Sunday, June 13, 2010

Advice: Trimming Claws

I'm guessing that most of you who read this blog have or have had cats. However, for those of you who have never owned a kitten, please consider the following advice.

If you get a kitten, you should get a pair of heavy leather gauntlets, like the ones falconers use. You should also consider body armor. And possibly a beekeeper hat. Something like this might work:
The reason for this is that kittens are pointy. You might think that they are all fluff and poof and purr, but their teeny claws become sharp after a trim much faster than those of adult cats, and their teeth are like little needles. The body armor will protect you when your kitten decides that you would make an excellent jungle gym, and the beekeeper hat will protect your hair from being eaten and your chin from being bitten in your sleep.

As for the gloves, well, let's just say that it would probably be easier to give the Tasmanian Devil a mani/pedi than it is to give one to Melly.

And so we come to the part where I ask the cat experts for advice.

Melly's claws, even when trimmed, are incredibly sharp. Her teeth are also extremely sharp. She normally uses these implements in what she probably perceives as self defense (mostly against me), but I'm concerned because Scarlett recently got some cuts on her chin that seem to be getting re-opened daily during her fights with Melly. I think they are from Melly's back paws doing bunny kicks. I've cleaned the cuts out, and have risked life and limb to give Melly very frequent claw trims, but obviously it would be better if Scarlett weren't getting wounded at all.


Edit: Based on the recommendations in the comments, I have ordered two sets of softpaws and shall be covering both kitties' front and back claws. Thank you for the idea!


Phoenix Lam said...

Have you considered soft paws? They are plastic caps you can glue to the claws without harming the cat at all.

Might take you and a friend to hold down the kitten to get them on, but once they are on..they are good for about a month..and it won't scratch anything.

Here is the link:

The Adventures of Scarlett and Melly said...

That is a GREAT idea, thank you!

Katnip Lounge said...

The vet always gets a closer claw trim than I can...maybe a "pro" clip is in order?

I've felt your pain! Good luck!

tedder said...

Doesn't Scarlett fight back?

We trimmed our kitteh's claws about every 10 days when they were young, about every 20-30 days now. And yes, there would be little scrapes on their chins and noses occasionally.

It's certainly easier to give mani/pedis with two people- one to hold, the other to trim. A towel can help too, though one of our two cats likes to go "eight legs" and squirm like mad. I've gotten my share of scratches and scrapes..

And iliketeas is right- the rubber caps are a good idea to protect Scarlett from a ferocious Melly.

Mr. Guilt said...

Let me give a second vote for soft paws. We use them on my younger cat. He is five months older than my daughter, so pointy+infant seemed like a less-good idea.

The Adventures of Scarlett and Melly said...

Katnip: I was thinking about that... I think a more sustainable solution is in order, but a pro clip might be a good holdover until the caps arrive.

Tedder: Geoff says she pulls her punches. She mostly growls and hisses and tries to get Melly to leave her alone. Considering Scarlett's previous aggression toward neighbor cats, her passiveness with Melly is surprising.

Anonymous said...

RE: Soft Paws
PLEASE BE CAREFUL! if you use too much glue they will not be able to "fall" off as the nail grows out and will grow into your cats paws!!! they are also a choking hazard for cats who at first will try to take them off. You also need to watch for dirt that can build up at the top of the cover. too much dirt can cause an infection and Abscess.

The Adventures of Scarlett and Melly said...

Anon: Thank you for the warning! I read on the soft paws site about the overgrown nail risk and what their suggested solution is, but I'll be extra careful about that and about the choking hazard and dirt buildup.

I understand that the soft paws have risks, but I really can't have Melly bloodying everyone - and declawing is obviously not an option.

Sylvestermiasmomma said...

I have heard that soft claws work great if done correctly. I go an ordeal with trying to trim my grey tabby's claws. She gets upset when I bring out the claw trimmer and I have to lock us in the vanity area between the bedroom and the shower area. She yowls up a storm thus upsetting my tuxedo boy kitty. Now my tuxedo is such a mellow boy that he lets me at least trim all his claws on the first three paws and only starts squirming till we get to the last of his hind paws. Treats for when we are done for both kitties.

Phoenix Lam said...

Natalie if it makes you feel better, many of my friends and their furbabies have used softpaws without horror stories!

Typically it is ALOT easier if you have someone to hold the kitty and someone to apply the nail caps!

The Adventures of Scarlett and Melly said...

Thank you, it does make me feel better!