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Do you clip your cat's claws??

post #1 of 35
Thread Starter 

This may be a dumb question, but I am a little confused. The vet says we should clip their claws every 4-6 weeks to keep them from curling into their paws. But I have a friend whose cat is 9 years old, she never clips her claws. She also only takes her cat the to vet once a year, sometimes once every two years, says she never gives the cat anything for flea repellant and her cat is fine and healthy.. Her cat is also an outdoor cat. 

 

I had my indoor cat for just about 6 months. She's about 19months old and I have been following her previous owner's routine in terms of check ups and claw trimmings and health related other stuff like that. 

 

Sometimes I think I am over thinking when it comes to taking care of my cat. Does she really need her claws trimmed that often? Isnt there a natural way they keep them trimmed? 

 

Thanks

post #2 of 35

I trim my cats claws when I see them getting sharp. which is usually every 3 weeks or so. It helps to keep them trimmed to keep them from getting too sharp, accidentally snagging in carpet, clothes.. and from hurting your skin or other resident. Outdoor cats might need them less trimmed for they have ways to keep them filed down. Indoor cats has a hard time doing that.

post #3 of 35

Cats actually do the opposite of trimming their claws. They scratch on surfaces, which one would think dulls the claws, but it's main purpose is to rip off the old, dull claw husks to let a new, sharp claw protrude. Cat claws grow in layers, and they shed the dull layer to let a fresh, needle-sharp claw come out for hunting purposes.

 

I do trim my cats claws, but that is only because they like to knead on me a lot and having sharp claws stabbing me doesn't put me in a petting mood. Some people never trim the claws because they don't experience these issues, and some cats prefer keeping their claws sharper than others. My older cat likes having as many needle-claws as possible, so I don't trim his often because he'll then go and purposely claw/bite off every trimmed claw and I'll be dealing with ten razors instead of the one or two he normally has. Some claws will actually start to curl in and stick into the pad if you don't trim them. Trimming claws is really dependent on what condition your cat likes to keep her claws in, and what result you're looking for.

 

Also, kittens need to go to the vet more often than adult cats, and that is usually for vaccinations and boosters. Now that both my cats are adults, they see the vet once a year for a check up, and rabies and distemper shots.

post #4 of 35

As the previous posters mentioned, they wear down the old claw husks by scratching. You can help this process out by supplying plenty of areas for your cat to scratch. :)

 

Some cats have difficulty doing this and will need their claws trimmed regularly - I had one who needed us to trim his claws or they would curl in, but my current three don't have that issue.

 

That being said, I do trim my cats claws at the moment, partially to keep them from wrecking things, but also because it's a good routine to get into - getting them comfortable with you touching their paws.Cats will likely need to have thier feet handled several times in their lives so if you can establish it as something comfortable now, it will only make it easier in the future.

post #5 of 35
I trim some of my cats' claws, and some I don't. It all depends on how well they take care of their claws, how clumsy they are, and how much they like to knead while sitting on me laughing02.gif. One of my cats is not so smart. He gets his claws caught in things, lets them get too long, accidentally scratches me, and kneads without regard for how much he pokes me. So I keep his claws pretty short. Some of the other cats keep their claws to themselves so I don't bother them with clipping. So really there's no right answer, it all depends on the individual cat and the circumstances.
post #6 of 35

I trim my cats' claws, but the frequency depends on the cats.  The ones I take to shows get trimmed every 2-3 weeks at least, partly to keep them in practice.  Show rules required claws on all four paws to be trimmed.  The other cats get trimmed when their claws get too long to be comfortable with kneading or they start catching on things. 

 

I also trim the shelter cats' claws about every two weeks.  It really helps with the adoptions to be able to tell people that their claws have been trimmed, and sometimes show the potential adopters how to do it.

post #7 of 35

The difference is outdoor vs indoor cats.  My indoor cats get their claws trimmed when their soft paws fall off and it is time to put new ones on.  The claw husks come off with the softpaws and I clean and clip them before reapplying a softpaw. 

 

My outdoor cats...I don't touch their claws.  For one thing, they need them.  They live outside during the day and they need those claws for climbing, holding on to things, etc.  They scratch to sharpen them and they wear them down by walking on hard surfaces like rock and gravel or pavement.  My outdoor cats are beautiful and maybe even a bit healthier than my indoor cats (perhaps from the protein they get from hunting?).  We do, however, use Revolution YEAR AROUND for flea treatment, deworming, and heartworm prevention on our outdoor cats.  They also get a leukemia shot and YEARLY vaccines versus the every-three-year plan the indoor cats are on.

