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Kiran
May 17th 06, 07:57 AM
http://www.felinefuture.com/catcare/clawsofthecat.php

The cat's claws are unique in the animal kingdom in design and
function. Many mammals have claws, with the primary function as an aid
in digging and climbing, and for added traction. The claws of these
animals are continuously growing, like our own finger nails, and are
kept from growing too long through their use.

Cats, however, have evolved a very specific use for their claws,
comparable to birds of prey. Although their agile climbing abilities
are greatly supported by them, and the claws are also frequently used
to maintain good traction, the main purpose, especially for the claws
of the front paws, is to get a good grip onto their prey, and ability
to hold on to it. The design of the cat's claws demonstrates this very
nicely. The shape of the claws is sickle-like with a needle sharp-tip.
To maintain the sharp tip, cats are able to retract their claws into a
skin pouch while walking to avoid wear and tear. Of course the cat's
claws grow and renew themselves continuously, but not like a human's
fingernails or the claws of dogs. For a better understanding, envision
the cat's claws to be built very much like an onion. The claw grows
within, whilst the outer, worn layers are shed. The outer layer will
loosen from the cuticle and fall off, a process which is supported by
the cat's scratching behaviour, leaving behind paper-thin claw contours
(husks) at her favorite scratching post.

Because the cat's claws are such "weapons" many care givers like to
clip their companion cats' claws to avoid injury to themselves, or
destruction of furniture. This process, however, severely interrupts
the claws natural renewal cycle. By clipping the tip of the claws the
outer layers to be shed often accumulate alongside the claws and under
the cuticle, frequently resulting in an infection of the nail bed. An
accumulation of old layers on clipped claws often gives the appearance
of brittle claws, which care givers often remedy by lubricating the
claws with oil. The oil will soak through the entire horny tissue of
the claw, gluing the layers together. Subsequently, the claws will grow
into large, dull stumps, often causing discomfort to the cat.
Avoid clipping a cat's claws altogether. To avoid injury, reduce
unnecessary handling of the cat, and have cuddle and stoke sessions on
the cats terms. Dont pick up a cat that dislikes being picked up. Play
with toys attached to a stick or suspended from a string. Provide the
cat with suitable scratching locations and objects to avoid damage to
your furnishings.

Keep in mind that it was your choice to invite a predator into your
home as a companion animal. Respect the cat for who she is and handle
her accordingly. This way, injury should be rare and only accidental.
If you must clip a cat's claws because of young children in the house,
check the claws regularly for infection, and remove old, built-up
layers with your nails.

Otherwise a cat's claws needs little attention besides the occasional
removal of waxy debris from around the cuticle. Do not lubricate a cats
claws with oil! Instead make sure your cat receives all necessary fatty
acids and high quality protein through her diet for healthy claws.

(END)

Kiran
May 17th 06, 08:51 AM
-L. > wrote:

: Kiran wrote:

Well, I only quoted an ar article verbatim, with URL address.

: This is total Bull****. Claw trimming is an intregal part of proper
: grooming, especially for indoor-only cats. If the claws are not
: trimmed, they can grow down and around the toe, and into the pad
: causing a wound that is easily infected.

Is that true even if the cat has good scratch posts and gets to scratch
all it wants?

Victor Martinez
May 17th 06, 11:39 AM
Kiran wrote:
> Is that true even if the cat has good scratch posts and gets to scratch
> all it wants?

Particularly true. The more a cat scratches, the bigger and healthier
the claws will be. :)

--
Victor M. Martinez
Owned and operated by the Fantastic Seven (TM)
Send your spam here:
Email me here:

CatNipped
May 17th 06, 02:19 PM
"-L." > wrote in message
ps.com...
>
> Kiran wrote:
> <snip>
>
>> Because the cat's claws are such "weapons" many care givers like to
>> clip their companion cats' claws to avoid injury to themselves, or
>> destruction of furniture. This process, however, severely interrupts
>> the claws natural renewal cycle. By clipping the tip of the claws the
>> outer layers to be shed often accumulate alongside the claws and under
>> the cuticle, frequently resulting in an infection of the nail bed.
>
> This is total Bull****. Claw trimming is an intregal part of proper
> grooming, especially for indoor-only cats. If the claws are not
> trimmed, they can grow down and around the toe, and into the pad
> causing a wound that is easily infected.
>
> -L.

I don't have a knowledgeable opinion either way - I only have my own
experience. I've never clipped my cats' claws and they've never had a
problem. I do see them occasionally biting off a claw sheath, and my cats
*DO* walk on their claws (you can hear the ticking sound when they walk over
tile or wood floors), so maybe that's why mine don't have problems with
claws growing too long.

--

Hugs,

CatNipped

See all my masters at: http://www.PossiblePlaces.com/CatNipped/

-L.
May 17th 06, 05:33 PM
CatNipped wrote:
> I don't have a knowledgeable opinion either way - I only have my own
> experience. I've never clipped my cats' claws and they've never had a
> problem. I do see them occasionally biting off a claw sheath, and my cats
> *DO* walk on their claws (you can hear the ticking sound when they walk over
> tile or wood floors),

Of that's true, they need to be trimmed. It puts undue pressure on the
nail bed, and can cause pain. It's sort of like if your toenail is too
long and is rubbed by your shoe - it can be very painful!

