The grooming and nail care of our cat are important. And in the summer, even more so since there are many risks for our cat.
Many people think cats can handle their personal hygiene completely on their own, both by cleaning their fur and keeping their nails in perfect condition. Many cats actually manage themselves, and keep themselves clean and healthy quite independently. But our cat will still need help to make sure his nails are healthy, especially in the summer when the risks can increase. But it won’t be difficult, with a little practice and attention, grooming your cat will be stress-free for both us and our cat!
Are our cat’s nails healthy?
Whenever we get the chance – such as cuddling or petting our kitty – we should check his nails to make sure they are clean and healthy.
Their color should be white or light, or black / brown; in appearance we should see a smooth surface, without scabs or debris on the base and without fraying.
But the most important thing to check is the length of the nails. Your cat’s nails should be long so that they are slightly elevated to the floor when standing up.
When they grow beyond this ideal size, we may be faced with a deviation of the toes, because the nails touch the floor and therefore the cat also has less traction on the floors .
Having less traction for cats is a very uncomfortable feeling, and then too long nails could get stuck in fabrics like carpets and blankets, possibly causing injury to the cat as it tries to free itself .
Too long nails are not only uncomfortable, they could also create more serious health problems. In fact, if they grow too much, they will begin to curve inwards, injuring the cat’s pads and paws, with possible infections.
Should we cut the cat’s nails?
Since cat’s nails tend to grow faster in the summer, it is even more important during this time to take care of them regularly. Especially if our cat lives indoors.
However, the frequency with which we have to cut the nails of the cat varies from cat to cat, and from the speed with which they grow, also because it could shorten them with scratching posts or useful accessories of the kind.
In general, we should consider a two-week timeframe between cuts. But if the cat lives outside, we shouldn’t cut his nails until they become really too dangerous.
This is because an outdoor cat needs long claws to climb trees, and avoid potential dangers from outdoor nature.
The grooming of the cat
Getting your cat used to nail trimming should be done from a young age, so that this process is normal and stress-free for him / her .
And to start cutting any cat or kitten’s nails, the key is to avoid stressing them, starting calmly and slowly. Let’s see how to proceed.
First, we need to get the message across to our cat that cutting nails is a good thing. Let’s reward him with snacks in food when he lets his paws touch, without nail clippers.
Then, let’s take a cat nail clipper and show it to our cat while we give him other treats, so that he gets to know him and associate a positive feeling to it.
We proceed calmly and with short sessions, even several times a day, touching the cat’s paws and nails until it becomes less and less stressful for both of us .
When we notice that the cat is comfortable with his food treats, while we touch his / her paws, we use the clipper gently to trim the tips of the nails, giving even more treats.
When we are ready to cut, we try to notice on the white nails a pink line along the center: here are the nerves and blood vessels, and if we cut this point the nail will bleed and we will hurt the cat a lot.
Make sure to cut only the white part that does not contain the pink pulp: in this way we will not do any harm to our cat.
In any case, the grooming sessions must be short, and we must not think that we can cut all the nails in the same session (we will probably be able to cut 2-3 in one session).
The trick to the whole process is to make it a positive experience for the cat. If the session is short, with rewards, and without a hitch, our cat will be well disposed on the next occasion .
Accidents do happen: don’t worry!
As much as we try to be careful, it is likely that an accident can happen while cutting the cat’s nails. Maybe some blood will come out and we will have to intervene .
It can be very useful to have powdered coagulant on hand every time we cut our cat’s nails. He will be an excellent ally in these moments.
There are various types of clotting powders, which we can apply if we cut a nail that is too short or if it starts to bleed. We can also use a pinch of flour or cornstarch.
In any case, there is no need to panic. Even though a nail can bleed a lot, it will never be lethal for our cat.
In the most serious cases, or if we are too worried about the bleeding, we consult our trusted veterinarian to reassure us and explain how to proceed.