 

Hope this helps.

post #8 of 35

My cats go outside and I don't trim their claws. However, at the vet clinic, it's part of their service and it's done to all their patients for free.

post #9 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by TinySalmon View PostBut I have a friend whose cat is 9 years old, she never clips her claws. She also only takes her cat the to vet once a year, sometimes once every two years, says she never gives the cat anything for flea repellant and her cat is fine and healthy.. Her cat is also an outdoor cat. 

 


 


Sorry, her cat may appear healthy, but without flea and tick prevention on her outdoor cat, the cat is very probably host to many internal parasites.

 

As to your question, yes, I trim my cats' claws, most indoor only cats should get their claws trimmed, frequency, though, is as individual as cats themselves.

My oldest (17) has very rapidly growing claws and must be trimmed twice monthly to prevent them growing into her pads, she also no longer sharpens her claws.

She has also gotten caught on my desk chair a few times, once dislocating her shoulder.

The younger two (3 and 4 y/o) I trim every 4 months or so, mostly because they like to knead and give hugs and it gets painful.

post #10 of 35

I trim our cats' claws on a regular basis.  In addition, I trim all the cats' claws at the shelter, sometimes as many as 20 cats per week.  It has really cut down on the accidental injuries from the cats being handled by staff members and the public.

post #11 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by Arlyn View Post



Sorry, her cat may appear healthy, but without flea and tick prevention on her outdoor cat, the cat is very probably host to many internal parasites.




yeah.gif

I trim all claws on my indoor cats. Every 4-6 weeks, or sooner if I notice they are getting sharp and catching on things, or clicking on the floor, or if one has an appointment at the vet (I always trim claws before they go to the vet, as a courtesy to my vet)

Some take longer than others to learn to accept this. Mazy for instance took over 3 years before I was able to do her front claws at home (I took her to the groomer every 6 weeks while I was training her at home to accept it) It's only the past summer (over 6 years now) that she let me trim her hind claws.

There is a technique and some skill is needed. Your kitty needs to trust you to let you do it. I will be happy to share with you my method of how I teach cats to accept nail trimming, slow and gradual is the idea.

It's always good to have your cat used to being handled by you, starting right away after she comes to you, or at least as soon as she has settled in and is adjusted and comfortable. You never know when you might need to have to medicate her or something, so the more she is used to being handled, in general, the better.
post #12 of 35

Interesting. I've never trimmed my kitties nails; just never thought it was necessary. They do get caught on clothes sometimes, but I can't get out of my business suits fast enough anyway laughing02.gif , and I don't mind a nick here or there in playclothes. 

 

AC

post #13 of 35

When I lived at home we never did just because 2 out of 3 cats would buzzsaw us as soon as we even attempted it. I wish we could get Tasja's claws trimmed because her claws are ridiculously sharp and she constantly gets her claws snagged just walking. She takes such good care of her cuttlery though, she's always spends about 30 minutes to an hour a day maintaining her claws so they're always in the best condition but they're soooo sharp. She breaks skin just by kneading.

 

Anyways, I now clips Chacho's claws since I have a place and a cat of my own.  I don't do it as regularly as I'd like because the only time he'll hold still is when he's wanting to sleep on me which usually happens after I've fallen asleep lol.  I don't trim them as short as I'd like but his claws are two toned, they're lighter at the tips but get darker towards the base which makes it hard spotting the quick. I don't want to accidently hurt him wo I just trim the tips which is enough for a few days anyways. :-)

post #14 of 35
Jamie has one claw that grows crookedly, so that one gets trimmed. Otherwise I don't clip his (or Miezi's) claws, though I do check them regularly. He goes outside in a harness, and she's an indoor/outdoor cat. It's quite possible that their claws will need clipping as they age and groom less.
post #15 of 35

Most of my cats nails get trimmed to keep them from doing to much damage when we play and they miss the toy, or jump on me when they great me (Panda, Chip, and Bailey all do), or  little needles kneading me is not pleasant.

