Cat declawing is a contentious topic for feline aficionados. Shredded furniture and painful scratches persuade owners to declaw cats, while the pain, cost and trauma argue against it. Does laser declawing for cats hold the answer?
Pros of Laser Declawing for Cats
Owings Mills Animal and Bird Hospital considers laser declawing for cats to be a “guilt free” procedure. The veterinary staff explains that using the laser effectively cuts the tissue and in the process seals nerve endings and blood vessels. As a result, bleeding and post-surgery pain is greatly minimized. The vets suggest that after declaw, cats will be up and moving around as early as the next day.
Declawing Cats: Cost of the Laser Procedure
Whereas a standard cat declawing with the Rescoe clipper or via the disarticulation method – as outlined by Cost Helper – falls between $100 and $250, laser declawing for cats usually leads to charges between $250 and $450. Some animal hospitals do charge more. Occasionally the cat owner incurs additional charges if the vet requires a pre-surgery blood panel or runs further tests to ensure the cat’s overall health. Vets frequently require this type of pre-operative panel on older animals or those with known (or chronic) conditions.
Cons of the Laser Method
In theory, laser declawing for cats is the preferable method for the procedure. In practice, the Veterinary Information Network cautions that the targeted marketing at vet offices fails to take into account the learning curve the precise operation of the equipment demands.
Granted, the sellers and manufacturers may host full-day seminars, but these training sessions hardly qualify as providing the type of hands-on experience a skilled veterinary laser surgeon needs. Possible outcomes — when an inexperienced vet or vet tech attempts the procedure — include tissue burns and prolonged healing times.
For the Cat Owner Ready to Go Ahead with the Procedure
If laser declawing for cats sounds like the type of procedure you think would be beneficial for your house cat, be sure to interview a few veterinarians to gauge their personal experience and hands-on expertise with the declaw.
The American Animal Hospital Association further suggests that it is beneficial to declaw younger animals, ideally those between the ages of two to five months. Kittens heal quicker and much more easily adapt to a life without their front claws than the older animals. In fact, the organization warns that veterinary professional generally refuse to declaw older cats because of longer healing times and possible pain issues.