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My cat won't retract her claws!

post #1 of 22
Thread Starter 
Hi. I haven't been frequenting this site, not that I don't trust that all of you are great folks, but that for some strange reason, it takes FOREVER for my computer to download these pages! (Admin, any thoughts??)

Anyway, all that was just to say, you guys don't know me, but please answer my question to the best of your abilities!!

OK, I have a pure-white cat named Gracie who is now 4 years old. We adopted her from a local humaine society, and though somewhat sick and dirty then, she is now a happy, healthy little angel. Everything is perfectly fine and normal with her (although I insist that she's so special ) except that she seemingly cannot retract her claws.
When she walks across the wood floor it's *click...click....click....click* and walking across the carpet she gets stuck all the time.
All in all, she gets stuck in the screen door, the blankets, shirts, carpet... anything, really.
The real problem is that she can't retract her claws even in the litter box, so she constantly tears the plastic lining, causing litter to pour out on the floor when it comes to cleaning time...

So do you have any ideas on what this is?
Thanks in advance!
post #2 of 22
Can you cut them shorter or try soft paws?
post #3 of 22
Thread Starter 
What are soft paws?
post #4 of 22
I have never used them but know people taht have. (http://www.softpaws.com/)
post #5 of 22
It sounds like her claws are just too long. How often do you clip them? You have to do this frequently or else they can grow too long, they can even grow into the pads.
post #6 of 22
I'm thinking that her claws are also too long. You might need to trim them more often or trim them shorter than you're already trimming them.
post #7 of 22
Start by trimming her nails once a week. The front ones grow quicker then the back but ALL nails should be checked and trimmed as needed once a week. If they are too long, they won't retract all the way.

And also, I'd just not use the plastic liners - cats with nails tend to rip them anyway - whether or not their nails are trimmed.
post #8 of 22
As I read your post my first thought also was that the claws were probably just too long. Clipping the claws every week or 10 days will help you both.
post #9 of 22
CAREFULLY trime her nails and get her a scratching post

If you trim too closely you will cut the quick and cause a LOT of pain and no small amount of bleeding. You should have some "quick stop" or styptic on hand, and you should use trimmers intended for cats, not people.

If you are able, you should have your vet show you how to trim the cats nails the first time. Trimming is important, because they can cause discomfort when walking if not trimmed, and can eventually curl around and grow into the pad, which is very painful and can lead to all sorts of nasty infections.
post #10 of 22
Thread Starter 
OK, thanks everyone for your help!
I do have a two-story scratching post with a one story post set sturdily on top that she likes to use (she and her adopted cat sister Noelle really enjoy it - plus it keeps them from scratching up the couch) so that takes care of that one aspect.
Next time I get to a city (I'm about an hour away from the closest city with petcos and things) I'll check out some kitty nail clippers.
I guess I just never considered the fact that cats might need to have their nails clipped - my longhair keeps pristine care of herself, and scratches when necessary, so I guess it just differs between cats?

Anyway, thanks so much! I'll get some clippers if/when possible!
post #11 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by Audrey_ View Post
my longhair keeps pristine care of herself, and scratches when necessary, so I guess it just differs between cats?
Scratching doesn't dull the nails, it sharpens them and takes off the outer layers that shed.

You can use regular human nail clippers too, I do prefer the pet ones, I think you have to cut at an angle when using human clippers.
post #12 of 22
maybe her claws just grow really fast. i have one kitty that i only have to trim her claws about every 6 weeks and the other i have to trim weekly. your kitty could be like this.

as a matter of fact, the vet trimmed patchys claws about 2 weeks ago and she was baking biscuits on my a few min ago and drew blood. i have a feeling your kitty and my patchy are both like wolverine LOL

dont worry if you cant get all the claws at once. if you can only get a few at a time - so be it.
post #13 of 22
Kitten nails seem to grow overnight. I usually trimmed twice a week for them. Even when trimming Charlie a week before the show; I sometimes have a few more to reclip just before his bath the day before the show
post #14 of 22
Thread Starter 
Thanks very much for all the replies!
Would you like to see Gracie, and Noelle? I want to post pictures of them, but I don't know where I can do that.
Have any suggestions as to which forum?
Thanks again!
post #15 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by Audrey_ View Post
Thanks very much for all the replies!
Would you like to see Gracie, and Noelle? I want to post pictures of them, but I don't know where I can do that.
Have any suggestions as to which forum?
Thanks again!
In the Cat Lounge you will see a sub-forum for Fur Pictures. We would love to see your kitties so please do post.

