Your cat’s claws are one of its most beautiful assets in everyday life. They allow it to climb trees and hunt prey. These small sharp claws also allow it to defend itself or to mark its territory by depositing pheromones that indicate its presence to other animals.
If all this is perfectly natural, it is also very problematic for your furniture and you’re interiorly lacerated by the many scratches. However, should you cut your cat’s claws? And if so, how to proceed?
How does the cat’s paw look?
Cat’s claw comes in two parts. The inside and outside of the claw. The inside of the claw, or pulp, is supplied with nerve and blood vessels, so its total section is very painful. The exterior, or keratinized part, consists of several horny layers. This is the part that must be removed when you cut or file your cat’s claw.
These sharp little claws are retractable, meaning that they are not in contact with the ground and that the cat only wields them when it needs them. If this formidable weapon is very practical, this means on the other hand that it does not wear out its claws daily (unlike the dog) and that it needs to regularly scratch suitable surfaces to be able to ensure their maintenance. These scrapings are seen as a plague by the owners who take a dim view of the destruction of their furniture but they are nevertheless essential.
Should you cut your cat’s claws?
A cat’s claws should never be cut with ordinary scissors, as it may hurt since the pulp of the claw is supplied with nerves and blood vessels. It is however possible to file it delicately. Yet is this a good idea? It all depends on the context.
The cat’s claws are an integral part of its identity, just as a human needs its hands to function daily. Unlike us, our feline does not need to make sharp tools to assist in day to day, its claws are there for that and it is important to respect. While there are many tips for escaping scratches or at least reducing their impact on our interior and controlling your companion’s hunting instincts, adopting a cat may not be the best idea if your interior cannot fit. allow you to receive a scratch or two from time to time.
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Cutting the claws of outdoor cats:
If you live in the countryside or your cat has unlimited access to the outdoors, you are doing them a disservice by filing their claws. He needs it to defend himself, to climb and escape in case of danger. A cat outdoors naturally wears out its claws: wood, bricks, leaves, sheets, all the surfaces that stand in its way allow it to file its small retractable claws and you will not need to intervene, except to check from time to time that he has not hurt himself. Although sturdy, cats’ claws can sometimes break or become infected.
Cutting the claws of an indoor cat
Despite a strong hunting instinct, your indoor cat has little else to track than its plastic mouse. Its claws are therefore a major drawback that stands between your maintained interior and you. Filing your cat’s claws if they are too sharp is always a good idea, but remember that scratching is part of her instincts and that it would just be painful and cruel to cut her claws completely.
Rather, adapt your environment by offering your pet surfaces adapted to its needs such as a scratching post or a cat tree. If despite your best efforts, your cat continues to scratch your couch or chair, or even show claws when you approach him, the problem is probably more behavioral and it is probably time to take care of your cat’s education.
How to limit cat scratches?
You are understanding and benevolent towards your cat, however, this automatic destruction of your furniture and everything you care about begins to weigh on you. While it is not a question of completely cutting your cat’s claws, there are many ways to prevent them from scratching all over the place. It is above all necessary to focus on the training and behavior of the cat, rather than directly tackling the result. Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to fix scratching inconvenience once and for all before having to cut your cat’s claws.
- Dressing: Define areas suitable for scratching and scratching. The ideal is to scatter one or two in all the rooms that your cat has access to. From a young age, get him used to scratch only in these areas. When your kitten attacks your chair legs or carpet, bring her firmly to her scraper or shaft, and don’t hesitate to reward her for following the instructions.
- The scraper: There are many cardboard scrapers suitable for cats on the market. These rectangular honeycomb boxes are perfect for your cat’s claws, who adore them! If these adapted boxes are perfect for maintaining the cat’s claws, and the hunting instinct of their owner, pieces of sturdy cardboard or wood can do the trick. One rule: change them as soon as they are too worn so that they continue to be of interest to your cat.
- The cat tree: If you have a garden, teach your pet to the scratch outside. When your kitten does his own, take him firmly outside in front of a tree or a designated place. If you live in an apartment or do not have a directly accessible exterior, invest in a cat tree! These textile trees have hiding places and rope trunks that allow your cat to scratch, but also to exercise!
- Repellents: Despite the installation of suitable equipment, your cat continues to scratch what it shouldn’t and your pretty Persian carpet no longer looks like it used to be? You can try natural repellents! Certain odors put off your pet and make him want to linger. Cats are particularly sensitive to the following odors: White vinegar, Rosemary, Lavender, Thyme, Lemon, and citrus. You can mix some of these herbs or a little vinegar in a spray bottle of water and spray it on the area to be protected.
When to cut my cat’s claws?
Despite everything, your cat’s claws are too long, do you notice that he often injures himself or hurts others? Your old cat can no longer retract its little claws? Spikes sticking out as the cat has retracted its claws? You can decide to file or gently cut the tips of its claws!
- Get your kitten used to the cut as soon as she is small. To do this, lightly press the claw to get it used to the pressure of a cut. File or gently cut your kitten’s still soft claws to get her used to it.
- With each cut, take the opportunity to check the cat’s paws and inspect its pads for any impurities or small injuries that could prevent your cat from walking properly.
- Get yourself a special nail clipper, which you will find in pet stores, the no question of using yours! The cat’s claw is very supplied with blood vessels and nerves, cutting it off could cause it serious pain. Also, its claws are curved and must benefit from a special material. If in doubt, ask your vet or groomer to show you how.
- Hold your cat close to you, squeezing him gently. Do not hesitate to speak to him softly to reassure him. If you haven’t accustomed him from an early age to having his claws cut or filed, the cat may be more fearful and suspicious. In these cases, do it several times, take breaks, praise and reward him.
- Gently press down on the pad to pop out the claw and only file or cut the transparent part, which measures a few millimeters.
- If you accidentally cut too deep and it bleeds, you can apply a little silver nitrate with a cotton ball. The cat may feel a burning feeling, be sure to hold it securely.
- If the bleeding does not stop or the cat seems embarrassed in its movements, make an appointment with the vet.
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It is recommended to cut or file the cat’s claws when they are too long or when, despite many measures in place, it continues to scratch everywhere. Cutting or filing its ends can be a great alternative to save your furniture. Be careful though! Cat claws are not simple nails that can be cut, you must be very careful and do not hesitate to contact a veterinarian or a groomer in case of doubt.