Although cats typically take care of keeping their claws neat by scratching objects, not every kitty's claws are in good condition. In some instances, a cat's claws might become overgrown, increasing the risk of them developing ingrown claws. This painful condition can cause serious health problems, so it's important for pet owners to know how to determine if their cats have this condition and what to do about it. Read on to learn these important tips.
How to Tell
Many cats are sensitive about having their paws touched, so it might not be possible to turn your cat over and look at their pads. If you can, check to see if any claws are embedding themselves in your cat's pads. However, if you can't, there are still some methods you can use.
One of the biggest telltale signs of a cat with ingrown claws is that their claws will tap on the floor when they walk. Generally, cats hold their claws inside their paws when they walk, and the claws don't reach the floor. If you hear a tapping sound when your cat walks across hard surfaces, this means that their claws have grown too long and are either in danger of becoming ingrown or already ingrown.
Another obvious sign is if your cat leaves blood on the floor where it's walked. Ingrown claws can penetrate directly into the pads, and kitties will be more likely to bleed from their wounds while walking, since it puts pressure on the wound.
Knead and Protect
If you think your cat has ingrown claws, it's important that you don't try and fix the problem yourself. While you might be able to clip the claw and pull it out of the paw pad, it could cause more problems, as their pads could become infected.
Instead, you should do what you can to reduce the damage your cat is doing to itself and prepare to see a vet. If your cat's ingrown claws aren't too long, you may be able to help prevent them from hurting themselves while you're getting ready to see your vet.
Pet your cat, or do whatever it is they enjoy the most. The goal here is to make your cat gently knead their paws. Once your cat is kneading, slip a finger under your cat's claws and thread a piece of fabric through the space between their claws and pads. This will act as a bandage and help to cushion the pad, preventing further damage from the claws once their paw relaxes.
Veterinarians can take care of this problem easily and reduce your cat's risk of developing an infection. Your vet will most likely examine the situation and then proceed directly to removing the unnecessary part of the claws. They'll clean the area thoroughly, then clip the claws and remove them, followed by cleaning the area once more and applying an antibiotic to prevent infection.
Ingrown claws can be a real problem for cats, so try to keep your cat's claws trimmed regularly. Your vet or local pet groomer will be able to help you with this if your cat won't sit still for a claw trimming with you. You can click here to find out more.