Laser Declawing: Pros, Cons and FAQ

Laser Declawing - Pros, Cons and FAQ

If you have simply gotten tired of your cat scratching up your furniture, or even worse- scratching you, then you might have considered getting him declawed. This is something that many cat owners consider from time to time. Over the years, the process of declawing a cat has changed drastically. While there are still veterinarians out there that will use the old traditional methods of declawing, many of the vets have adopted laser declawing as their method of choice.

If you are considering getting your cat declawed, you will definitely want to learn a good bit about laser declawing so that you can weigh the pros and cons and decide if it is right for you. After all, many people say that it is the more humane method.

Let’s take a look at the procedure, weigh the benefits and disadvantages, take a look at the costs and then you can decide for yourself.

The Process of Laser Declawing


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

Just like humans have laser surgeries from time to time to reduce the complications that come along with traditional surgery, pets can do the same thing. A laser is used to remove the claw, along with the first digit. (You cannot simply remove just the claw because it will grow back if you leave the first digit intact). Once the claws are removed, the nerve endings are severed to help reduce the amount of pain felt after the surgery. The blood vessels are also sealed to ensure that there is minimal blood loss.

It doesn’t require all of the tight bandages like the traditional procedure. Your cat will still be put to sleep for the procedure, and they may still feel discomfort after the surgery

Pros of Laser Declawing

Before you decide whether laser declawing is right for your cat, it is a good idea for you to weigh out the pros and cons. This will help you to make an educated decision regarding your cat. First, we will take a look at the advantages that come along with choosing this type of declawing procedure over one of the more traditional approaches.

  • The laser actually cauterizes the cut to minimize the bleeding associated with the procedure
  • Along with cauterizing the incisions, the laser also cauterizes nerve endings to minimize pain
  • There is minimal swelling associated with this procedure
  • Your cat won’t need bandages after the surgery
  • The recovery is typically a lot faster for cats that have their claws removed via laser
  • Laser declawing reduces the risk of having to have a second surgery down the road

It would seem, at first glance, that laser declawing would be the best option among all of the different methods. Just because there are ample advantages doesn’t mean that you should make your decision just yet. You also have to consider the disadvantages that may be associated with it.

Cons of Laser Declawing

This brings us to our cons. As with any type of surgical procedure, there are risks and drawbacks involved. These are things that you must consider before you decide if getting your cat laser declawed is the right thing for you to do. Here are a few of the drawbacks that come with this procedure:

  • Laser declawing can be very pricey
  • Declawing, even when done via laser, can still cause pain and discomfort
  • A minimized recovery time is not always a guarantee
  • Not all vets do laser surgeries
  • The procedure itself requires more time under anesthesia
  • There are risks involved

As you can see, there are both pros and cons that come along with laser declawing. It is always a good idea to weigh these out.

Laser declaw your cat

Estimated Cost of Laser Declawing

One of the biggest drawbacks that people find when it comes to laser declawing is the price of the procedure. The laser machines that veterinarians use to do this procedure are not cheap. They can cost upwards of $40,000. This added cost has to be recouped in one way or another, so typically they pass these costs on to responsible pet caretakers.

The price difference between traditional methods and laser declawing can be pretty steep. The typical cost of laser declawing is anywhere from $250 to $450, depending on the location.

There are also additional costs associated with it, and they will be dependent upon your veterinary clinic. This is something that you will want to discuss with the veterinary clinic before you schedule the procedure.

They typically 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 expense that you will need to take into consideration is the cost of pain medication for your cat. They will need to take medication for a few days after surgery to help alleviate any pain or discomfort they may feel.

How Long Does Laser Declawing Take?

Before you take your cat in to be laser declawed, you will probably want to know what to expect and how long they will be under anesthesia for the procedure.

Typically, the procedure itself only takes about 20 – 40 minutes, unless there are complications along the way.

The recovery time, however, is what takes the longest. Typically, with a laser declaw, your cat will be back to their everyday activity the next day. That isn’t always the case though. It really depends on the individual experience. If the procedure goes smoothly, without any complication, then they should recover in just a day or two.

