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Indoor cats and claws

Discussion in 'Cat Chat' started by Daffne, Nov 27, 2020.


  1. Daffne

    Daffne PetForums Junior

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    Having received lots of helpful and interesting replies to a previous question, I have another one.

    My recently adopted adult cat has always been a house cat. I can’t say I checked her claws when I first got her, but in retrospect I think her claws had been trimmed.

    On the whole I am reluctant to trim Kitty-Wu’s claws, which she obviously considers her crowning glory, but wonder if it is necessary to do so to avoid claws growing into her pads, which is what worries me.

    She is active in the house, but it is carpeted. She plays with toys, scratches her post, and scratches at the carpet and at the bathroom door when I am in there - all of which gives them some wear.

    She has never scratched me, and and I don’t mind her scratching my furniture - an eventuality I factored in when I got her.

    But recently I’ve noticed her claws snagging on things, which must be annoying for her, and I sometimes have to unhook her from my clothes to put her down.

    Yesterday I did experiment with cutting a couple of claws with animal scissors. She gave me some gentle warning nips to indicate she disapproved, so I stopped.

    As I said, I don’t want to trim her claws, but by not doing so am I risking them becoming over-grown and hurting her paws?
     
  2. MilleD

    MilleD PetForums VIP

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    I have to cut one of my boys front claws as he gets caught in the carpet. I started by just touching his paws, no clippers in sight and eventually was allowed to move on to actually clipping. I use a pair of beadsmith jewellery flush cutters as I find they crush the claw less and just take off the very ends.

    He does go outside in the back garden, but not enough to wear them down.

    My girl, Dave, who died last year had a claw grow into her pad ages ago. I wouldn't like that to happen again, so I do keep an eye on them.
     
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  3. OrientalSlave

    OrientalSlave Shunra Oriental Cats

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    Cats don't usually have problems with claws growing into pads. They grow like an onion, in layers, and a cat normally removes those either at a scratching post (or your furniture!) for the front paws, or by chewing them away on the back paws.

    Older cats maybe need trimming, and abnormal claws / toes / paws might, for example some polydactyl cats have claws that grow into their paws.

    If you do trim, use proper claw clippers and only take a few mm off the tip. Make sure you don't cut into the quick, which in a white claw is readily visible.
     
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  4. Daffne

    Daffne PetForums Junior

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    The scissors I have are specifically for animal claws, and seem suitable. Are clippers a better option?

    I only nipped the tip off a couple of claws yesterday, just to see how we got on with the process and the quick was well away from where I snipped.

    But knowing that an ingrown claw is not a common problem is helpful.

    I did notice the “shell’ shedding off a claw, so the onion analogy is a good one.

    Presumably that explains why cat claws just don’t get longer and longer even when not worn down by activity.
     
  5. Daffne

    Daffne PetForums Junior

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    Thank you. I will definitely keep an eye on K-W’s claws. She is quite happy for me to gently handle her paws, it was the nip at the claws with the scissors she resented!
     
  6. buffie

    buffie Mentored by Meeko

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    Meeko my lad is an indoor cat with access to a run in the garden he gets his claws clipped every 2/3 weeks as they get caught in fabric if I don't.
    He has had this done ever since he was a kitten and now although not top of his pleasure list he puts up with it.
    I have tried a few different pet clippers and found them all to awkward to use and now use human toenail clippers.
    I just clip the sharp tip and always do it with the claw vertically between the blades and not across the claw as that can cause them to split .
    Keep a careful eye on the dew claws as they are often the worst ones when it comes to getting caught on stuff and can cause real damage if the cat tries to free its self .
    If you are not sure about it ask at your vet surgery if a nurse could show you the best way to do it.
     
  7. urbantigers

    urbantigers PetForums VIP

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    I trim Mosi’s and Kito’s claws regularly. They get very sharp and snag on things plus it’s very painful when they are kneading me! Kito likes to come to me in bed and kneads my chest/neck and then flops down over me and kneads my arm. Very painful if the claws aren’t trimmed! Mosi sits on my lap a lot. I use a pair of clippers designed for cutting pet claws and keep them on the coffee table so that I can trim a claw here and there when they are relaxed and on my lap or sitting beside me.
     
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  8. SbanR

    SbanR PetForums VIP

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    It would be advisable to get K-W used to having her claws trimmed now rather than waiting till she's older as she might be less amenable then.
     
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  9. OrientalSlave

    OrientalSlave Shunra Oriental Cats

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    Not all older cats need their claws trimming. The cat I had who did had damaged one of them.

    As long as you use something intended for claws that's fine
     
  10. Daffne

    Daffne PetForums Junior

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    That’s a good point, thank you.
     
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  11. MilleD

    MilleD PetForums VIP

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    As you can see above, I don't, and it works far betters than the cross cut pliers I bought from the pet shop. I just tested right on the end of the claw first. Did a far better job than the cross cut ones.
     
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  12. Daffne

    Daffne PetForums Junior

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    The occasional trim seems a good idea. I think I’d rather do that than make a session of it given that K-W didn’t seem to like the process.
     
  13. Arny

    Arny PetForums VIP

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    Its rare to have them grow into the pad. I've only had that happen once and her feet were a bit dodgy, she was very old and even happened with constant access to outside.
    The claws were blunt just grew too long.
    I clip my indoor cats nails for the pure fact they snag on things as aren't getting worn down the same as if they went out.
     
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  14. buffie

    buffie Mentored by Meeko

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    Nor do I .I've tried various different claw clippers and found them to be either useless or inclined to stress out Meeko.
    I use human nail clippers and if the claw is cut from side to side and not across the claw they cut quickly and without crushing.
     
    MilleD likes this.
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