Some animal hospitals report that they will declaw a cat at any age, particularly if it means that the cat will be able to keep its home as a result of the declawing procedure. However, other sources, such as the Humane Society of the United States, declares the declawing procedure to be cruel at any point in a cat's life.
The declawing procedure is actually an amputation procedure in which the first joint of each of a cat's front paw digits are removed. These joints contain the claw, but they also contain bone and other tissue. The procedure changes the anatomy of a cat's feet, leading to numerous potential complications that are possible at any age.