Many of us might not think about trimming our cats’ claws. This is especially true for those whose cats are well trained not to scratch up the furniture or the drapes. However, trimming cats’ claws is an important part of keeping them well groomed and healthy. Here’s why.
Trimming cats’ claws: Protection for them and you
Admittedly, we don’t trim our cats’ claws nearly as much as we should. I’ve watched Chase play on the carpet, and sometimes, his back claws get stuck. Gizmo’s claws sometimes get stuck in blankets, and they click on the hard floors when she walks. All four of our cats have claws that get pretty sharp. With Chase and Gizmo, there’s the possibility that they could injure themselves when their claws haven’t been trimmed. This is one reason why trimming cats’ claws is so important.
Another reason why trimming cats’ claws is necessary has to do with protecting yourself. As Vetstreet points out, if you’ve got a cat that loves kneading on you, those claws are going to hurt. Kneading is one of the ways our cats show they love us and are comfortable with us, so dulling their claws by trimming them can help to make that experience much more of an enjoyable bonding experience for both of you.
Trimming cats’ claws is also a fantastic alternative to declawing. This is especially true if you’re training your cat to only scratch approved surfaces. Scratching is natural to cats, and they will do it, so it’s important that they know what they can and can’t scratch around your house. While you’re training them, though, they may still scratch your furniture, and nicely trimmed claws will help reduce the damage.
Some ways to help you trim your cats’ claws
Despite knowing why trimming cats’ claws is a good idea, it can still be a frightening prospect. A lot of cats don’t like us to play with their paws, let alone each one of their toes. Start slow, and with treats at hand. Gently touch each of your cat’s paws, and give her treats, to give her a positive association with your touch.
Don’t rush it. Make sure she’s comfortable with you handling her paws before you start clipping her claws. Because you only want to take the tip off, if you’ve got a struggling cat, you could cut too much off of her claws and hurt her, or you could end up doing worse. There has to be a certain level of trust and comfort before you try trimming cats’ claws.
If you can’t get all of her claws at once, don’t worry. Trim as many as she’ll allow, and then give her treats. Repeat the process later, until you’ve trimmed all of her claws. If this is just too much for you, and you don’t feel you can safely do this, then you can call your vet or a groomer and have them do it for you.
The bottom line is that trimming cats’ claws doesn’t just protect you and your house, it protects your cats, too. This is an important part of caring for your cat that you shouldn’t neglect.