A veterinarian discusses declawing your cat and your pet licking the paws afterwards.

You’ve had your cat declawed and are now noticing that your pet keeps licking its paws.

Should you allow this? Is it okay?

“No – most veterinary clinics will keep cats for observation for two to four days after a declawing procedure, to ensure that the cat is comfortable and not licking her paws,” says veterinarian Dr. Jules Benson, BVSc, chief veterinary officer with NationwideDVM, a pet insurer company.

What’s wrong with a declawed cat licking its paws?

“Licking can introduce infection and open the surgical wounds where the claws were removed,” says Dr. Benson.

“Declawed cats require close observation, and most vets will send your pet home with special litter for at least the first week or two, so that small particles don’t get stuck in the wounds and delay the healing process.

“If you do notice licking once you bring your cat home, talk to your vet for tips on safe prevention.”

Dr. Benson is regularly consulted by many media outlets including ABC, NBC, FOX, The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times to provide pet health advice to pet parents nationwide.
Lorra Garrick has been covering medical, fitness and cybersecurity topics for many years, having written thousands of articles for print magazines and websites, including as a ghostwriter. She’s also a former ACE-certified personal trainer.