What Is the Process of Declawing a Cat?


Whether it is inhumane to declaw a feline is a warmed topic. Numerous countries prohibit the procedure, however the U.S. allows vets to perform it. The decision to declaw your feline, particularly a feline older than 6 months, ought to not be made lightly. Being informed and discussing the pros and cons with your vet is valuable for the decision-making process.

Understanding the Cat Declawing Process

There are numerous different techniques, but they all include something. You have to remove the claw, and you have to remove the little piece of bone that the claw grows from. If you don’t, the claw will try to grow back.

The less you get rid of, the much better, which is where the differences in strategies come in. The method felines are typically declawed, there’s an instrument with a sliding blade, almost like a guillotine, and it cuts a straight line through the joint in between that little piece of bone and the next piece of bone, which is much bigger.

When you do that, right below that is the pad, and you cut that right in half too. So it is like cutting the pointer of your finger off.

With cosmetic declawing, you utilize a tiny curved blade to go in and dissect out the claw and the small piece of bone. The pad is undamaged; all the soft tissue is there. So the cat is walking easily very rapidly since its pads are great. When the pads are cut in half, the feline cannot stroll on them without discomfort. That is what felines put their weight on. Moreover, they cannot stroll on them conveniently for weeks. Most of the pain originates from the injury to the soft tissue.

However, cosmetic declawing is not a simple procedure to do: It is time-consuming, so not many vets do it.

The intent of this short article is not to endorse declawing, however rather to offer details about the techniques commonly utilized.

There are just a few medical factors to declaw a feline– a growth or a terribly harmed paw. Many declawing is done due to the fact that a feline is damaging the furnishings, although some are declawed due to the fact that their owners have suppressed immune systems and can’t run the risk of direct exposure to bacteria from a feline scratch.

Standard Declawing Surgery Methods in Details

The cat claw extends from the P3 bone, and it is analogous to the human fingernail extending from the tip of our finger.It might amaze some individuals to learn that there are a number of methods to declaw a cat.

  1. Excisional method – The excisional technique removes all of the last bone (P3) of the toe utilizing a scalpel or laser. The excisional method is most typically done utilizing a scalpel blade. Some veterinarians use lasers and report less hemorrhaging.
  2. Guillotine method – The guillotine method cuts through the last bone (P3) of the toe, normally made with a nail clipper. This technique removes the claw and distal (end) part of this bone, sometimes cutting through the toe pad as well.

The excisional approach takes more time and therefore might cost more. Cutting through the bone utilizing the guillotine approach can create a more uncomfortable healing for your feline with more possibilities for problems.


feline tendonectomy

A 3rd technique, a Deep Digital Flexor Tendonectomy, is not technically a declaw, however a surgery in which the tendons that operate the claw are cut, leaving the claw intact.

This is to avoid the active usage of the claws. Care must be taken after this procedure to keep the nails cut so they do not become the pad; the feline no longer has control over the claws.

The Process of Laser Declawing

First, we are going to take a more detailed take a look at the procedure of laser declawing. While the traditional declawing methods use incisions and have a more extended recovery period, the treatment for laser declawing is a bit more humane.

Similar to people have laser surgeries from time to time to decrease the issues that come along with conventional surgery, pets can do the same thing. A laser is utilized to remove the claw, in addition to the first digit. (You can not just remove just the claw since it will grow back if you leave the first digit undamaged). When the claws are eliminated, the nerve endings are severed to help in reducing the amount of pain felt after the surgery. The blood vessels are likewise sealed to guarantee that there is very little blood loss.

It does not need all of the tight plasters like the conventional procedure. Your cat will still be put to sleep for the treatment, and they may still feel discomfort after the surgery.

Pros of Laser Declawing

Before you decide whether laser declawing is right for your feline, it is a good concept for you to weigh out the advantages and disadvantages. This will help you to make an informed decision regarding your feline. First, we will take a look at the advantages that come along with choosing this type of declawing procedure over among the more conventional approaches.

