Vets Make Billions From Declawing Cats

Financial value of cat declawing usa
Financial value of cat declawing usa
Until September 7th I will give 10 cents to an animal charity for every comment. It is a way to help animal welfare without much effort at no cost. Comments help this website too, which is about animal welfare.

Veterinarians in the USA make at least $2.16 billion ($2,160,000,000) in total from cat declawing.

See Declawing Myths and Truths

It is important to recognise that declawing cats is big business. It is a important part of a veterinarian’s operation. It is the bread and butter of his work just like vaccinations, annual check ups, dental cleaning and so on. At a national level how much is it worth?

It is difficult to get a decent figure on the number of cats that are declawed in the USA. However, Wikipedia says:

It is estimated that 25% of owned cats in the United States are declawed (Patronek 2001)

This is about the only information we have. Fortunately, Patronek is a vet himself and a scientist. He has been involved in lots of studies on declawing. Accordingly, the estimate of 25% should be fairly accurate.


  1. Number of owned (domestic) cats Humane Society. This figure is climbing. More cats to mutilate!
  2. Cost to declaw –  see page.
  3. Cats declawed is one quarter of total number of domestic cats per Patronek DVM.
  4. Number of vets is universally agreed. As the number of vets who don’t declaw is insignificant compared to the total, I have made no deduction to the number.
  5. After care. Lots of cats need aftercare because of complications. This must be big business too, but it is unquantified.

The business end of cat declawing is a major reason why it exists. It is the foundation upon which it exists. For declawing to actually happen vets have to play their part. They are the key players in this macabre habit. If they all declined to stop declawing tomorrow it would entirely stop overnight. It is in their hands. I realise they will never give it up because it is their bread and butter. It puts dinner on their plate.  It is irrelevant to them that it breaches their oath and is considered a criminal act over most of Europe and Israel.

For cat owners to stop requesting declawing will take decades for a culture shift to take place.

13 thoughts on “Vets Make Billions From Declawing Cats”

  1. I agree Rudolph it’s not fair that the vets should take all the blame but most of the Americans fighting for a ban do so because a lot of vets advertise declawing and encourage people to do it. Vet techs have lost their jobs for telling clients the truth that declawing is major surgery, declawing vets like to keep that fact hidden.
    Many vet’s receptionists have been instructed to offer declawing to a client booking a kitten in for neutering, people who may not have ever thought of having that done.
    But yes the cats caretakers are to blame too, because anyone who would think about having a cat without claws isn’t a fit person to have a cat in their lives, it’s so obvious that cats are born with claws because they need them.
    It’s the ‘agreeing to do whatever the doctor thinks best’ mentality without asking questions or doing any research for themselves that people here in England can’t understand, nor that any vet would ever make money by breaking their sworn oath and surgically mutilating a cat and therefore causing him to suffer.

    • It’s the ‘agreeing to do whatever the doctor thinks best’ mentality

      I agree. This is the point I am making. The vets lead the way really. They are leaders in this two party process with a third party victim, the cat.

      The customer listens to the vet for advice and leadership on cat welfare. It is in their hands to change course and customers will follow in time.

  2. Mind-blowing financial statistics of the average Vets income in U.S.A due to “Cat De-Clawing”.Cat owners should be blamed and not the Vets as it is the “Cat Owners” that are keeping the “De-CLAWING” business alive. I personally feel its wrong to put all the blame on the Vets just because they perform the surgical “De-Clawing Operation” as a source of income, typical business for a doctor.

    • I do agree that they have to make a living etc. but…the vet should be more knowledgeable than the customer and I feel the vet has the primary responsibility to make the changes – to stop declawing. The vets are meant to be educated, all of them are; and they should make decisions on questions of ethics and morals.


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