Kitty scared us both this morning

sweetchastityFebruary 16, 2010

I was making breakfast and heard an awful noise that I realized was one of my cats. I went and my younger cat Muffin was sitting on the first step downstairs with her claw caught on the carpet, her paw twisted and the pads of her paw facing up. Well I was upset but calmly went over and picked her up in a way she could untwist her paw. She then tried to run away but I knew she'd hide and I wouldn't be able to check her paw so I held her and comforted her (probably only worked on me) then gently checked her paw and kissed it to see if it hurt. I put her down and she didn't bolt and walked fine but when I first saw her paw I thought 'OMG, she's cutting the circulation off to her paw!' Now I'm sure she's more flexible than us and it probably looked worse and if she got injured it would be a pulled claw or knuckle/joint but I still don't want her to get hurt in anyway (I'm a bit of an over-protective mother and worrier).

I still can't get the experience out of my mind because I keep thinking 'what if I wasn't home?'. So I have decided to discourage her from lying on the stairs clawing the carpet on the step above (we're replacing the carpet so we don't care about its condition). It looks so cute but I don't ever want a reaccurace. I will snap my fingers, point and say eh, hey or tssstt and if that doesn't work go with the coins in a pop can noise when I see her doing it. I also thought that I can buy the spray used on furniture to discourage them from sharpening their claws on it. Neither of my cats are de-clawed and never will be unless I have absolutely no choice. They have scratch poles and in the last year and a half they have not damaged our furniture.

I also know that long claws probably contributed to the event. I don't trim their claws as much as I should, they hate it and squirm and growl at me. I would like some advice on how to get them to submit to the procedure because I am very nervous about cutting the pink part of the claw but only because they squirm. I do try to get them when they are sleeping/sleepy but I'd like them to stop squirming.

Has anyone ever had something like this happen to their cat?

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!!

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The exact thing happened to my Persian, multiple times. The vet recommended he be declawed, which I went along with (much to my regret, but this was 21 years ago, I was a kid and did whatever a vet or doctor told me back then). Now I believe it could have been prevented if I kept his claws trimmed. My cat didn't claw at the rug, it would justt get caught. One time I found him hanging (and screaming his head off) by one paw from a lace tablecloth (there were heavy books on the table, that is why it didn't just slide off).

I would trim the kitties claws and provide a few scratchers (flat and post), maybe put a flat one near the stairs. Discourage clawing at the rug, you don't want him to claw at the new one when you get it! I trim my cats' claws about every 10 days. My boy cat is very cooperative, but with girl cat I have to get her when she is drowsy, and even then I can only do 2 paws per session.

    Bookmark   February 16, 2010 at 2:22PM
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This happens to the cat my husband keeps at his business. His claws get very long and catch on carpet and furnishings. The cat favours two toes because it obviously hurt when he got them caught. They're fine, but he's afraid of having those toes handled. I have to go in to trim his claws since no one there can be arsed to do it!

Have the vet show you ways to handle the cat when you trim its nails. There is more than one way. Easiest for most people is to hold cat on your lap, facing out, his spine against your tummy and chest. Pick a paw, grasp it gently, then very gently press a toe pad to extend its claw. Trim the claw about 4-5mm from the outermost end the curve-the quick ends past the peak of the curve so you're putting a little space between that end and the claw tip. Err on the side of the tip so a little more distance between is fine. Clip using a quick clean motion then on to the next claw. Don't forget dewclaws.

Your cat may forever favour the claw that was caught so be prepared for wriggling when you try to trim that one!

Trimming claws frequently makes a big difference. I do my cats' claws every week. They're all at a pretty nearly perfect length so all I need do is clip the tips away. Easier on me and the cats.

I don't think it wise to provide carpet-covered scratching posts, this just encourages cats to dig in to any carpeted surface. Best to use bark-covered posts, bare wood posts, posts wrapped in sisal rope or sisal cloth, or jute. My cats prefer sisal. There are also scratching boards with emory that give kitties a real scritchy scratchy treat. I've seen them at big box stores. It's a good thing to discourage your cats from clawing at the old stair carpetting. If they're still doing it they'll have a blast with the replacement carpetting!

    Bookmark   February 16, 2010 at 5:21PM
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murraysmom Zone 6 OH

Good suggestions, harebell. I also have a couple of corrugated cardboard scratchers for my cat. One is flat and one is an incline. Rocket loves them. However, he does NOT love getting his nails trimmed. Everytime it is a huge battle and he bites and scratches me. Any suggestions on how to deal with the fury? He's eight years old and has always been like this.

    Bookmark   February 16, 2010 at 5:48PM
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My cats' have 3 scratch posts all with sisal rope and they never feel the need to claw on anything else. I have the round ball-play toy with round corrugated cardboard in the middle and they like that too, I need a replacement right now.