As for clippers, if you are comfortable with human clippers, by all means use those. I prefer the human clippers to the pet clippers - you just hold them sideways (instead of clipping from top to bottom of claws, clip side to side).

Sometimes it takes some large amount of patience to get kitty used to the snipping, but I have no doubt you'll do just fine. Just don't clip into the pink part. In fact, at first it might be a good idea to just snip the very end sharp parts and as you gain confidence you can start clipping a little closer to the quick (pink part).
post #16 of 22
Thread Starter 
Thanks, Yosemite,
I'll try that. Luckily, Gracie's a very mellow little girl, so I don't think it will be too hard to clip her little claws...
Thanks again, and I'll head over to the Cat Lounge soon and post a few pictures
post #17 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by Audrey_ View Post
Thanks, Yosemite,
I'll try that. Luckily, Gracie's a very mellow little girl, so I don't think it will be too hard to clip her little claws...
Thanks again, and I'll head over to the Cat Lounge soon and post a few pictures
Get Gracie used to having her paws touched by gently stroking them - that should help when you need to clip claws. I sometimes just hold Bijou's paw loosely and kiss the tops of them. He doesn't draw it back - he'll lay there with his paw in my hand as long as I want to sit there. He's so used to it now that if he's laying down I can pretty much just pick up his paw and clip his claws. He was laying on the table last night (half on my book that I was trying to read ) when I noticed a couple of his claws were long. I just got the clippers, picked up his paw and cut them. I don't even have to hold him to do it now. I think the main thing is not be tense yourself since they seem to pick up on that.

When you hold Gracie, put her on her butt with her back against your tummy and your forearm around her tummy/chest area. You can then hold her paw in your left hand and clip with your right (assuming you are right-handed) or vice versa if you are left-handed.
post #18 of 22
Thread Starter 
OK - do you think normal human finger-nail clippers would be OK if I cut diagnally and carefully?
And thanks for the step-by-step... I need that sort of thing!
So, butt on lap, back against stomach, paw in right hand? (lefty )
post #19 of 22
Yes I have been using the human clippers for my 3 and they do fine. I find them easier for the reasons Yosemite said. I can cut from the side and see the pink part. The pet ones were harder to use in my opinion.
Seldon is the champion scratcher in my home. When I clip nails his are always the longest.

You can also enlist a person to hold if you are scared.
post #20 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by CC12 View Post
Yes I have been using the human clippers for my 3 and they do fine. I find them easier for the reasons Yosemite said. I can cut from the side and see the pink part. The pet ones were harder to use in my opinion.
Seldon is the champion scratcher in my home. When I clip nails his are always the longest.

You can also enlist a person to hold if you are scared.
Agreed. I have tried the pet clippers and I'm not as comfortable as I also cannot see the pink part as well with them. Of course with my bi-focals I don't always see that well anyway.

ETA: I also whisper sweet nothings in Bijou's ear while I clip.
post #21 of 22
for me the easiest way is when they are sleeping and i am right beside them with the paw at eye level. that way, i can see the quick and how short to cut. im a lefty too but i cant see to cut with nail clippers. i use the scissor claw trimmers or cuticle nippers. or if my kitties are napping on the back of the couch, i find thats a good time LOL

i just reach over and take a paw, push on a toe and i clip the very end because sometimes i dont have the best light and better safe than sorry. i can always take more of later! if they run away, i can always cut those nails later too haha! the thumbs are the hardest for me usually. i dont know if its cuz im a lefty or my kitties just hate it -- maybe both haha
i can usually get one paw before they wake up tho
post #22 of 22
My mom's cat also has long claws. He clicks on the tile and gets snagged on things. My mom clips his claws on her own with human nail clippers. They also do it at the vet's for about $10, but they need to be cut so frequently that it's worth it to do it yourself
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