What is the best age to declaw a cat?

Our question this week was:

How old should a kitty be before you declaw her?

T. Smalley

Answer

Hi – thanks for your email. Declawing cats is a controversial topic. Some people are aggressively opposed to declawing while others are not. The same is true of veterinarians. Some vets won’t declaw and others will.

If someone is going to declaw – it should only be on an indoor only cat and when they are young. Often, the younger the better – anytime from 8 to 16 weeks can be reasonable. It is possible to declaw cats later but their recuperation time is longer. Young kittens that are declawed generally bounce back very quickly and will be running and playing the next day (or sooner).

Also, feel free to ask your vet for their recommendations. An article that might be helpful to you is on our PetPlace.com is A Guide to Declawing.

Best of luck!

Dr. Debra

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