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cats claws get stuck in everything!

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
hi. i have a cat who can get pretty viscious. she's about two years old now. she constantly swats at us and pounces at our feet, etc and always uses her claws. well, now her nails have gotten to be pretty long and sharp. it wasnt a problem until she was about a year and a half. or at least, i never noticed any problem.

now, however, she gets stuck in everything. she likes to claw at curtains, the couch, blankets, etc, but she always winds up accidently getting her claws stuck in them. after a short struggle, she can usually free herself but sometimes we find her meowing helplessly with her claws stuck in something. usually she gets angry when we try to help her get unstuck. she's even caused herself to pull a nail out and i found her with a bloody paw on one occasion (only once thank god! i think she learned not to pull so hard after that point)

she wont let me get near her feet. ive tried touching her feet more and more, gradually, while i feed her and give her treats, while we play nicely, etc, but she has never gotten used to it. i had the vet try to trim her nails during a visit, but she became so viscious that the vet ended up having to get out one of those long poles with the slip loop on the end. it was very traumatizing and scary for all of us!! the vet didn't even finish clipping her last foot because it was just too risky for getting injured. during this, the vet used the towel method to restrain her and i think being restrained is really what freaked her out. so using a towel and a friend to try to cut her nails is really out of the question.

after that point, i didn't make an effort to trim her nails. i've noticed little nail sheddings on occasion and i've read that thats normal from scratching, etc and a healthy way for cats to shorten their own nails. (the sheaths, i guess?) however, she still gets stuck in things all the time and if its not painful, it must at least be very annoying for her.

some people recommended getting a light sedation pill and try to do it then. i got the pills from a vet but he warned me that they won't put her under all the way and i could be dealing with the cat equivalent of an angry drunk. he said if i really felt it was necessary, i could try it, but he thinks having her be stuck in things is better than risking serious injury to her or me. i still have the pills and havent tried to use them. she's had scratching posts but doesn't ever seem impressed with them, and still gets stuck in things, even when she's not scratching persay, rather just playing i guess, even sometimes just walking around! i just heard about the soft nail covers but i saw that you need to clip their nails to put those on, so that sort of rules those out. i have no idea what to do!

any advice?!?
post #2 of 11
Oh your poor kitty! I think your vet may have been a little drastic with his attempts!

Do you know of a reputable groomer in your area? They might be able to trim your cats nails for you as I would imagine that they would be used to all situations!

My Molly used to stick to everything, but I can handle her well and trim her claws regularly!

My friend has a cat who will not tolerate being handled and he goes to the vets, to be lightly sedated, to have his claws trimmed and to be groomed.

Sorry I can't be of more help! I'm sure others will have some suggestions for you too!
post #3 of 11
Yikes, normally I can trim almost any cats nails, but from what you describe, I'd be hesitant in doing her; and I'm not afraid of cats.

I think I'd still do the towel way and wrap her up really good (head included) and slowly take one foot at a time. Lots of times nooses cause more negative reactions in cats then its worth.

You can't have the cat viciously attack you all the time, biting or clawing or clawing your furniture.

While I'm totally against declawing, this sounds like a legit reason to have it done. Its a last resort thing. But if you do declaw, then you have to keep the cat inside unless trained to a leash and supervised outside and deal with possible litter pan problems.

Either that or try to find it a safe outside country home; or put the cat down. In this case, you don't have a lot of good solutions.
post #4 of 11
My older cat, Trouble, is the same way, he won't let me near his back paws, his front claws are ok, but not the back.

You can try two things. Trim her nails when she is sleeping. Do one foot one day, and the other the next, etc. I prefer doing them all at once, easier to keep track of, but sometimes we have no choice.

Have someone hold her up. I.E. Hold her with her back against them. That way they can hold her front paws while you clip her back paws. She will probably have a screaming fit so you will have to do one paw, let her go and do another paw later.

Also do you have a good scratching post? This really helps to keep their claws trimmed and if you can get her to scratch there more often, it might help.

Hope this helps.

P.S. Please, please, please do not even consider having her declawed!
Also there are some really good behavioral advice threads in the boards that can be helpful to you.
post #5 of 11
Thread Starter 
thanks for all the advice.

i think i may try calling around to some groomers and see what they think, see if they think they'd be able to handle her at least.

the vet i went to was really great and the noose ended up really being a last ditch effort to get my cat under control. she's wonderful with my cat, giving shots, and everything, something my cat would normally not be happy with at all (shes very moody. she only likes to bet petted and snuggled on HER terms, when SHES in the mood, which im fine with). the vet started with simply putting her under a towel and having a friend restrain her. after clipping on paw, thats when my cat stella flipped out. i think the noise combined with being restrained just made her really panic. from then, it turned crazy. first the vet just tried to get thick gloves, but that was too risky, then she got even thicker huge gloves, no good, and hten finally the noose thing. it was a big ordeal but it definitely didnt start out that way.

now whenever stella gets approached with a towel she panics and runs. its been a while since i've tried so i may try that approach again soon, with the help of my roommate who handles her pretty well. she seems to like males better, especially any male with a beard for her to scratch her head on. haha.

im goingn to start looking into behavioral things but she only swats and things when we approach her. she often approaches us and its totally fine because then its on her terms.

i'll try another scratching post and be more adament about her using it. thanks!
post #6 of 11
You may have to resort to a combination of a bathing bag and a cat muzzle.
post #7 of 11
Thread Starter 
so all in all, trimming is definitely necessary? would consistent use of a scratching post be enough for her to dull her nails down so she doesnt get stuck all the time? or no?
post #8 of 11
Trimming really is neccesary for indoor cats.
Scratching posts do not wear the nails down, they simply use them to mark and to help shed the nail's outter layer.

Outdoor cats do not really need it as the nails are worn down by the environment.
Over long nails can sometimes curl under and grow into the pawpad, or cause other injuries such as broken toes or torn nails by getting stuck in things.
post #9 of 11
I'm a groomer.

There really is no need for all this trauma over trimming nails- I fear that the experience at the vets was unfortunate in that it probably made her worse. They should know better how to handle cats, and to recognize when a situation has gotten out of control and when to quit.

Find a groomer. All you need is an E-collar and a decent helper. It should take all of 30 seconds.
post #10 of 11
Originally Posted by GoldenKitty45 View Post
While I'm totally against declawing, this sounds like a legit reason to have it done. Its a last resort thing. But if you do declaw, then you have to keep the cat inside unless trained to a leash and supervised outside and deal with possible litter pan problems.

Either that or try to find it a safe outside country home; or put the cat down. In this case, you don't have a lot of good solutions.
I disagree totally with the above suggestions. IMO there is NEVER a legit reason to declaw. As for putting the cat down, that IMO is also not even an option. Other posters have given you some good info including getting her lightly sedated and/or having a groomer do the clipping.

Perhaps patience and gently doing even one claw at a time while she is sleeping/relaxed is a good way to go.
post #11 of 11
Thread Starter 
im going to try just doing one or two claws at a time when she's being held nicely. sometimes we can seduce her into a dream like state. its not that often but usually my partners beard does the trick, she loves scratching her forehead on it. i tried holding her paw and extending her claws the other night and she let me do it for a considerable amount of time. im just afraid once she hears those clipper noises she flip out again. the sound and being restrained are what seemed to really scare her. but i'll give it a go. its been about 6 months since the traumatic experience so maybe she's forgotten.
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