What Happens If You Don’t Trim Your Cat’s Nails?

​If you are looking for the answer for this question - What Happens If You Don't Trim Your Cat's Nails?

​This article will guide you through everything you need to know about nail trimming for your kitten.

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​One fundamental part of the cat’s anatomy that hopefully more and more people will accept and live with is their nails (claws). Unlike human fingernails that grow out of flesh, cat’s nails grow out of the last bone from the three that they have in each of their toes.

So, you can only imagine just how cruel and unnecessary declawing is. This process of removing cats’ claws completely is more like an amputation. Perhaps, it should be called “de-toeing.”

We’re not saying you should not cut or trim your cat’s nails. While it is an important part of their body, it is also vital to keep them at a certain measure for them and your own good.

Cats and Regular Nail Trims

Cats’ nails just like humans’ grow overtime. While humans cut their nails with nippers and nail cutters, cats do it naturally by unconsciously losing them as they move.

See, cats are digitigrades. Creatures like them walk on their toes, unlike humans and other mammals who walk on the soles of their feet.

​When they walk, the nails go against the ground making a “filing” effect on their claws.

Therefore, you will rarely see an outdoor cat that has long nails and claws. Because they always walk on rough pavements, roads, and trees.

​Indoor cats require a “claw management” program. Living indoors doesn’t give them enough occasions where they can shorten their nails naturally.

Indoor cats with long nails cause damages more than you can imagine. Not just for you but for them.

Leaving your cats nails untrimmed will have your expensive furnishings end up shredded. They could also potentially do that to your skin, as well.

When the cat’s nails grow too long, they become bent and curled and don’t retract easily.

​You would know when it is time to trim the cat’s nails when it gets hooked in the carpet, pieces of clothing, comforter, or other soft surfaces.

​Cats also have the ability to retract their claws. This means that they can pull back their nails to ensure they retain the sharpness.

​Cat claws are only fully viewable when they are extended and released from being retracted in instances where they climb, hunt, or defend themselves.

​If you notice your cat can no longer fully retract their claws, it is time to get them trimmed.

If you leave the cat’s claws without proper claw management, the worst case can be an overgrown curved nail that can begin to grow into your cat’s footpad.

​This is extremely painful for them and can cause problems with their mobility.

These reasons should be enough for you to be mindful of keeping your cat’s nails managed. Maintain claw management by doing it at least once every two weeks.

What to Do If You Don’t Want to Cut Your Cat’s Nails

Cutting your cat’s claws is a real blow to the confidence and well being of your cat not only because they grow from the bones.

​Rather, claws are important for them for balancing, exercising, climbing, stretching, and toning of their muscles - from their legs, back, shoulders, and paws.

Moggies also use them to hunt and capture their prey and escape and defend against their predators.

​Claws are also a big part of their marking behavior when they are outdoors. Generally, their claws are as important to them as much as our nails are to us.

If these reasons discourage you to trim your cat’s nails, do these instead:

​1.Educate :

People have misconceptions that cats can’t be taught. They can. As you educate them not to hit on your sofas, walls, and carpets, be patient and do not give up.

​Whenever you notice them scratching in the wrong places, daunt them by using a firm and steady but calm voice.

Never hit or scold them. If they disregard you and they continue with their wrongdoing, spray them on the back with a bit of water.

​2. Keep them, scratchers:

To make them stop scratching your sofa or your walls, make sure you offer them an alternative spot where they can lay their claws on – scratch posts. These are the best items you can distract them from your expensive loungers.

Ideally, give them several scratch posts positioned strategically throughout the house so they don’t get bored enough to come back to your sofa.

​Adding a catnip at the top of the post will attract and encourage the cats to use them all the time.

​3.Cat tree:

Most cat owners who live in an apartment have but mostly the same complaint, their cats using their curtains as their runways.

​Cats are natural climbers, that is why they are so in touch with their claws since it helps them when they climb.

Unfortunately, not a lot of apartment dwellers who own cats fail to recognize how a cat activity center or cat tree can help them.

​Allow your cat to climb but not through your curtains. A cat tree is perfect for them to practice their skills in a perfectly adapted surface.

​Keep Your Cat Calm - The First Step In Claw Management

If a cat tree is not feasible for you and you feel you would rather cut them nails, keep in mind that they are as challenging as cutting the nails of a baby. The most important thing before you start is to make sure they are calm, ready, and steady.

  • ​Pick a comfortable chair in a quiet and secluded room where your cat won’t be able to look out at the window.
  • ​Keep and hold the kitten in your lap when she is at her relaxed and sleepy state, such as when she just ate or tired from playing.
  • ​For at least a few days prior to cutting her nails, have here get used with you massaging their front legs and paws. Press gently on each foot pad with your thumb and forefinger to release their nails from being retracted.
  • ​Release the pressure and every time you do, reward them with a cat treat.
  • ​Have your cat familiar with the sound of nail clippers. Placing a piece of uncooked spaghetti noodle in the cat nail clipper will emulate the sound of a nail being clipped. Do that when you press on the cat’s footpad so they have an idea what the nail clipper is for and how it is not harmful to them.

​How to Cut Your Cat’s Nails

You will know that your cat has been psyched to nail trimming when he is calm and comfortable whenever you touch her paws.

Now that you are ready to trim their nails, be sure you have just the right tools to do that.

​With so many cat nail clippers in the market, picking one can be confusing. Vets have recommended:

If you are not sure which nail clipper to choose, a consultation with your veterinarian can help you decide which cutter type would be best for you and your mouser.

Once you’ve finally picked your device of choice, properly trim cats nails by:

  • ​Organizing what you will use; sharp cat nail clippers, a towel, and styptic powder (in case the nail starts to bleed).
  • ​Placing your cat on your lap with her looking opposite your direction and with your forearm over her neck. Gently and softly wrap her in the towel in case she starts to squirm.
  • ​Massaging and pressing the footpad to release the nails from being retracted with the paws.
  • ​Locating the nails quickly and avoiding the pink portion of the claws that takes in nerves and blood vessels.
  • ​Before cutting, try to position the clippers upright or perpendicular to the nail so you are cutting it from the top to bottom. Do not cut side to side as it may cause the nail to split.
  • ​Clip only the sharp tip of the claws, gently. Do not cut the quick (or the nail pulp - the pink part of the cat’s nails). Wounding the quick will be painful and may cause bleeding.
  • ​In case of accidental cutting of the quick, apply a reasonable amount of styptic powder to rapidly stop the bleeding.

Your cat’s temperament is also a vital indication of whether you can continue to cut all of the paws’ claws.

​At times, you may only be able to cut a few, but that’s ok. Be patient and soon enough they will get used to the activity of nail cutting.

Never punish if the cat resists to a nail trim. This will not only hurt him but may make him grow distant from you.

If all else fails and your tom continually refuses your efforts at trimming his nails, there are professional pet groomers you can take him to, to do the deed. Or, you can always bring him back to your trusty old veterinarian.

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