How Much Does It Cost to Declaw a Cat? Here is the Answer!

Written by

Amy Sawy

Veterinarian. DVM


Joseph M. Plummer

Veterinarian, DVM, MVZ

how much does it cost to declaw a cat

If you come over to a friend’s house and notice that the wall is full of animal scratches, it is probably because of their cats. It is not a strange thing for cat owners to see everything in the house scratched by their beloved cats.

Have you ever heard the joke “My dogs ate my homework”? Well, it turns into “my cats have scratched my paper” when it comes to cats. Therefore, some people choose to prevent their cats from continuing by declawing them.

However, the cost to get a cat declawed should be taken into consideration before making the final decision. Cat declawing prices can vary according to many factors, such as the vet, the age of your cat, or which technique is operated.

In general, the price to declaw a cat ranges from $200 up to $800, or even higher. Therefore, in this article, we’ll go through the cost of getting your cat declawed in detail so you are financially prepared for this big event:

  • The Pre-Testing Cost: Your cat has to undergo a medical checkup, such as a physical examination, to make sure that they are in good condition for the declawing procedure.
  • The Anesthesia Cost: Normally, it costs around $25 to $75 to anesthetize your cat.
  • Three Declawing Techniques: You can choose between the onychectomy, disarticulation, or laser method. Your cat declaw prices will vary according to the technique you choose.
  • The Aftercare Cost: The aftercare service is also included in the cat declawing costs so your cat can receive pain relievers, antibiotics, or even an overnight stay at the vet.

Since the cost to declaw a kitten can be relatively high, many people also consider training their cats to prevent them from scratching all over the house. More details will be given in the last section of this article.

How much does it cost to declaw a cat? Let’s find out right away!


What is Included in the Cost


Now, let’s move on to see the whole declaw procedure for a cat and how much each stage costs. Note that the cost to declaw cats listed below is my best estimation as the prices will vary due to many factors.

1. The Pre-Testing Cost


This step is similar to a medical health checkup externally and internally. This means that besides a physical examination, which is approximately $50, they will need to go through some other tests, such as blood tests.

Doing a blood test will allow the doctor to diagnose if there are any factors, such as blood thinners, that can negatively affect the recovery period. Moreover, some kittens are required to take a CBC to evaluate their overall health conditions.

These tests will range from about 80$, depending on the veterinary clinic. There are some additional costs for cats of older ages to do extra examinations such as a urinalysis, so the total examination fee can be up to $200 in total.

2. The Anesthesia Cost

Generally, the average cost for anesthesia can range between $25 – $75. Yet, anesthesia cost depends on their weight and how long the surgery is operated. The heavier your cat is, the more expensive declawing cats cost will be. The longer the surgery, the more you have to pay.

Moreover, your cat’s age can be a factor that affects the cost of anesthesia. Hence, it is important that you consult your vet in advance so you can have the best estimation of the total price.

3. Three Declawing Techniques


Declawing a cat cost also depends on the surgery method applied. Occasionally, you can choose the technique that you want so it is appropriate for your budget. However, there are cases in which your vet will decide the best method for your cat once the pre-testing results are released.

Also, you might have to pay for the bandages and tissues used during the surgery, which is around $30 or more. Here are the three declawing techniques so you can have a picture of what happens during the operation:

  • Onychectomy: This term refers to the entire removal or so-called amputation of the first joint of your cat’s toes because this region has the nail bed.

In other words, the surgeon will get rid of their ligaments, bones, as well as tendons. This is why declawing cats is regarded as somewhat an extremely important surgery.

Many vets use a nail trimming tool called the guillotine style to shorten the anesthesia duration for your beloved cat. This Resco Clipper method is the quickest way to do the cat declawing.

Once everything is removed, the incision will be stitched properly. Thanks to its simplicity and quick duration, it costs about $100 for this onychectomy procedure.

  • Disarticulation: In this method, the surgeon will take out all the bones that have your feline’s claws, and they will be severed with a scalpel. Using this method will assure that there is no chance that their claws will grow back.

Due to the complications of this process, it will take a longer time, leading to longer anesthesia than the onychectomy usually does. Consequently, it will cost approximately $250 for this surgery.

  • Laser Surgery: This method is the most expensive one among the three since its price ranges from $250 up to $400. However, your cat will suffer from less pain during this type of declawing. The vet will use laser beams to remove the inside bone of your cat’s toes. Consequently, there is slightly some surgical bleeding.

Nevertheless, make sure that the vet is experienced enough to operate this method so he or she will not burn any other tissues by accident, which may lead to seriously long-lasting consequences.

These are the three primary techniques used to declaw a cat. Proceed to the following sections to know what else is needed once your cat has been declawed.