  1. The laser cauterizes the cut to decrease the bleeding related to the procedure
  2. Together with cauterizing the cuts, the laser likewise cauterizes nerve endings to minimize pain
  3. There is minimal swelling associated with this procedure
  4. Your cat will not need bandages after the surgery
  5. The healing is usually a lot much faster for felines that have their claws eliminated using laser
  6. Laser declawing reduces the risk of having to have a second surgery down the roadway

It would seem, in the beginning, glance, that laser declawing would be the very best alternative among all of the various approaches. Just because there are ample benefits does not mean that you should make your choice just yet. You also have to consider the disadvantages that might be associated with it.

Cons of Laser Declawing

This brings us to our cons. As with any surgery, there are threats and downsides included. These are things that you need to consider before you choose if getting your feline laser declawed is the right thing for you to do. Here are a few of the drawbacks that feature this procedure:

  1. Laser declawing can be very pricey
  2. Declawing, even when done through the laser, can still cause pain and discomfort
  3. A decreased recovery time is not always an assurance
  4. Not all vets do laser surgeries
  5. The treatment itself needs more time under anesthesia
  6. There are threats included

As you can see, both benefits and drawbacks come along with laser declawing. It is always an excellent concept to weigh these out.

Estimated Cost of Laser Declawing

Cat's nails

One of the most significant drawbacks that people discover when it comes to laser declawing is the cost of the treatment. The laser makers that veterinarians utilize to do this procedure are not low-cost. They can cost upwards of $40,000. This added cost has to be recovered in one way or another, so generally, they pass these costs on to accountable pet caretakers.

The rate difference between conventional approaches and laser declawing can be pretty steep. The typical cost of laser declawing is anywhere from $250 to $450, depending on the place.

There are likewise extra expenses related to it, and they will be dependent upon your veterinary center. This is something that you will want to talk about with the veterinary center before you arrange the treatment.

They generally will require blood work before the surgery so that they can check the function of the liver and kidneys. This will sometimes cost an additional $40-$50. Another cost that you will require to think about is the cost of pain medication for your feline. They will need to take medication for a few days after surgery to assist ease any pain or discomfort they may feel.

How Long Does Laser Declawing Take?

Before you take your feline in to be laser declawed, you will most likely like to know what to expect and how long they will be under anesthesia for the procedure.

Typically, the procedure itself takes about 20-40 minutes, unless there are problems along the method.

The healing time, however, is what takes the longest. Typically, with a laser declaw, your cat will be back to their daily activity the next day. That is not always the case though. It indeed depends upon the individual experience. If the procedure goes efficiently, with no issue, then they need to recuperate in merely a day or more.

With standard techniques, the recovery time could be weeks, and with complications, even a laser declaw treatment might require additional healing time.

Alternatives to Declawing

Trimming cat's nails

Issue cat scratching can be resolved in manner ins which do not include declawing. To make a notified choice, feline owners ought to know alternatives to declawing, such as:

  • A generous supply of scratching posts
  • Application of vinyl nail caps
  • Regular nail cutting
  • Application of double-sided tape on furniture where the feline scratches
  • Use of Feliway, an artificial pheromone that tricks a territorial cat into feeling safe

What’s the Right Age to Declaw?

Young (4 months to 8 months), non-overweight felines are better prospects for surgery when the choice to declaw has been made. They do experience pain, however, recover much quicker and with fewer complications than older and/or obese felines. Many vets do administer pain control medication postoperatively.

What Are the Possible Complications?

Problems can include however are not limited to, the following: excessive bleeding, nail bed infection, nail regrowth (with guillotine technique), pad injury throughout surgery, pain, and hopping. Some felines experience sensitivity and/or hopping for weeks or months after the surgery with no evident infection or nail regrowth. This is not “normal” post-declaw; your veterinarian must analyze your feline. If you do elect to declaw your cat, the cat must be a strictly indoor cat.

After-effects of Declawing

The problems that occur with your feline after declawing might eclipse the problems you had before having actually the procedure done. The treatment hurts, and the pain lasts for a long period of time. Some cats have phantom pain for the rest of their lives. Some cats don’t use the litter box dependably for weeks following surgery because the litter injures their paws.

A declawed cat that lives or regularly goes outdoors is helpless without its claws. A declawed cat is also at a disadvantage in a home with other pets. Some felines end up being aggressive and begin to bite when they no longer have their claws for protection.


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