I have had Zoe, Panda, Chip, and Bailey from the time they were newborns so they are used to me clipping them. Boo was declawed years ago (my parents decision, I was young when they did it) so he just gets his back feet trimmed which he thinks is great and purrs the whole time. Chloe is funny and will purr the whole time you are doing it, except immediately after each one she meows,  she doesn't struggle or anything, just talks about it. Annabelle it just depends on the mood she is in that day whether or not her nails get trimmed.

There are 2 whose nails i don't touch, or rarely touch. Lily who is semi-feral, I am lucky if I can move when she is in the same room let alone hold her long enough to trim her nails, I can occasionally pet her but that is it. I am guessing her nails are fine, I never see them but she has no problem moving. Then there is Ella, you cant even cut one before some evil monster is awakened in her. She is fine with being held, but pick her up and have a pair of nail clippers in your hand and that's when she turns. Last time I tried I wrapped her up in a blanket hoping it might calm her down and make it easy, and she was just growling for a bit. Well I finished one paw and went to go to the next and she decided she was done and bit me, she bit down so hard she left a big bruise on my arm, because she was biting through a sweatshirt. I haven't tried again since, its just not worth it.

post #16 of 35

I trim Ritz' claws roughly ever four weeks, or before then if she is on my lap in a deep REM sleep or when she just wakes up.  She hates having her nails trimmed, though her DewClaw (which tends to curl) isn't nearly as sensitve.  Otherwise she gets her claws caught on the scratching posts and toys and I have to rescue her.  I hadn't though about dislocating a shoulder!

I do not worry so much about her back paws because she can chew them off herself although if she is in a really deep REM sleep and I've done the front paws, I do try clipping them.

(PS:  When Ritz is in a REM sleep, she kind of jerks and I can see her eye/eye lids move.)

post #17 of 35

We trim Tabby's claws about every four weeks or so. She's wonderful about claw-clipping and will lay in my arms while Rick clips. She doesn't fight us, but she's not real happy about either.

 

We usually do Mollipop's claws about every five weeks because she fights us with everything she has. She starts screaming like we're killing her and I swear we're as gentle as we can be. We've never clipped too closely or anything, but Molli's terrible. We try to get those dew claws first thing because she hates having them trimmed. But when they're long and she's kneading my arms, I get little pin-pricks from the claws.

post #18 of 35

One of the fantastic things about having textured tile throughout the house is that when the cats run really fast chasing toys or each other, they extend their claws for extra traction and little by little, create nice soft polished and rounded nails, heh.  

 

clap.gif

post #19 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ducman69 View Post

One of the fantastic things about having textured tile throughout the house is that when the cats run really fast chasing toys or each other, they extend their claws for extra traction and little by little, create nice soft polished and rounded nails, heh.  

 

clap.gif



Yeah, I absolutely hate carpeting for many, many reasons, not the least of which is cleanliness, but this just adds another reason to loathe the stuff.

post #20 of 35

I'd love to get rid of the carpeting in the living room and back the hallway for that very reason. We have carpeting in the bedroom, too, and putting down wood flooring is on our 2012 to-do list. The kitchen and bathroom have linoleum flooring and the computer room has wood flooring. Not a big fan of carpet anymore.

post #21 of 35
I don't trim, or cut my cats claws. I never have, nor seen any reason to do so in the 50+ years I've had cats. My cats are indoors, always. But in the past I have had cats get outside, accidentally. I want them to have all their defenses, should that happen again.

They never scratch me. I handle many cats, (brushing, petting, playing), each week at the shelter where I volunteer. I sometimes get minor scratches, but that is always from taking them out, or putting them back in cages not carefully enough. Anyway, these are my fault, not deliberate from the cats, and no big deal to boot.

I have lots of types of desirable scratching posts for my cats. The 6 I have now have been trained to not scratch furniture by using Sticky Paws tape (Petco and on line - other brands don't stick well) for a few months, placed on the places they tend to scratch.

I have never had the need to use flea meds, nor deworming meds on my indoor cats. However, these were applied to my current cats repeatedly at the shelter where they came from. If I had dogs, I'd have to deal with this, for the cats as well. My cats are checked for both when they go to the vet for their yearly physicals. When I have geriatric cats, they go in for a checkup at least every 6 months. I have had most of my cats live to 18 or more years.

Robin
post #22 of 35

We trim our cats' nails about every 3 weeks or so.  They are indoor only and we have carpet, so the nails don't get worn down. 

post #23 of 35

Everyone else has talked about clipped claws, so I bet your question there is answered.

