Claw Health Trimming Tips For Cats

Cat scratching can be an annoying habit. It can lead to damaged furniture, carpet, and even walls. Yet, declawing isn't necessarily the answer, as it is both painful to the cat and can lead to health problems. Learning how to take care of your cat's claws properly can help you avoid this procedure. 

Get a trim

Regular trimming is the simplest way to manage claw issues. All you need is a pair of claw clippers and some basic knowledge. Begin by holding the cat firmly so it can't squirm. Grasping gently yet firmly in the crook of an arm typically works well. You can also wrap the cat in a towel if you need more help. Then, hold a paw firmly and press on the pad until the claws emerge.

When trimming the nail, you only want to cut off only the tip. Cutting off more than the tip can damage the quick, which then leads to bleeding. It's also a good idea to keep a styptic stick on hand so you can stem the bleeding quickly in the event you cut too deeply.

Tip #2: Get claw covers

If trimming the claws seems like too much effort or if your cat just won't stand for it, claw covers are another option. These are thin covers that are glued over the claws. They prevent the cat from causing any damage if they do scratch. The covers are placed by either a veterinarian or a groomer. They do need periodic reapplication since cats shed their claws at regular intervals. When this occurs, the covers will also be shed.

Tip #3: Keep healthy scratching options

Whether you trim or cover the claws, you must also keep plenty of healthy scratching options in the house. This means a combination of scratching posts and items. These can include scratchers that are attached to walls, standing posts, and cardboard scratchers that are set on the ground. You may need to experiment with different scratchers to find one your cat prefers. Another trick is to place catnip on a scratcher to entice your cat to use it.

No matter what you choose to do, there can be a chance of infection if a claw is cut incorrectly or becomes snagged on a scratcher and breaks. If you are concerned about your cat's claw health or need help in managing their scratching, contact an animal hospital in your area.