Cat Claws Dilemma -- Suggestions?

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  1. I have a cat who is about 8 or 9 (not sure, she was a full grown stray when we started caring for her about 6 years ago). She loves my husband a lot, but I have to say she is not a very cuddly or trusting cat.

    The issue is, there is almost no way to cut her claws, and they become very long. I can't even have the vet cut them without putting her under first. They have not been cut since last April. I was just looking at one of them, and it has become long and curled around and is starting to press into her pad. She doesn't let on that it bothers her, but it is clearly a problem.

    I am against declawing (as I'm sure everyone else here is, too), but I am just at a loss as to what to do. She really hates going to the vet. It is a struggle just to get her into the carrier. I can't clip her nails. Does anyone have a suggestion, or do I just need to put both she and I through the epic struggle of going to the vet and being put under every few months just to get her claws clipped? Not to mention the concern that as she gets older it might become dangerous for her to be tranquilized. Any suggestions appreciated....
  2. Does your cat have or use a scratching post. They are growing out because she's not using them.

    I had a cat like that once...every now and then I'd catch her chewing them off. Unfortunately, I would eventually have to give up and pin her down and clip her nails. She'd hold a good grudge least a week. But she got over it.

    Good luck!
  3. If the nail is curling into her pad, you need to get her to the vet and have it taken care of. She probably won't let on that it is bothering her. The nail can be cutting her pad and could lead to an infection. It sounds like if you are not able to do it yourself, so she will need to go into the vet regularly to trim them. You may want to speak to your vet about this. (S)he may be able to prescribe something (like Valium) that you can give to her, to sedate her some before you trim your cat's nails at home.
    If getting her into a carrier is a problem, you may want to try using an old pillow case instead. It's easier to sneak up on her and throw it over her. And once she is in there, she won't move to much. I can't guarantee that she'll be quiet, but it's usually easier than trying to get into a crate.
    As for what you said about declawing, please don't assume everyone is against it. It is a very 'controversial' issue and people feel strongly about both sides. I don't think you want to open up your post to people arguing back and forth about it.
  4. Yes, she has a scratching post and she uses it often. I also catch her chewing on them (that is what she was doing when I noticed it was pushing on her pad just now).

    Unfortunately it is really not even possible between my husband and my self to pin her down and clip them. She can be really vicious.
  5. Yes, she is definitely going into the vet in the next week (as soon as I can get an appointment). What I am more looking for is something of a more permanent solution so this does not happen again, but something that does not involve me having to take her into the vet regularly.

    In terms of declawing -- sorry, I thought it was pretty well settled that in most cases it is morally wrong. It's certainly not my intention to create a debate on this issue. I'm just trying to help my cat. I will definitely ask the vet about getting a sedative for her.

    Does anyone have experience with using sedatives to clip a cat's nails? If so, have you found it to be an effective solution?
  6. my cat hates it too, but i find that if you wrap her really tight in a bath towel to kind of restrain her, you're able to hold on to her long enough to trim her nails without her moving, and she's unable to scratch you. the best part is, it doesn't hurt them. i'm sure you've probably tried everything including this, but i just thought it's worth a shot!
    if that doesn't work i'd definitely say take her to the vet... and when you're there, maybe you can ask the vet for some suggestions, they're always so knowledgeable about things like that. good luck!
  7. I have a crippled cat that has to be subdued by 2 people and a towels to clip her nails. She was a stray and her front paw was broken and never healed correctly so she is crippled. She will hiss and bite and scratch and become a demon but we do what has to be done. My DH grabs her in a towel keeping her head in one hand and I pull her feet out one by one and quickly clip her nails. I know how nasty cats can get but you have to clip her nails for her own good. You might need to get her some valium before you try it. Also you need to be confident. If you are scared and nervous she will be able to tell. Just grab her, do what need to be done and let her go. My cat, Sabrina, gets over it pretty quickly with some tuna or another tasty treat. Good luck.
  8. This sounds about right! I think I am going to take her to the vet (as soon as I can get an appointment) and get some valium and see if then we can do it ourselves. I know you are right -- it needs to be done.

    Thank you to everyone for your suggestions.
  9. I know you have kinda closed your post... I agree, at this point, taking to the vet and have them sedate her to take care of the nails is the best solution.
    I know I am repeating here... Declawing itself is an issue to a lot of us, but with cats over 4 mos old or so is really really not a good idea... The pain is worse for the cat, and they will not heal nicely as it may be when they are kittens. In my profession, I have worked at a place where they declawed adult cats for owner's convenience, and the cat really suffered in the healing process.
    I have a very evil cat myself and it is a challenge to trim her nails, too. She turns to a monster at the vets. I have worked with many and consider experienced in handling mean evil cats, so I can do it at home. In your case, you may have to weigh the opitions in the future. Even though she hates going to the vets, she may have to do that regularly for a nail trim. No matter how many scratching posts you have at home, the nails will continue to grow.
    As for sedating a cat for nail trim, just be careful with it. I am kinda against it because sedation can really hurt the cat, too. Some drugs do not have any antidote and cat can react to the drug in different ways. So I would try to avoid that, too. Some sedatives can worsen the cat in terms of giving them hallucinations, etc.
    Do you have a cat only clinic nearby? Those are the best place to get really good cat related advices. There are some vets that are not good with cats and decide to box the cats down without trying something else first. Boxing down (Anesthesizing difficult cats in a chamber where anesthesia gas goes in) can be dangerous, too. There is always a cat whisper somewhere. I used to work for a vet like that. He can handle cats that you would think no one can. Just using a towel and talking to him/her. I learned from that 'master'. It might be something you want to invest your time finding a cat only hospital. Some clients have told us that the cat seem to do better with us so they started to want to come, although we are a referral hospital...
    Good luck and let us know how the vet visit went.
  10. How about clipping your cat's nails when it's sleepy or sleeping? If you are gentle, it might not awaken or even notice! What I did was slowly just touch my cat's paws for no reason than to just touch them to get him used to my touching his paws. Then after a little while, he wasn't as opposed to my clipping them. Sometimes he still doesn't like it and takes his paw away, but I've even gotten him used to my filing them so they're not sharp!
  11. I have actually done this from time to time... but I can usually only get one before she becomes very irate, and usually only the back claws!
  12. Yes, I think you are basically reflecting my thinking here. She has been under sedation before (last year when she had her nails clipped and teeth cleaned), but I know it gets riskier the older they get. I don't have the $$ really to have her get bloodwork and sedation every couple months for the claws. I will try and locate a cat-only place. If you know of a place like that in DC, I would be glad to hear about it.
  13. ^^
    Maybe you can only do one nail per day...but that makes you clipping nails everyday of your life!!! And those front claws are the one that gets so sharp and pointy! But you have the kitty's mouth right by when you try to catch those front claws!
    Is the kitty in question the kitty in your signature? She must be a grumpy old girl. I love grumpy cats...:heart:. I hope something will work out for all of you~~~:flowers:
    P.S. I wish I can show you a technique using a towel... But it is hard to explain in words!
  14. No, the one in my sig actually lets me clip her nails! This is the mean one (pic). As you can see, my husband is the cat whisperer for her, but still....

    And yes, it's unfortunately one of the front claws that is a problem. Luckily only one is digging into the pad at this point.

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  15. ps, yes she is extremely grumpy. She will growl if she is in my husband's lap and he moves to get up. She hissed at me earlier today because she didn't like my following her around. She is extremely ornery!