4. The Aftercare Cost


As the procedure is completed, your cat will need some pain-relieving medicines as well as some antibiotics. The price of those antibiotics is around $30, while painkillers are about $5 more expensive.

Since there is a risk of getting infected after every surgery, feeding your cats with antibiotics is the most vital step. In some cases, the vet will prescribe oral antibiotics so that it lowers the infection risk.

Any pain medication will ease your cat for a good amount of time after this milestone in their life. Moreover, you may need to afford an e-collar for your cat to prevent them from licking the incision, causing infections.

Make sure you change to the paper cat litter once a week so your cat’s wounds won’t be contaminated. One thirty-pound bag of paper litter only costs you $20.

Furthermore, you may consider leaving your cat at the vet for one night after the declawing surgery for more observation. However, the stay can be longer depending on your cat’s condition for special care and treatment.

Why Should You Declaw Your Cat?


Declawing is a medical procedure to completely remove your cat’s claws so they can’t grow back after the surgery. Your cat will experience an amputation on each of their ten front claws and eight back claws.

Hence, you better think carefully about whether to remove all claws or just the front ones. Declawing a kitten is a controversial procedure, but there are convincing reasons for why many people choose to do so.

First of all, their training fails. Cats find it satisfying to scratch things using their claws, and it is extremely difficult for them to stop this behavior. Therefore, a lot of people decide to have their cat declawed after numerous training failures.

The second reason is when a tumor in your cat’s claw can spread and negatively deteriorate its health. Moreover, the bacteria in a damaged cat’s claw may affect the owner’s health, especially those with a weak immune system. In these cases, it is advised that the pet owners have their cat’s claws removed to prevent consequences in the future.

When Should My Cat Be Declawed?

Apart from the cost to have a cat declawed, choosing an appropriate time is necessary. Normally, it is ideal that your cat gets the surgery between three and six months old. Most cats go through this at the age of five months old.

Nonetheless, kittens are better at recovery from the surgery compared to older cats. Therefore, plan the surgery ahead so your cat won’t suffer too much after the declawing procedure. In fact, older cats aren’t advised to be declawed.

Will My Cat Be in Great Pain?

To all fellow cat lovers, I know your cat is the most precious thing in this world, and it is heartbroken to know that your cat probably has to tolerate such a painful experience. However, knowing what might happen to your little feline friends can be helpful.

One thing that can occur is they don’t receive enough pain killers, which makes them suffer more than normal. Additionally, there is a chance that the incision is accidentally open, and thus causing infections.

However, cats are experts at hiding their feelings, so you might not realize that they are in pain. Therefore, have an eye on your pet regularly after declawing to make sure that they are fine. Take them to the vet immediately if you feel something is wrong.

In addition, it is normal for newly declawed cats to take a pee-pee outside of the litter box. When their claws are removed, small particles in the box can go inside their unhealed incisions while standing in the litter box, which results in severe infections.

Furthermore, they are more prone to falling during this period. This is because cats often walk on their claws and toes, rather than on their feet like humans do. Consequently, it takes a few days for your little feline to gain back the balance they usually have.

Lastly, be aware that your cat is likely to bite you at any time since they feel so insecure. The reason is their defense mechanism – their claws – has been greatly removed. Therefore, always have your cat within your sight when going outside.

I hope that this piece of information will help you prepare yourself and be able to provide the best assistance for your cats once the surgery is over. Continue reading to learn what is in the cost of declawing cats.

Other Alternatives You Can Try

As you have noticed, the cost of declawing your cat can be extremely high based on several factors. Moreover, you don’t want to make your cat suffer if you can’t afford laser surgery for them.

Therefore, here are some suggestions on what you can do so that they don’t need to be declawed:

  • The Normal Nail Trimming: Instead of removing their claws completely, trimming their nails can be a great alternative. This method is the cheapest one since you can do it by yourself. Help from a professional vet will cost you $10 to $30.
  • Train Your Cat: More ideally, you should train your cat not to scratch the objects in your house. This can be done by applying a punishment whenever they start scratching something in your house.
  • Buy The Nail Caps: Another option is to purchase some acrylic nail caps and put them on your cat’s nails. This might cause some frustration to your cat while scratching and prevent them from damaging your furniture at the same time. Check out this YouTube video for more instructions. You can use the Soft Paws as well.


How much does it cost to declaw a cat? Generally, the cost can vary around $200 to $800. Note that this is discouraged by the American Veterinary Medical Association, so you may want to try some methods in the last section first. In general, there are some places you can declaw at a lower price, even free.

Hopefully, this article provides you with a lot of interesting information on the cat declawing cost. Let me know your thoughts in the comments. Also, share this with your family and friends if you enjoy it.

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