Is it bad to not trim a cat's claws?

sara729

TCS Member
Thread starter
Young Cat
Joined
Sep 20, 2017
Messages
20
Reaction score
16
I have two cats, one of whom is fine with having her claws trimmed. My male cat, however, absolutely will not let me touch his claws. I've tried since he was a kitten, even when he was sound asleep, and he freaks out every time. It honestly doesn't bother me that his claws aren't trimmed, he only scratches his scratching posts and rarely scratches me. Are there any health risks to my cat to not have his claws trimmed? I've heard about ingrown claws, but I'm hoping that's not a common occurrence.
 

Furballsmom

Cat Fan especially Black Cats
Staff Member
Forum Helper
Joined
Jan 9, 2018
Messages
26,220
Reaction score
35,572
Location
Colorado USA
Hi!
when he was sound asleep,
Keep trying with him, this is exactly what I had to do with my boy and we are now at the point where he's ok with it.

It isn't just health risks, those claws hook everything from carpet to blankets etc etc. which is hard on the material and on his toes.
 

DreamerRose

TCS Member
Top Cat
Joined
Dec 11, 2015
Messages
7,170
Reaction score
6,888
Location
Naperville, IL
Yes, the long claws can get caught on things, leading to problems. My Lily tore off one of her claws and had to be taken to the vet. The vet cleaned it, gave her a really good trim, and a long-acting antibiotic. This could have led to an infection. All in, it cost me $331. Since then, I've tried to do a better job of trimming her claws. She also is very difficult to trim, but she's getting better about it. Keep at it with your cat, even if you can only do one paw at a time. He will get used to it, especially once he realizes it won't hurt.
 

tabbytom

Happiness is being owned by a cat
Staff Member
Mentor
Joined
May 12, 2016
Messages
11,906
Reaction score
3,242
Location
Lion City, Singa-purr
My male cat, however, absolutely will not let me touch his claws. I've tried since he was a kitten, even when he was sound asleep, and he freaks out every time. It honestly doesn't bother me that his claws aren't trimmed, he only scratches his scratching posts and rarely scratches me. Are there any health risks to my cat to not have his claws trimmed? I've heard about ingrown claws, but I'm hoping that's not a common occurrence.
Yes, please trim his nails and adding to what others mentions, the claws will grow longer and longer and it'll be uncomfortable for him to walk with.

You don't have to trim it real short as it is dangerous to do so. Just trim off the sharp tip will do for a start and even if you get to just trim one nail, it's good. Just do one nail a day. At the end of it all, you'll get all the nails trimmed.

Once he allows one or two nail each time, do it quick with confidence and precision and doing this frequently will keep the nails trimmed all the time. Do it when he's in a deeper sleep as he's more drowsy at that time. Do dry runs by just touching his paws and holding it in your hand and gently pressing it to expose the nail. Once he gets sort of use to the touches, just clip one nail.

IMG_2512.JPG
IMG_2513.JPG


IMG_2514.JPG
 

JulieHarr

TCS Member
Young Cat
Joined
Jun 22, 2020
Messages
44
Reaction score
125
I have two adult male cats, one 8 and one 2. Neither let me trim their nails until recently. One day I was buying cat food and noticed a tiny nail trimmer for sale. It was cheap, may as well try it. To my surprise, they let me trim their nails on the front paws. So I am thinking it has to be the size of the trimmer they didn't like. I trimmed them because one likes to knead my leg sometimes and his nails are like needles. 🙄

IMG_20200714_180033683.jpg
 

neely

May the purr be with you
Veteran
Joined
Dec 22, 2005
Messages
9,874
Reaction score
17,336
Our cat is the same way and since we rescued him from an unpleasant situation I'm sure he lacked any grooming maintenance. My vet told me to gently touch his paws for awhile just to get him used to being handled there. If all else fails you can bring him to the vet since it doesn't cost very much for them to do it. Good luck! :crossfingers:
 

cataholic07

TCS Member
Alpha Cat
Joined
Jul 28, 2014
Messages
648
Reaction score
833
I find its best to always do it when they are tired and be prepared for it take a few days to be fully done. What I try to do now is just to move the fur around the nail rather then push down on the paw which can be sensitive, my cats have pretty big paws and are longhair so its easy for me to see their nails lol.
 

Uncled

TCS Member
Alpha Cat
Joined
Feb 28, 2019
Messages
342
Reaction score
502
Location
Connecticut U.S.A.
With my two one is wonderful and I can do all his claws at once, the other one I have only been able to do his back paws and I'm slowly working on getting him used to the front, Going to try a different mail clipped for the front like others have mentioned
 

tabbytom

Happiness is being owned by a cat
Staff Member
Mentor
Joined
May 12, 2016
Messages
11,906
Reaction score
3,242
Location
Lion City, Singa-purr
Just to add, trimming of nails would be easier when cat is drowsy from sleep especially for those cats that don't like their paws touched or clipped and I must emphasize that your position while clipping plays an important part as if you are well positioned, it's easier to hold the paw and clip at the right angle.

If you are in an awkward position or hand and clipper and paw is not in the right position, it makes it harder to press the claw out and do the clipping especially if they start to fidget and clipping of the dew claw is harder still.
 

kittenmittens84

TCS Member
Alpha Cat
Joined
Sep 30, 2019
Messages
418
Reaction score
420
If nothing else works, find a squeezy tube treat your cat likes like delectables or churu and enlist a friend to help you out. Sit on the ground with your knees up and together, feet flat on the floor, scoop up the cat and lay him on his side on your thighs with his head near your knees. Enter your assistant, with squeeze treat in hand: have your helper start giving him the treat slowly while you stealthily take one paw in hand, clippers in the other and start snipping. After one paw is done it’s treat time for a second and then do the other one. You maybe have to flip him on his other side to get the right angle for the other dew claw.

I’ve had success helping a few different friends trim their difficult cats’ claws this way!
 
Top