With traditional methods, the recovery time could be weeks, and with complications, even a laser declaw procedure may require additional recovery time.

Estimated Cost of Laser Declawing

Frequently Asked Questions

Finally, we will take a look at some of the frequently asked questions. These are some of the questions that we are asked most often in regards to laser declawing:

Is it a Better Option?

This is a really good question. Many people want to know what the best option is when it comes to getting their cat declawed.

The truth is, the procedure still amputates the first ‘knuckle’. This has the potential to cause complications and discomfort down the road. The technique itself does have its advantages over the traditional methods, but you shouldn’t mistake that for it being a pain free method for getting rid of your cat’s claws. That simply isn’t the case at all.

Is it Permanent?

Typically, laser declawing is a permanent procedure.

There are, however, some instances when the procedure is not completely effective. This can result in the nail growing back. In these instances, a second surgery is required in order to get rid of the claws. This doesn’t happen often, but it can and does happen from time to time. If this happens to your cat, it can be very frustrating because then you have to go in for a second surgery.

Will it Change Your Cat’s Temperament?

Some cat owners report that after having their cat declawed they have behavior changes.

Some may even stop using their litter box. The good news is that this is more common with traditional methods of declawing than it is with laser declawing. That doesn’t mean that your cat may not act differently after the procedure. It really is different for each cat but definitely possible.

Will it Affect Your Cat’s Ability to Defend Himself?

Truthfully, cats need their claws to be able to defend themselves.

While the usual declawing procedure only removes the front claws, there isn’t much defense going to come from the back claws only. So, you should be aware that keeping your cat indoors after getting them declawed is very important. This is the only way to ensure that they won’t find themselves in a situation where they will need to defend themselves.


As you can see, there are so many different things that you need to consider before you make the choice to laser declaw your cat. Many people think that getting their cat laser declawed is the best option, but it isn’t a decision that you need to take lightly. While there are some reasons why getting your cat declawed may be a good idea, there are other reasons why you might want to avoid it.

If you still have questions about the procedure, or you want to know whether or not your veterinarian offers laser declawing, you will want to call them to discuss your options. They will be able to answer any other questions that you may have about the procedure.



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Misty Weldon

Misty Weldon

They say some people are ‘dog people’ and others are ‘cat people’. I’m a cat person! I got my first cat when I was in the 2nd grade. I had to beg my mom to let me keep him. He was an orange tabby, and I have been partial to them ever since! We currently have three cats.

Being a cat person, I am always trying to learn more about why cats do the things they do. Cats are such loving animals, but they can be so fickle. I guess I can kind of relate to their behavior, and that is probably what attracts me to them.

Misty Weldon

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4 thoughts on “Laser Declawing: Pros, Cons and FAQ

  1. I still think it is inhuman to de-claw cats in any way…There’s a reason they have claws and we shouldn’t take that from them..There are other ways and if that’s not enough then you don’t need a cat..

  2. I could use some help with my cat flower, she has been clawing some very expensive furniture with out us knowing, and we may not keep her if she keeps it up, and I don’t want to loose her, so what should we do, we are out of the House allot so we can’t spray her when she does it, I mean is laser declawing better would you say

    • Honestly this page states that there are pros and cons to everything
      Including laser cat surgery, but if you look at the bigger picture you’d realize the cons for laser surgery are a lot less bad than the cons for cats who go through traditional surgery.

      If you don’t want to lose your cat because of furnish damage, of course I’m all open arms for recommending your cat to getting the surgery if it means keeping a special buddy incomparable to other relationships!

      And some people come here or on other posts relevant to declaw surgery topics to complain and nag about people declawing their cats, but at the end of the day, if it means less risk for the cat being put up for adoption and being stuck in a cat shelter then I can’t go against that sacrifice either.

      • I agree with you. Some people do try everything to help with the cats clawing Caps keeping them cut ect. Before they decide to declaw. Some cats just won’t tolerate all that.

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