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 cat’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. Here’s the how and why of cat
Why trim your cat’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
kitty’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 cat’s claws every few weeks in
such cases to avoid getting hurt playing or snuggling with your
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 cat’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 cat’s claws every few weeks.
How to trim your cat’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 “answer your cat’s question” day. (What,
you didn't have your calendar marked already?) A nagging question
among many cats has to be why owners won’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 “I own this” signals to other felines.
Unfortunately, owners don’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
won’t look or smell right and the cat may take many weeks or more
to use the replacement.
Enhance the exhibit
If you can’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 doesn’t hide the scent or claw
marks but adds to the feline scratch mystique.
Spot clean only
If a cat happens to “whoops” 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
It’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 that’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
Amy Shojai is a certified
animal behavior consultant, consultant to the pet care industry
and the award winning author of 23 pet care books.