How Much Does It Cost to Declaw a Cat?

declawing cat

Declawing a cat is a controversial surgical procedure for felines. While it helps protect your furniture and yourself from the claws, the surgery can impact your pet’s well-being. It is generally advisable to opt for other solutions, like trimming the nails of your cat. 

However, for those curious about how much does it cost to declaw a cat? The answer is you can expect to pay $600 to $1800. The total cost of the process depends on several factors. Weighing in these factors gives you a clear idea of what your veterinarian’s bill will be. Also, it may be better for most cat owners to know what the procedure is, and what are its suitable alternatives. 

The Process of Declawing

The technical name of declawing is known as onychectomy, and it involves removing a cat’s claws. This is done by amputating the last bone of each toe, the sight of claw growth. The procedure requires anesthesia, post-surgical pain management, and bandage changes. 

Because of the inconvenience involved for the pet, declawing is often frowned upon as being unethical. The process is even illegal in some countries for the same reason. Therefore, often professionals suggest cat owners opt for other more cat-friendly methods. You can check out the alternatives at the bottom of this blog.

Factors Impacting the Cost of Declawing

The cost of declawing is not a straightforward standard one-time fee. It is because many costs involved in the process may be different for you compared to others. The following are the factors you should be aware of before you make the declawing decision: 

Veterinarian Fee

The cost of your veterinary doctor may vary depending on the region, the reputation of the doctor, and the methodology used. To get the best cost, it is advisable to ask for the price of the procedure from multiple veterinarians. This way, you can choose the clinic with quality service and the best price.

Preoperative Examination Cost

Before even the operation starts, your cat is usually examined to see if the procedure is suitable for the feline. This may include a checkup and can add other costs such as blood work, x-rays, and the consultation fee of the veterinary doctor. 

Anesthesia and Pain Medication

The declawing procedure cannot take place without anesthesia. So, the additional costs of anesthesia may be included in your vet’s bill. Also, declawing can be inconvenient and painful for your pet in the days after the procedure. So, you will need to purchase painkillers to ease your feline’s pain. 

Post Surgery Care

After the surgery, comes the recovery phase for your pet. You may need to leave your cat at the veterinary clinic overnight. However, the emotional and medical support required for healing does not end there. You will need to bring your cat to change bandages a few times to avoid infection. 

All these costs should be considered when budgeting for a declawing procedure. Factor all these things and then you will have the cost of declawing. 

Alternatives to Declawing

Declawing is painful for your cat and leaves a dent in your financials. Besides the physical pain during recovery, your cat may face other problems that can impact its health in the long run. It is highly recommended for cat owners to explore less painful alternatives like:

  1. Nail trimming: Regularly trim your cat’s nails to minimize damage.
  2. Scratching posts: Provide sturdy scratching posts or pads to redirect scratching behavior.
  3. Soft claw covers: Apply vinyl or silicone covers to your cat’s nails for a non-permanent solution.
  4. Behavioral training: Teach your cat to scratch appropriate surfaces through positive reinforcement.
  5. Environmental enrichment: Engage your cat’s natural hunting instincts with toys and climbing structures.
  6. Soft surface alternatives: Offer soft surfaces like carpets or scratching mats for your cat to scratch.
  7. Claw-proofing products: Use furniture covers or scratch guards to protect surfaces.
  8. Consult with a Veterinarian: Work with a certified animal behaviorist or a veterinarian for personalized guidance.


Now that you know what declawing is, the costs involved, factors impacting the cost, and more ethical alternatives, it is highly recommended that cat owners make the best decision.  

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