As a loving pet owner you always want what’s best for them. But in certain circumstances or situations, what’s best for them (and you) might require using our declaw services. Declawing your cat or kitten can be a painful and stressful experience and is recommended as a last option. But based on your situation, it could be the best option.
Feel free to call us at (407) 352-2579 or stop in anytime to ask any of your questions about the procedure, recovery process, or your pet specifically. As pet owners ourselves, all team members at Dr. Phillips treat your pet with the same love and care we give our own and the same we have practicing medicine for 24 yrs and the Orlando community for 8 yrs.
What Should I Know Before Declawing My Cat?
Deciding to remove your cat’s or kitten’s claws is a big decision not to be taken lightly. Here are some things to know about declawing and how it might affect your pet:
- May alter personalities (result in bad or aggressive behaviour – like biting)
- Cat claws are attached to bone (more like fingertips than fingernails)
- Recovery can be complex or difficult (checking in regularly post-operation is necessary to ensure a smooth recovery process)
- Should be the last option as there are multiple alternatives (training, scratching posts, regular nail-clipping, etc.)
- Potential further complications
Before completing any procedure at Dr. Phillips, our vet and staff will walk you through the process, potential complications, post-surgery care, and will be happy to answer any of your questions.
At Dr. Phillips, we use a blade declawing procedure using delicate care and years of experience. Primarily, we remove only the front paw claws. Rarely (if not ever) do we remove all four. The procedure entails an incision on each toe to remove each claw carefully while another staff is monitoring and tracking your pet’s pulse, blood pressure, and vitals. This allows us to maximize their safety and comfort through the procedure.
After removal these incisions are typically closed using dissolvable sutures, followed by a recovery process. We strive to make the procedure as quick, painless, and safe as possible.
The recovery process is usually between 2-6 weeks after the operation.
Paws are bandaged up for 24hrs immediately following the operation. Carefully monitoring their recovery during this time, we provide them with sedative or pain medicine if they are in distress or experiencing large levels of pain. The following day, after the dressing is removed, your cat is kept for a specific period of time while they recover and adjust. This is to allow us to track their recovery and ensure they get the proper type of rest needed so they can get back to bouncing on all four paws as soon as possible.
During their recover process it is recommend to use shredded paper over kitty litter due to the sensitivity of their paws.
Why Should I Declaw My Cat?
If behaviour and environmental modification efforts fail, declawing your cat can ensure the safety of your family, pets, or property. For your family this could be for the safety of your infant, elderly, or family members with health issues (such as chemotherapy patients with compromised immune system) that cannot risk infection from a scratch.
In some situations, your vet may recommend your pet to be declawed for their own safety, such as in the case of a tumor, chronic infection, or other health complications that require being declawed.
When Should I Declaw My Cat?
Pet owners often choose to declaw their pets to protect furniture, property, pets, family, or for the pet’s safety. We recommend to declaw your cat while they are still kittens between the age of 3-8 months, usually at the same time they are spayed or neutered between 5-6 months. This is recommended as they will recover quicker at this age and run a lower risk in experiencing complications.
We recommend choosing to declaw your cat in one of the following situations:
- Medically necessary for their health to relieve pain, infection, or illness
- Threatens the safety of a family member
- Training, behavioural, and environment enhancing efforts have proven unsuccessful curving bad behaviour
- Last option before euthanasia or relinquishment
When Should I Not?
If your cat is primarily an outdoor cat, we do not recommend declawing your cat. Claws are a cat’s natural defense. Without claws, their safety is put at risk if they come across aggressive cats, dogs, or other wildlife while outdoors. Generally, once a cat is declawed, they become house cats.
If your cat is older, we do not recommend declawing your cat, unless under certain circumstances. The whole experience can be traumatic and painful for your pet at an older age, which is why declawing is recommended when they are still kittens.
What Are Alternatives to Declawing?
If your kitten is around 8-weeks old and has started scratching, this is the moment they need to start using scratching posts. This is also around the time to get them used to regular nail clipping. If they are older then there are still a number of ways to train your cat not to scratch your furniture.
All our staff are happy to discuss alternative options to declawing during your furry friend’s visit, but here are some alternatives to consider before declawing:
- Scratching Posts & Toys
- Cat Houses or Trees
- Frequent Nail Clipping
- Nail Caps (or Soft Claws)
- Synthetic Pheromone Diffusers or Sprays
How Much Does It Cost?
Ask our vet or staff any questions you have on pricing when going over the procedures and recovery process. If finances are a major concern, our vets will be happy to walk you through alternative options and our team to discuss payment plans.
Why Choose Our Declaw Services
Declawing your pet can be a stressful and painful experience and a difficult decision for you. As pet owners ourselves, we treat your pet as if it was our own while in our care. We accomplished this by making your pet’s safety, health, and comfort our top priority, along with being by your side every step of the way.
All our staff here at Dr. Phillips love doing everything we can to make the procedure and recovery is fast, easy, and has your pet back on their paws and back to their regular selves in time.
Contact us today to schedule your next appointment or discuss any questions about declawing or any of our other services or surgeries.