 

As to vet visits and general care of the cats - from my own experience.. that's sometimes a cruel twist of fate. 

 

My ex-housemate had an fourteen year old cat that was never brushed, never had her claws trimmed, never wormed or flead, and had *never* been vaccinated or taken to the vet. My ex-housemate was proud of the fact that her outside cat was so "hardy".

 

I had a two and a half year old kitten called Mackerel that I loved desperately - she was wormed and looked after and taken to the vet frequently... I brushed her and wormed her and looked after her, and tried to keep her inside as much as I could. (Hard with a housemate who refused to help me by not letting her outside.) She caught FIP and died. 

 

My housemate decided to go on a holiday, and surrendered her cat (she'd had for fourteen years.) to the RSPCA where she was put to sleep.

 

Fate's cruel. Some people don't deserve pets.

 

Take care of your cat and at least you'll always know that you did the best for them that you could.

post #24 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jalindal View Post

 

Take care of your cat and at least you'll always know that you did the best for them that you could.



Very well said, sweetie. ( BTW, I remember your dear Mackerel; she was a very special girl rbheart.gif )

post #25 of 35

I trim Holland's claws when I notice her, as I say, "sticking" in the carpet. Probably about every 2-3 weeks. My brother and SIL have a beagle who got her claw stuck in the carpet, ended up tearing it out, bleeding, and an emergency trip to the vet, so I am very aware of that now. Also, I used to only have to trim her front claws, and I remember reading somewhere that they will use their teeth to keep the back claws in check, and sure enough, since Holland has had all her teeth pulled, I have to trim her back claws too. I do them much less often than her front ones though, probably every few months.

 

As far as vet visits, I view my cats as my children, so they go to the doctor once a year for a well-visit. When they are seniors, I will probably take them in twice a year. I know people who don't take their animals to the vet unless something is wrong, but that's not my philosophy. If your friend is taking her cat in once a year, I don't see anything wrong with that - the cat is getting regular vet care. But I don't know much about caring for outdoor cats, as mine are strictly indoor.

post #26 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by libby74 View Post


 

Very well said, sweetie. ( BTW, I remember your dear Mackerel; she was a very special girl rbheart.gif )

 

Thank you Libby. <3 You were such a support to me while we were going through it all..! I really appreciated it then and still! -hugs- Sorry for the late reply - I only came back to TCS briefly in '12, but possibly back more regularly now. -secret smile-

post #27 of 35
I trim Foley's nails whenever he lets me and I gotta do it slow because he freaks out maybe 2 or 3 nails at once and I have to wait for him to relax again. His claws are so so so sharp that he barely touches me and he opens my skin I have to say, sadly, that im covered with scars because of him. He likes to play hi5. With Maia is easier whenever she's sleeping I cut all of her claws except one paw so she can definitely herself whenever shes playing with Foley.
post #28 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jalindal View Post
 

 

Thank you Libby. <3 You were such a support to me while we were going through it all..! I really appreciated it then and still! -hugs- Sorry for the late reply - I only came back to TCS briefly in '12, but possibly back more regularly now. -secret smile-

 

I don't get here nearly as often any more either, hon, but I'll be looking for you :wavey:

post #29 of 35

I trim my older cats' claws because they don't scratch a lot and they get long. My younger ones use the scratch posts more so their nails are good. Yes they're sharp, but they get the dead layers off so they don't become overgrown. An active cat with a good scratching surface shouldn't need its nails trimmed unless you're worried about getting scratched.

post #30 of 35

It never even occured to me to trim my cats' claws...  The 3 cats in my life knead with their claws, one of them VERY enthusiastically (her claws can reach through my duvet), but it is just something I put up with. For me, things like minor scratches from kneading, over-zealous playing, and the odd miscommunication are just part of co-habiting with cats. I tend to adapt to accommodate my pets rather than trying to change their behaviour for my sake (mostly because I am too lazy!). All the cats are indoor/outdoor cats anyway, so I would like them to have their claws so they can climb and defend themselves if they get into fights. Not to mention letting them claw me lightly when they are in a good mood would be much better for my health than trying to clip their claws - one of them hates being handled/restrained and has no problem letting you know about it, and another one is a sweetheart but reacts suddenly and viciously if you touch her paws! If I tried to clip either of them, I would probably get disembowelled D: 

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