If we humans want to return the love our cats shower upon us, a good way to do it is make sure our cat’s nails are trimmed on a regular basis. Why trim a cat’s nails? There’s a long list of reasons.
Long nails can get caught on things in the house and a torn nail may result.
Cat scratch posts and platforms are not always enough to keep your cat’s nails trim. And they won’t do any good at all if the cat doesn’t want to use them.
Ingrown nails can result when the nail grows around into a circle and pierces the foot pad. Polydactyl (multi-toed) cats are especially prone to this syndrome. If not treated, ingrown nails are painful for the cat and their paws can become infected.
Claws are formed from keratin, the same substance that forms hair. They grow continuously just like human finger and toe nails. There are five claws on each fore paw but only four on each of the hind paws that will require clipping.
Sharp cat claws will shred screen doors, furniture and drapes.
It is always better to trim cat’s nails instead of having them surgically removed. Some vets will refuse to do it for ethical reasons. A cat can’t defend itself from other animals or even escape up a tree with no claws. A few nations, Australia for example, have banned declawing as inhumane.
Before trimming your cat’s nails, assemble all of the supplies you will need. Purchase a pair of safety type nail clippers from a pet store. They are sometimes also known as Guillotine clippers and are usually less than $10. You should also have some styptic powder or gel handy in case of bleeding. Have some cat treats nearby too, so kitty and get positive reinforcement when the procedure ends successfully. Sometimes a large towel is helpful to hold a struggling cat steady and help keep him calm.
Some people may be more comfortable using one of the “Peticure” or “Pedipaws” electric nail trimmers as seen on TV. They are not quite as simple to operate as the television commercial indicates, but they can be effective if the cat is OK with the electronic buzzing noise.
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