She doesn't really scratch it to sharpen her claws or kneed, its more of a playful thing. She gets frisky, her tail goes wild and she rolls on her side grabbing the upper stair. Her tail is normally pretty straight with a slow wag/roll to the end of it but when she's playful then her whole tail whips around. I don't have any carpeted scratchers because I didn't want them to get used to or like scratching on carpet. But I am thinking about getting emory board, I hear its also supposed to help keep their nails short (but I'd still trim them because I can check on the healthiness of their claws).

    Bookmark   February 16, 2010 at 6:25PM
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murraysmom, you might have to wrap your cat to trim his claws. Some people report great success by trimming a claw or two at a time while the cat sleeps but I can't do that-I'd never knwo which had been trimed and would wake the poor kitty by looking for the un-trimmed claws. There is a sack of sorts made to restrain kitties, all but the leg being worked on can be kept in the bag, you just take out whichever one you need to work on. My vet tried this very thing on one of my cats who was ferocious when at the doctor's. It took them so much time to get him into the sack that he was thoroughly pissed and managed to snap at them while they tried to get him in order. He was a pip. One eyeful of stethoscope would send him into a rage. I decided than and there that he would be trimmed by me and no danged nonsense-and for me, he was fine after the sack incident.

When I have to trim the feral kits' claws I just wrap them into a towel, then lay a cloth over their heads. By the time they figure out that they can shake the cloth off their head their nails are done. I have also seen masks designed to keep cats from biting.

I don't know every trick there is yet.

sweetchastity, you cat sounds very like a few of mine. How wonderfully fun and kittenish! I think if she takes to the emery, she'll keep the tips a little duller so less likely to catch. You're right, you will still be trimming.

    Bookmark   February 16, 2010 at 11:56PM
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murraysmom Zone 6 OH

Thanks, harebell. I think I really need that mask thing!! :) Rocket becomes crazy when I do his nails and then he's a peach right after. Clearly he hates having his nails trimmed. I try to be gentle and calm and every session leaves us both upset! I don't give up and always have a calm energy when I start. I think if I can find the mask, that might do the trick. If he can't bite me, I'm sure I can get the nails done in a jiffy. If anyone knows where I can find one, please let me know. Thanks.

    Bookmark   February 17, 2010 at 1:36PM
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My cat has caught his claws on a blanket one time and once on a carpet covered scratching post. Never heard a cat scream until then. I also wondered -- what if had not been home?

Anyhow, I trim claws every two weeks. How I do it -- pour some yummy treats on the floor. As he is eating I bend over him, pick up a paw (not too high) and "pinch" and clip. My kitty is particularly difficult to do because he has long fluffy fur which makes it hard to find the claw. The trick with my cat is to distract him with the treats. Make sure to clip the dew-claw as it can get crazy-long and catch on many things.

    Bookmark   February 17, 2010 at 10:23PM
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I like to snip while they're napping in my lap, but I have lap cats.

One benefit just doing one or two at a time is that they eventually get a little more tolerant of checking the nails, since you have to check 5 but only cut two.

    Bookmark   February 18, 2010 at 12:39AM
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All the years I;ve had cats, the many cats I've had, the many tricks I had to create in order to care for all the cats-and I just learned some new ones reading this thread.

I just remembered another trick I've used on feral kittens that I'm taming. I put a sock over the kitten's head. The sudden lack of clear vision keeps the kitten quiet for almost enough time to trim all way around. Seems pretty weird, I know, but desperation is the true mother of invention.

    Bookmark   February 20, 2010 at 12:25AM
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murraysmom Zone 6 OH

Gee harebell, a sock!! What a fantastic idea!! I already ordered the mask that I'm hoping is going to do the trick. It will cover his eyes and mouth (with a hole for breathing, of course). But if it doesn't work out, I will try the sock idea. I did use a little "lingerie" laundry mesh bag that worked a time or two until he realized he could bite me anyway. I think what I really need is a second pair of hands, but unfortunately I don't have that. Wish me luck!!

    Bookmark   February 20, 2010 at 10:19AM
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Here's another trick - work quickly. Work as quickly as you can, and remember, you are only *blunting* the tip of the nail. Don't worry as much about trying to get close enough to the quick, or making it short. The real usefulness of clipping the cat's nail is to blunt the tip so that it won't snag - just eliminate that sharp hook should be enough to be safe.

    Bookmark   February 20, 2010 at 4:38PM
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murraysmom Zone 6 OH

Well, the mask came today and I tried it right away. After a very mild struggle, Rocket settled right down and I got his two dewclaws and a couple of others that I missed last time I tried to trim his nails. Thanks for the suggestion. I hope this is the answer I've been looking for.

    Bookmark   February 20, 2010 at 6:51PM
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