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Declaw Aftercare Instructions

Kathryn C. Linden DVM

Your cat has had the last bone of his/her front toes amputated. Because the surgical site is a weight bearing surface that comes in contact with the ground, litter box etc., a higher complication rate is seen with this procedure than the other routine procedures we perform. However, many of these complications can be avoided if these aftercare instructions are followed carefully.

Litter: Clay or clumping litter should not be used for two weeks. Compressed newspaper litters (e.g. “Yesterday’s News) are available at PetsMart and Petco. Other alternatives are shredded paper or dry beans.

Activity: Running and jumping should be strictly avoided the first 5-7 days. This usually means confining to a small room or a large kennel and separated from other pets. Declawed cats should be kept permanently indoors.

Please check the toes daily until healed for swelling or discharge. Call us to schedule a recheck appointment if this is seen. Limping and holding the front feet up is normal for a week or two after surgery. If limping is seen beyond this time your cat should be seen.

Pain medication is given while your cat is hospitalized but is not sent home routinely. Please do not give your cat aspirin, Tylenol, etc as these can make him/her very ill. Pain medication can be sent home on request.

Rechecks are free and you are encouraged to call if you have any concerns or just want to be sure your cat is healing normally.


- Kathryn C. Linden DVM
Sun Lakes Animal Clinic
June 1,2004



"Until one has loved an animal, a part of one's soul remains unawakened."
- Anatole France, 1921 Nobel Prize Speech -


Titlebar Image: The Gentle Doctor, 1937-38 by Christian Peterson (U84.179) - Iowa State University