Why It Is a Good Idea to Trim Your Indoor Cat's Claws

Why It Is a Good Idea to Trim Your Indoor Cat's Claws

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Do you have an indoor cat who never goes out except on a leash or in a crate with you? If yes, you might have been wondering if trimming your catโ€™s claws is a good idea. There are a lot of conflicting articles online about trimming claws, and it can get quite confusing to make a decision. Hereโ€™s the how and why of cat claw trimming.

Why trim your catโ€™s claws at all

  • Avoid cuts and infections: If your cat plays a lot with you ends up swiping your arms, legs or other body parts while playing, it might be a good idea to trim your kittyโ€™s claws. If your cat has a habit of kneading you, it is possible that its claws are out frequently and causing you pain. It is best to trim your catโ€™s claws every few weeks in such cases to avoid getting hurt playing or snuggling with your cat.
  • Avoid ingrown claws: Some indoor cats do not have a lot of surfaces to scratch, which leads to ingrown claws at times. Ingrown claws refers to claws that turn inward and grow into the pads in your catโ€™s paws. This can be extremely painful and can cause infections and wounds on the paws. If your cat has ingrown claws, it is best to let your vet trim the claws and show you how to avoid it going forward.
  • Avoid damage to furniture: If your cat has a habit of scratching your furniture and has sharp claws, it can cause a lot of damage to all your household furniture. It can also cause your clothes to have pulled threads when your cat kneads you or plays with you. To avoid such damage, you can clip the sharp ends of your catโ€™s claws every few weeks.

How to trim your catโ€™s claws

  • Do it quick. Most cats do not have the patience to be held down and sit in one spot while you trim their claws. It is important to get it done as quickly as you can before your cat starts squirming and trying to get away.
  • Use proper nail clippers to trim claws. This ensures there are no injuries or awkward cuts. Your nail clippers will work perfectly fine on cats if you do not want to buy clippers meant specifically for claws.
  • Ensure your kitty is relaxed. A squirming, annoyed cat means you risk injury while trimming claws. Get your cat comfortable before you start clipping.

Trimming claws is a good idea only if your cat stay exclusively indoors. If you have an indoor/outdoor cat, it is best to leave the claws as is as they need sharp claws for climbing and self-defense. Outdoor cats should never have trimmed claws as they need it for survival.

How to Clean Your Cat's Clawing Obsession

Sunday, January 22 is โ€œanswer your catโ€™s questionโ€ day. (What, you didn't have your calendar marked already?) A nagging question among many cats has to be why owners wonโ€™t clean cat trees and scratching posts the right way.

Clawing important property like a much loved cat tree and scratching post makes it look more attractive to the cats. It leaves scented โ€œI own thisโ€ signals to other felines. Unfortunately, owners donโ€™t always appreciate the tattered claw art. Even worse, some owners throw out a tattered cat tree and replace with lovely new scratching posts and cat trees, and then wonder why the cat refuses to use them. Refer to these 5 tips for the proper way to keep cat claw objects spiffy.

Celebrate claw art

Since it has important meanings, your cat wants their claw graffiti seen by the world. A tattered claw object the cat returns to time and again means the cat has the scratch post looking (and smelling) exactly the way it should. A new cat tree wonโ€™t look or smell right and the cat may take many weeks or more to use the replacement.

Enhance the exhibit

If you canโ€™t stand the tatters, add to the cat exhibition. Place a fuzzy bed over top of the worst claws spots so the scent remains, but embarrassing frays stay out of sight. Or invest in some sisal rope and wrap it around and around over top of the shreds. Cats love sisal, which doesnโ€™t hide the scent or claw marks but adds to the feline scratch mystique.

Spot clean only

If a cat happens to โ€œwhoopsโ€ with a hairball or undigested dinner all over the resting spot, humans naturally bring out cleaning agents to spruce up the nastiness. Take care to avoid citrus smells that tend to repel cats. Instead use cat safe odor neutralizers if kitty has urine-sprayed the object.

Offer a sun bath

Itโ€™s amazing what wonders fresh air can do. If your cat tree or scratch post has become quite pungent, setting it outside on a sunny day for a several hours helps air it out. Sunlight also can neutralize fungal spores like ringworm if thatโ€™s a concern.

Spritz with catnip

While the smell of citrus can repel cats, adding a touch of catnip to the cat tree smells good to you and may reinforce your feline's scratch allegiance. Rub the dried herb all over the smelly spot, or find some catnip spray products. Cats also react to mint aromas so a bit of peppermint may perk up owner's and cat's attitudes.

Amy Shojai is a certified animal behavior consultant, consultant to the pet care industry and the award winning author of 23 pet care books.
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