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Dr. Deb
Dr. Deb, Cat Veterinarian
Category: Cat Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 9119
Experience:  I have been a practicing veterinarian for over 30 years.
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My cat is four years old. Is she too old to be declawed?

Customer Question

My cat is four years old. Is she too old to be declawed?
Submitted: 10 months ago.
Category: Cat Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Deb replied 10 months ago.

Hello, I'm Dr. Deb and will do my best to help you today.

You'll probably receive a different answer to this question depending on who you ask, but my personal opinion is that if Mimi Maxine is healthy, then four years of age is not too old to declaw her. In my experience, I've found that the older, overweight cats tend to have a few more issues post-operatively than when this procedure is done on kittens or leaner adult cats but they tend to be transient in nature.

And, we have more pain medication options these days than we did years ago so that any potential discomfort is significantly reduced.

I'm sure you've heard of Soft Paws (http://www.softpaws.com/questions-answers-cat/)or similar products which are an alternative to the declaw procedure. These caps are glued onto your cat's nails and will eventually fall off as the nail grows so they'll have to be reapplied. But I did want to at least mention them if you weren't aware that there was another option.

I hope this helps. Deb

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
Mimi Maxine is a small tabby. She weighed 2.5
lbs when I had her spayed at 6 months old. She weighs more now, maybe 7 lbs. I willl look into "Soft Paws" too. Thank you!
Expert:  Dr. Deb replied 10 months ago.

You're more than welcome.

If you decide that Soft Paws aren't a viable option or if you try them and they aren't working very well, then since she's such a small cat, she should do very well if you decide to declaw her in terms of post-op complications.

The larger cats tend to have problems because so much pressure and force is being applied to their feet when they walk and jump.

Best of luck with whatever you decide. Kind regards, Deb

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