I had a Siamese cat de clawed at 2-3 years old, it was late, but she did fine, she was freaked out a little longer and limped for a while, but within 6 months she was fine and I was glad I did it. Go for it
Declawing a cat is extremely cruel. Declawing is a nice way of saying digital amputation. It's major surgery. It's very painful. It is mutilation. It's illegal in fourteen countries. It has serious side affects, and it's not even necessary. Did you know that declawing is the amputation of each front toe at the first joint. This is equivalent to a person losing the entire tip of every finger at the first knuckle. The surgery is so painful that it is used to test the effectiveness of pain medications. Initial recovery takes a few weeks, but even after the surgical wounds have healed, there are often other long-term physical and psychological effects. While the immediate post-surgical pain that the cats suffer is obviously severe, it is impossible to know how much chronic pain and suffering declawing causes. However, one can consider similar procedures in people. Many human amputees report life-long, painful "phantom" sensations from the amputated part. Declawing is ten to eighteen separate amputations! It is not unreasonable to believe that declawed cats experience phantom pain in one or more toes. Cats typically conceal pain or illness until it becomes unbearable. With chronic pain, it may be that they simply learn to live with it. Their behavior may appear normal, but a lack of overt signs of pain does not mean they are pain-free.
I know some people think it is cruel and the animal suffers, but we have had 14 cats declawed and none of them ever seemed to be effected by it. One cat lived to be 21 years old and she never seemed to mind not having her claws. She would still swat at the dogs like she had them.
The ones that insist on going out still hunt and climb trees just fine also.
All of ours were done when we got them fixed under a year of age, but I don't see why it would be any diffrent for a cat that is one. Maybe a little longer to recover just like people. Kids seem to get over things faster then adults, but they do.
If you think you need to dewclaw your cat then do so. Your cat will be happy either way and you might be happier with your cat if it is dewclawed then not.
***Edited By: langniappe on 10/31/2005 5:46:02 PM*** Reason: added
Personally I don't agree with declawing, and I would never do it to one of my cats, but I have seen many cats do fine with it. My grandmother's cat is declawed and lives a perfectly happy kitty life. Being older she may have to stay an extra night at the hospital like scout said, but she will probably do fine. The description above is acurate. Its something you have to decide on your own. Just make sure if you do have it done you go to a place where they will give her pain medicine because she will be in pain for the first few days.
***Edited By: gingerspice on 10/31/2005 8:50:22 PM*** Reason: edit
I had a cat Fergie that came with my house 13 yrs ago. I did't know how old she was or anything for that matter. All I know is I never took her to a vet to be spayed and she never had kittens. So she kept her claws.
My two boy cats were declawed when they were neutered at around 6 months. No problems what so ever.
I think a young cat can be declawed without problems.