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Any benefit to kitty from clipping claws?

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 
I could swear that I read recently (but no longer recall where) that there is some health benefit to clipping a cat's claws. Mine are front declawed (I didn't do it! They came pre-mutilated from a rescue shelter.) and I've never heard before that claws should be clipped, so I've never done it, but if there is some benefit, I suppose I could start. One's back claws seem a little long -- they click slightly on my hardwood floors, but she doesn't pay any extra attention to them, so I don't think there are any problems with them (and that's how I know where she is, since she refuses to wear her collar, errr... necklace!). I'd rather not tackle this if it isn't necessary, but if it is good for them, I could suck it up.

Wondering if anyone knows anything about benefits...
Thanks in advance!
post #2 of 20
i've had/have some declawed cats. check the declawed paws occasionally - i've had 2 so far that managed to regrow one.
rear paws - i don't clip, ever, on anyone. clip fronts of those with claws [currently, i have 2 declawed, 3 not].
HTH!
post #3 of 20
Yes, there is an advantage to clipping claws. Some animals are more prone to having their claws grow so long they curl back into their pads. Also, when an animals claws/nails get too long, it can be painful to walk. I think that is more prevelant in dogs but it can happen to cats too. Just watch a couple episodes of Animal Cops on animal planet and you'll soon see an example!
post #4 of 20
The benefit for the cat is that the nails will not get caught in carpet or blankets or (in the case of front ones) curl under and into the pad. Usually it would be the "thumb" nails that would grow into the pad.

The benefits for us are:

1. Less scratching of furniture.
2. Less scratching of our bodies (cat scratches can be dangerous as they close up within seconds).

If you can hear those back nails, they need to be clipped shorter. Do a little at a time as you don't want to cut into the vein and make them bleed. The more often you cut, the vein will receed, so you have to start out a little at a time. Check and clip them once a week.
post #5 of 20
The cat I had growing up hated to have her claws clipped, but we had to do it every now and then because they would start clicking on the floor, too. She also would start chewing on them if they got too long, I suppose because they were giving her discomfort. If cats are indoor only, their claws do not go through the normal wear and tear they would outside and, therefore, do not wear down as quickly. They can't scratch a post with their back feet, either, so they will need some other way to keep these claws in check. I would definitely trim them, if I were you.
post #6 of 20
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the input!
I'll probably have the vet show me when I next have her in there.
post #7 of 20
I was always under the impression you had to clip cats nails- all of them.
post #8 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by GoldenKitty45 View Post
If you can hear those back nails, they need to be clipped shorter.
I cracked a little smile when I read this. I remember when Jake was still alive. I always knew when it was time to clip his nails because when he walked, he'd stick to the carpet like he had velcro on his paws. Bless his little heart. I sure do miss him.
post #9 of 20
Although it's never too late, start as early as possible so they understand it won't hurt. Kitty hated having her nails trimmed as a kitten, but now is ok with it (front claws only). And those claws sure do grow back fast! I try to trim a little every other week.
post #10 of 20
The cats I've known keep their back claws plenty dull by chewing on them (but, even when I lived in an apartment with wood floors, I didn't heart them).
post #11 of 20
If we don't clip on a regular basis (at least every 2 weeks), the kitties start sticking to the carpeting and bed linens.

I also clip back claws but much less frequently.
post #12 of 20
Clipping Hennessy's claws keeps him from getting caught in our apartments ever so lovely carpet.
post #13 of 20
It's relatively uncommon to clip the back claws. Most cat owners I know (including me) never do the back claws. It's the front that are really necessary. The back claws stay in fine condition just from them running around.
post #14 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by emmylou View Post
It's relatively uncommon to clip the back claws. Most cat owners I know (including me) never do the back claws. It's the front that are really necessary. The back claws stay in fine condition just from them running around.
My experience has been that myself and the cat owners I know, do clip the back claws. It is recommended by vets and grooming professionals.
post #15 of 20
I clip Hennessy's back claws but only if they're getting long. They don't wear much, since he's a lazy kitty.
post #16 of 20
We have 3 cats (2 that are 4 years old, and 1 that is 2) They have never had their nails clipped, do not get them caught in stuff, or "click" when they walk on the hardwood floors....nor do they seem overly long.
We have a cat tree scratching post with carpet on it... AND one side of the main post is wood that they love to scratch......I wonder if that`s what keeps their nails from getting too long?......not that they don`t have SHARP claws....but they don`t bother the furniture (I trained them as kittens)
The only time one of us gets scratched is by accident , if we are holding one of them and they are suddenly startled and scared and trying to take off....but it`s a rare thing.
Linda
post #17 of 20
I clip front and back. I have a lot of trees and climbing things that seem to sharpen their back nails too.
post #18 of 20
Both of my girls get their front and back nails clipped. I figure that if I am going to go to the effort to clip their front nails, I might as well clip the back nails. One of my girls is a polydactyl so I take extra care with all of her extra claws as well.

The reason that I clip the back claws of both the girls is that the like to "take off: suddenly from my lap and they use their claws to gain traction when they push off and sharp claws makes this even more painful
post #19 of 20
I trim my puddy tat claws; all the way around.

Mine have gotten used to the process, simply because I don't make too huge of a deal of it, and worked with their comfort level. If you can only get one nail done before she gets fussy, quit there, and come back to it in a bit. I incorporate their 'zoomin' (brushing with ZoomGroom), with nail trimming, because they love it. You can use treats too, to reward calm behavior.

My cats literally will sit in the crook of my arm, upside down, on my lap and let me trim their nails; even the youngsters are like this already...Just think of a very vulnerable critter...belly and paws all up in the air!
post #20 of 20
Treehouses will help some, but even our barn cats (which had plenty of wood) had very sharp nails. Once in awhile I'd clip them because I cannot stand the sharp points.

You are lucky your cats have not hurt themselves or each other by not clipping nails. IMO I'd do it to prevent injury to each other. I had a kitten that almost lost an eye cause the nails were not clipped. Now I start kittens at 4-5 weeks old to have their nails clipped.
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