-L.

-L.
May 17th 06, 05:35 PM
Kiran wrote:
> -L. > wrote:
>
> : Kiran wrote:
>
> Well, I only quoted an ar article verbatim, with URL address.
>
> : This is total Bull****. Claw trimming is an intregal part of proper
> : grooming, especially for indoor-only cats. If the claws are not
> : trimmed, they can grow down and around the toe, and into the pad
> : causing a wound that is easily infected.
>
> Is that true even if the cat has good scratch posts and gets to scratch
> all it wants?

Depends on the surface, the cat and the nail. If the nails are
retained short enough to completely retract and do not hit the ground
when the cat walks, they are fine. If they hang out more than a tiny
bit when retracted and/or touch the ground when the cat walks, they
need to be trimmed. Of course if they curve around the toe, they
definitely need to be trimmed.

-L.

CatNipped
May 17th 06, 05:47 PM
"-L." > wrote in message
ups.com...
>
> CatNipped wrote:
>> I don't have a knowledgeable opinion either way - I only have my own
>> experience. I've never clipped my cats' claws and they've never had a
>> problem. I do see them occasionally biting off a claw sheath, and my
>> cats
>> *DO* walk on their claws (you can hear the ticking sound when they walk
>> over
>> tile or wood floors),
>
> Of that's true, they need to be trimmed. It puts undue pressure on the
> nail bed, and can cause pain. It's sort of like if your toenail is too
> long and is rubbed by your shoe - it can be very painful!
>
> -L.

But their claws are not sticking out when retracted (I just checked ;>) -
they seem to stick them out on purpose while walking. I check over my cats
closely at least once a week, including their paws, and haven't seen any
problems (and they don't exhibit any odd behavior like they may be in pain.
I'm hoping that's good enough, because if I ever tried to clip any of their
claws I'd end up shredded! I think that's something that's probably better
started when they're kittens in order to get them used to the procedure.

--

Hugs,

CatNipped

See all my masters at: http://www.PossiblePlaces.com/CatNipped/

-L.
May 18th 06, 02:05 AM
CatNipped wrote:
>
> But their claws are not sticking out when retracted (I just checked ;>) -
> they seem to stick them out on purpose while walking.

When they put pressure on the foot to walk, it forces the claw out.

> I check over my cats
> closely at least once a week, including their paws, and haven't seen any
> problems (and they don't exhibit any odd behavior like they may be in pain.

Remeber cats are stoic and will not show minor pain. :)

> I'm hoping that's good enough, because if I ever tried to clip any of their
> claws I'd end up shredded! I think that's something that's probably better
> started when they're kittens in order to get them used to the procedure.

Keep an eye on them. It can be a problem. If they grow too long, they
will start to bend and curl. Be sure they have good scratching
surfaces.

-L.

CatNipped
May 18th 06, 01:44 PM
"-L." > wrote in message
oups.com...
>
> CatNipped wrote:
>>
>> But their claws are not sticking out when retracted (I just checked ;>) -
>> they seem to stick them out on purpose while walking.
>
> When they put pressure on the foot to walk, it forces the claw out.
>
>> I check over my cats
>> closely at least once a week, including their paws, and haven't seen any
>> problems (and they don't exhibit any odd behavior like they may be in
>> pain.
>
> Remeber cats are stoic and will not show minor pain. :)
>
>> I'm hoping that's good enough, because if I ever tried to clip any of
>> their
>> claws I'd end up shredded! I think that's something that's probably
>> better
>> started when they're kittens in order to get them used to the procedure.
>
> Keep an eye on them. It can be a problem. If they grow too long, they
> will start to bend and curl. Be sure they have good scratching
> surfaces.
>
> -L.

Oh, that they have! There is at least one scratching post in each room of
my house - and my living room and bedroom have three each (plus my bedroom
has a carpeted ramp leading up to my bed). I have both sisal and carpeted
posts, both upright and horizontal (needless to say I've never had cats
scratch my furniture, so all those were good investments). Plus, in the
garage, there's the carpet-covered "cat motel" that my son-in-law built.
That may be why they don't seem to have problems with their claws - I see
all of them using a scratching post at least 2 or 3 times a day.

--

Hugs,

CatNipped

See all my masters at: http://www.PossiblePlaces.com/CatNipped/

---MIKE---
May 18th 06, 04:12 PM
Amber was having trouble walking - her claws were constantly catching on
the carpet. Tuesday I took her to the vet where two techs clipped her
long claws. She is MUCH happier now. The problem was mostly her rear
paws. She hasn't been clipped for several years (she won't let me do
it). Next year when she gets her rabies shot I will have her clipped
again.


---MIKE---
>>In the White Mountains of New Hampshire
>> (44 15' N - Elevation 1580')