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Old 01-07-2013, 01:28 PM
 
Location: Pittsburgh area
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There are a few claw trimming threads but I wanted to ask about this aspect in particular.

What's happening with Amber is that she's had a few more instances recently of getting herself caught in things. Not like for hours or where she has truly injured herself, but sometimes she is caught long enough when we are home that we notice. Often enough it only takes being caught several seconds for me to notice what is up. Sometimes she frees herself anyway, and sometimes I help her (which might be more harm because all she wants to do at that point is run away).

I'm not sure if part of it is the amount of wear on her sisal rope scratcher. To me it doesn't appear especially worn out, but perhaps it is no longer as effective as fresh rope. I will try to rectify that bit by getting a new one and/or possibly attempting to turn the post on that one over thus doubling its life. I have once or twice even seen her get caught on the scratch post, which I found very unusual. It seems to be constructed well and without anything that would be harmful to the scratching action, so I'm not quite sure what is happening there.

My not-exactly-wife at home wants to have her claws trimmed by a groomer or vet or whoever might do it. Neither of us are interested in tackling that ourselves, don't think we could make it work, pretty much end of story on that point. She's 16 years old and I remember once trying to trim her claws when she was very young and that was it. All that time she's gone without. I can see that she seems to scratch less than she used to, which may be contributing to this issue.

So my concern is, assuming we find someone to do it once, how long will that be helpful for, one trimming? Those of you who do your own trimming, how often do you do it? Is there anyone who takes their cat(s) to a pro for trimming? If so, how often do you do that? My basic concern is that if the trimming really needs to be every 2 months or something, then getting it done outside home may not be that useful. If instead it would still be helpful to have it done once every 6 months or something, then perhaps we can make that work.
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Old 01-07-2013, 01:58 PM
 
Location: Talmadge (aka Sh**ty Heights), San Diego, CA
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I cut Snickers' claws myself, and it lasts about two weeks. But he's easy to do, he just sits on my lap, and doesn't protest. He also gets a cookie after each foot is done.
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Old 01-07-2013, 02:20 PM
 
Location: NoVa
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I used to trim all of my cats claws with now problem. I just did it when it looked like they were getting long and sharp...you can tell by looking at them, imo.

I don't have to do anything with Kitty Katty because he came to us declawed.

SO's office kitty is another story. She doesn't get around very well anymore so we have noticed that her claws are getting longer and she is unable to groom them on her own by the walking/scratching, etc. I think he didn't realize it the first time around and they were in her poor paws.... =(

We took her to the vet and they did it and he said about every 6 weeks. To me that does not seem often enough, but I don't see her enough to determine that.

He was trimming her claws and she bit him. =(

When doing it on my own, I normally use toenail clippers and it works easier than those archaic looking things you buy for the purpose of clipping your pets nails. The vet seemed to use them with ease, but he also got bit.
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Old 01-07-2013, 03:22 PM
 
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I just looked back over my invoices from having Meeko and Olivia's claws trimmed at the vet. They are spaced every 7 to 8 weeks, which means they started catching on things, within 6 to 7 weeks after they had been trimmed.
The nail trims in my area went up from $10 to $15/$18 at a vets office, you could try a groomer in your area, they went up from $7 to $10 last month around here.
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Old 01-07-2013, 07:07 PM
 
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Different cats have different rates of claw growth. Robin's claws get trimmed every month because they grow fast and she's a big kneader (and it hurts!!) JJ I do less often because his seem to grow slower (every two months or so.)

Keep in mind scratching posts don't blunt the nails. When a cat 'sharpens their claws' with a scratching post, what they are actually doing is pulling off the old outside sheath of the nail. So a scratching post isn't really going to help with this problem...unless the problem actually is that she's not getting rid of those sheaths. When they build up enough, the nail looks very thick and wide. Enough build up can prevent the claw from retracting well and cause the cat to get stuck as you describe. Older cats often stop removing the sheaths efficiently on their own.

Either way, a regular trip to the groomer will fix the issue and it shouldn't cost much.
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Old 01-07-2013, 08:05 PM
 
Location: Pittsburgh area
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Really appreciate everyone's input so far, thanks. Sounds like the answer might well be "It depends". Heh. Figures.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ParallelJJCat View Post
Keep in mind scratching posts don't blunt the nails. When a cat 'sharpens their claws' with a scratching post, what they are actually doing is pulling off the old outside sheath of the nail.
I am aware of that, but thanks for including the rest of your description which might give me something to try to eye up on the cat (although really, getting a good look at those parts is not generally that easy for us ). I had a rough inkling that maybe if she wasn't scratching effectively it could cause a few extra stuck episodes, and that is indeed what you appear to be saying, so we'll try to see if it's anything to do with the post or perhaps just Amber herself getting old and not being as effective with it.

