Many cat owners ask themselves if they should cut their cat’s claws.
A cat’s claws grow constantly but can be retracted and visible only when they are extended. They will therefore not wear out in the same way as, for example, dogs’ claws.
The anatomy of the cat’s claws
The cat’s claw is made up of two parts: the first part is the claw itself, which consists of a layer of keratin. The second part contains nerves and blood vessels.
Cats have five toes on their front paws and four on their hind paws. The fifth fifth toe allows the cat to climb.
How cats use their claws
A cat uses its claws for almost everything when it is awake. When it uses its claw tree, for example, it gets an energy boost and tones the upper part of the body.
When the cats play, they attach their claws to toys as they fly through the air to hold them. When they run around the house or climb stairs, they also use their claws.
They use their claws as small “studs” when they climb in their play trees or ordinary trees. This makes it easier for them to reach the top.
Cats can also use their claws to scratch themselves, move their food or stick to a surface for better stability when washing.
A cat that tears and scratches is a happy cat
Cats tear and claw at their claw trees to relieve stress, mark their territory and train their muscles. The claws are the basis of all this.
The physical challenge, the visual stimuli of scratching, the sound and the smell are important aspects for the cats to feel less stressed.
Cats also use their claws to express how they feel. When they stretch their claws slightly, it’s like saying “I’m tired of being hugged and I would like you to put me down.
In some cases, the claws can save the cat’s life because it manages to escape from something that attacks it. In many countries, therefore, it is fortunately illegal to have surgery to remove the cat’s claws.
How is a good claw tree for the cat?
Cats have their own specific requirements when it comes to a perfect claw tree. It should first and foremost be close to the cat’s sleeping area as most cats mark their territory near where they sleep.
The claw tree should also be visible as there is no point in marking a territory if it will not be marked by other cats.
The tree should also be covered with a coarse material that allows the animal to claw properly with its claws.
The claw tree should also be higher than the cat as it stands on its hind legs and stable enough so that it does not fall when not in use.
Why should you regularly cut your cat’s claws?
- As the cat’s claws become too long, they will begin to bend and the cat will not be able to pull them back completely. You will know that the cat’s claws are too long if they start to get stuck in the carpet.
- In more severe cases, the cat will not be able to retract its claws.
- If the claws become too long, they can begin to grow into the paws. This can lead to the cat getting sore and having difficulty walking.
- When it comes to sedentary or older cats who do not exercise as much, you can improve the quality of life for them by trimming their claws.
- A claw that is too long can lead to the cat suffering from an infection. This can cause the cat to get even more sore.
If you are not sure whether you should cut the cat’s claws or not, it is usually ok to leave them alone if they are not too long and run the risk of growing into the paw or causing other problems.
If it is too traumatic to cut the claws (both for you and the cat), it may be enough that you just trim the claws a little so that they are not as sharp. If you are not sure what to do, talk to your veterinarian.