a cat, expect to pay:

  • $450 to $500 using the laser surgery method

  • $150 to $300 using the disarticulation method

  • $100 to $200 using the Resco Clipper method

If your cat has extra toes and you want to declaw, see if your vet will do it at the same time you have your pet spayed or neutered. It's easier on the cat to have both procedures done at the same time, under one round of anesthetic. It's less stressful on your pet and generally younger cats recover more quickly.