Still not sure where I'm going to go with the trimming idea. Even if stretched to about 2 months that's 6x a year and not sure I want to drag her through the whole carrier/car/etc ordeal that much even if it's to the vet which is just 5 miles away. I don't have any hope that going more often would get her more acclimated to the process....
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Old 01-07-2013, 08:21 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by greg42 View Post
Really appreciate everyone's input so far, thanks. Sounds like the answer might well be "It depends". Heh. Figures.



I am aware of that, but thanks for including the rest of your description which might give me something to try to eye up on the cat (although really, getting a good look at those parts is not generally that easy for us ). I had a rough inkling that maybe if she wasn't scratching effectively it could cause a few extra stuck episodes, and that is indeed what you appear to be saying, so we'll try to see if it's anything to do with the post or perhaps just Amber herself getting old and not being as effective with it.

Still not sure where I'm going to go with the trimming idea. Even if stretched to about 2 months that's 6x a year and not sure I want to drag her through the whole carrier/car/etc ordeal that much even if it's to the vet which is just 5 miles away. I don't have any hope that going more often would get her more acclimated to the process....
I used to be obsessed with fixing 'old cat claws' at the veterinary hospital. Anytime an old cat came in, I just had to clip and pull off all those built up nasty sheaths. So satisfying to finally reveal the nice clean white claw under it all!

I have a feeling she's either got sheath build up so her claws are thicker and getting caught in the sisal loops, or she's a little arthritic and she's not able to 'tug' herself off as easily as she used to.
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Old 01-07-2013, 08:37 PM
 
Location: Pittsburgh area
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ParallelJJCat View Post
I used to be obsessed with fixing 'old cat claws' at the veterinary hospital. Anytime an old cat came in, I just had to clip and pull off all those built up nasty sheaths. So satisfying to finally reveal the nice clean white claw under it all!

I have a feeling she's either got sheath build up so her claws are thicker and getting caught in the sisal loops, or she's a little arthritic and she's not able to 'tug' herself off as easily as she used to.
I would think an arthritic cat might jump a little less, and, well, maybe she jumps up less on things than many years ago but she still gets up in her most recent usual spots without struggle. I know how much they hide pain so it still wouldn't surprise me too much if she's a little arthritic at 16, but it would surprise me a little considering the jumping I've watched her do. Even just tonight we remarked specifically on one very graceful move. She's still quite good at it, although without the sheer height she used to be able to get of course.

If only you could just come over and fix her old cat claws. Ah well. We'll see. It does seem the most likely problem. If that's it, do you think she would improve for a longer (like several months at least) period after just one trimming, or is it more likely that she's just not going to be able to cut it anymore at removing the sheaths? Or maybe just impossible to predict so try it once and see? She's just about due for her regular visit anyway so assuming they will do the trimming I suppose we should try it now and see.
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Old 01-07-2013, 09:20 PM
 
2,873 posts, read 5,555,840 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by greg42 View Post
I would think an arthritic cat might jump a little less, and, well, maybe she jumps up less on things than many years ago but she still gets up in her most recent usual spots without struggle. I know how much they hide pain so it still wouldn't surprise me too much if she's a little arthritic at 16, but it would surprise me a little considering the jumping I've watched her do. Even just tonight we remarked specifically on one very graceful move. She's still quite good at it, although without the sheer height she used to be able to get of course.

If only you could just come over and fix her old cat claws. Ah well. We'll see. It does seem the most likely problem. If that's it, do you think she would improve for a longer (like several months at least) period after just one trimming, or is it more likely that she's just not going to be able to cut it anymore at removing the sheaths? Or maybe just impossible to predict so try it once and see? She's just about due for her regular visit anyway so assuming they will do the trimming I suppose we should try it now and see.
Try it and see. It takes time to really build up the sheaths to the point the nail is noticeably thicker, so if you're taking her in for trims every month or two, it'll fix the sheath problem too. When they cut the nail, the outer sheaths separate and flake off easily.

You also might want to try an 'easier' alternative to the sisal like a cardboard scratcher. There's nothing to get stuck on with the cardboard.
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Old 01-07-2013, 10:40 PM
 
Location: Chapel Hill, N.C.
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One of our cats is easy to trim. actually he seems to like it but the other cat fights us. The best time to do it is when they are sleepy on your lap and sometimes it only goes 1 or 2 claws at a time. However I would think you will have a harder time for a cat who has gone 16 years with never having its claws trimmed. put him in a towel-maybe two people for this job and be very careful you don't go into the quick as it will hurt and they bleed. have something handy to stop the bleeding.
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