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Cat Claw Care

Veterinarians and Pet Care
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For the most part, cats can take pretty good care of their claws on their own. However, inside only cats and elderly cats may need additional cat claw care to prevent infections and painful conditions. Additionally, all cats should be given the right tools to help them keep their claws in the best health possible.

Regular Check-Ups

Occasionally when you pet your cat, take the time to check up on your cat’s claws. Gently place pressure on the paws so the claws will extend, and look for any claws which may be too long, split or that may be infected.

Scratching Posts for Claw Health

Cats instinctively sharpen their claws on wood, or in some cases furniture. This sharpening action serves to keep the cat’s claws in tip top shape for defense, and the claw marks also serve as a territory mark or calling card.

To help keep your cat’s claws healthy, and to avoid scratch marks on the furniture, try to provide your cat with a sturdy tough scratching post. Posts made of plain wood or which are covered in hard ropes is best.

When to Trim Cat Claws

Most cats who have access to the outdoors do not need their claws trimmed. Indoor cats may need an occasional trim though if their claws become too long. Use a pet nail trimmer or a pet nail grinder to keep your cat’s claws trim, healthy and clean. Trim just the white tips off the claws and never cut into the pink cuticle.

Cat Claw Care for Elderly Cats

Elderly felines may need more extensive cat claw care as they may forget to sharpen their claws or may not sharpen their claws enough to keep them trim (veterinarian offices are accustomed to occasionally seeing elderly cats whose claws have grown so long they curl under and into the cat’s paws causing severe infection and pain). If you have a senior feline, take the time to check claws at least once a week and trim the claws on a monthly basis.

When Veterinarian Visits are Needed

If your cat has any type of infection on its claws, you will need to see a veterinarian as soon as possible. Cat claws are prone to injury from jumping, cat fights or scratching, and injuries to cat claws can cause severe infections in a short amount of time. Unhealthy claws may also be a symptom of an underlying medical condition, and it is best to have your cat examined by a veterinarian to find out the cause of any claw conditions.

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