Cat declawing is the surgical removal of the claws of the cat. This operation is also called onychectomy and is very common in North America, Japan, China, Korea, and such countries. It is mainly performed on house cats as they can damage household possessions and even injure the owner with their claws. To prohibit this, all the lateral bones of the cat are amputated. However, this leads to permanent damage to the cat's paws.
This procedure is still performed despite it being illegal and against animal rights. People having certain diseases (like AIDS) that may get spread to others by cat scratching, argue that declawing must be legal and a forceful law. All in all, it is not proper to deprive an animal from following their natural behavior and hence, it is against the law. As far as the price is concerned, it actually depends on a number of factors that can show up once the veterinarian examines the cat's health condition.
Commonly performed on house cats, this is a process that is also very commonly performed on circus animals including tigers, bears, and lions. Cat declawing is certainly more than just removing the claws. It is a painful surgical removal or amputation of the last bones from the cat's paws. As a result, the normally functioning tendons, muscles, and nerves of the cat's legs are severed. In case of bigger cats, hind as well as front legs are declawed. It means that they are unable to protect themselves on their own, which makes them impaired.
There are several methods like the one mentioned above, named onychectomy, tendonectomy (cutting the tendons and keeping the nails intact), and disarticulation, which involves the use of a serious amount of anesthesia that increases the risk factor. Laser therapy is also used, which actually has long-term effects, quick recovery, and less pain, but it is the most expensive procedure. A physical examination performed by the vet actually decides what procedure would be suitable, which also decides the price. The cost of examination is also included in the total estimate.
Things to Consider
There are several factors that affect the price, which affects your estimate about the same. As a matter of fact, the price hugely depends on the veterinarians in your area, as they are very reluctant to act against the law. However, there are a few veterinarians that offer the service, but they are very few, and hence, they charge a lot of money. Besides their fees, charges of anesthesia, hospitalization, number of visits to the hospital, indoor treatment period for the cat, cost of antibiotics and other medications etc. must also be considered.
Another factor is the aftercare that you need to take for the cat, which adds up the charges of the special bedding, adequate hygiene measures, and any other injury or health-related complications after the surgery. It is often stated that cats that are well in shape and fit are suitable to undergo this procedure. Cats aging from 4 months to 8 months are better candidates. They are, of course, bound to feel the pain, but they tend to recover sooner than overweight and older cats.
Two of the above mentioned procedures used are 'resco clipper' and 'disarticulation', amongst which the resco clipper method falls at the cheaper end and requires less time as well. Both these methods cost almost the same, which is in the range of $100 to $250. The cost of disarticulation is always at the upper end of the above estimation. Laser declawing is very expensive and can cost around $250 to $ 450. However, all the above prices depend on the veterinarian and his/her visiting charges in your area.
You should talk to a fellow cat owner who has had this experience. This will give you a clear idea about the procedure, complications, requirements, and price. Depending on the condition of the cat, a pre-operation blood test and/or x-ray can be performed, just to check its health. Hence, make sure to estimate $100 more for these requirements.
The price of this procedure is not an issue, but the decision-making that is involved in it, regarding the cat's behavior after the operation is worth considering.