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What are the drawbacks and expenses related to declawing a kitten?

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As of 2016, the average cost of declawing a cat ranges from $100 to $400, involves some pain and removes a key self-defense mechanism, notes VetInfo. The Rescoe clipper method costs around $100 but risks infection or regrowth of the claws. The more complex disarticulation procedure method costs around $250 on average, but eliminates the risk of claw regrowth. The laser procedure method also prevents regrowth and involves less pain and bleeding, but costs on average between $250 and $400.

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Declawing should be a last resort to prevent destruction of furniture from scratching, states Angie’s List. Thus, declawing a kitten before exploring alternatives, such as attempting to train it to use a scratching post, may be a premature impulse. Furthermore, kittens often learn to sheath their claws as they grow older, so excessive scratching may only be a temporary problem, Cat Behavior Associates explains.

The severe pain an animal experiences during declawing could be considered a major drawback. Some people deem declawing procedures inhumane and regard them as forms of cruelty to animals, according to VetInfo. As with any surgery, declawing involves the risk of complications due to anesthesia or infection, reports WebMD.

Owners must be very careful not to let declawed cats outdoors, as they are completely vulnerable to predators and unable to defend themselves, explains Cat Behavior Associates. Scratching is also a natural instinctual part of feline behavior. Cats scratch to maintain the health or their claws, stretch their muscles, mark their territory and express feelings of pleasure or irritation. Declawing may prevent a cat from enjoying these natural aspects of feline life.

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