Click here to learn more.
Cat owners expect to find discarded fur and even the occasional
whisker around the house, but it can be disconcerting to find a
kitty’s claw stuck to the sofa or a scratching post.
Dr. Roy Brenton Smith, DVM, of the Central Texas Cat Clinic and president elect of the
American Association of Feline Practitioners, has certainly seen his share of owners who are thrown by the experience. “They come in with the claw — upset that something bad happened,” says Dr. Smith.
The good news is that the process is natural and actually beneficial for a
cat. Claws are essential for felines, who use them for defense, climbing and hunting.
According to Dr. Smith, when this happens, the nail has grown beyond the blood supply, so the outside sheath is discarded to make room for a newer, sharper version. He estimates that this happens to each claw about every two to three months in the average housecat.
In addition to honing their nails, scratching also helps
cats to shed old claw sheaths. Felines who never scratch can require medical attention for nails that have grown so long that they curl under and pierce the
This is why owners need to provide
adequate clawing surfaces, such as a sturdy scratching post.
Clipping also aids the shedding process — cutting the excess nail off means that cats don’t have to do as much scratching.
But even with regular nail trimming, kitties can still feel the need to scratch. “There is definitely a psychological reason why cats do this,” says Dr. Smith. “There is a look on their face of enjoyment. When they are happy, they really get their claws into it. It’s part of their environmental enrichment.”
Like this article? Have a point of view to share? Let us know!
Thank you for subscribing to Petwire. Look for the latest newsletter each Wednesday.
When Police Sgt. Randy Dodd spotted a
cat on the side of the interstate, he called
state police and slowed down…
A Good Samaritan is paying the adoption
fees for a blind Rat Terrier and his canine
guide so they can be adopted…
We share five things you should know about
the Ragdoll, a popular breed known for her blue eyes and affectionate…
Do you have a plan in place if something
happens to you and you can no longer
care for your cat or dog?
After a skin condition cost Dexter his leg,
his adopters were afraid he would no
longer be able to do what he loved…
How can you tell which pet food is best for your cat or dog? Learning how to decipher the label is a great place to…
In his home country of Thailand, the intelligent and attention-loving Korat is a living symbol of luck and prosperity.
If the video doesn't start playing momentarily,
please install the latest version of Flash.
Thank you for subscribing.