General Question

RandomMrdan's avatar

Can anything bad happen if you don't trim your cat's nails?

Asked by RandomMrdan (7433points) September 15th, 2008

My cat’s don’t tear up any furniture or anything like that, and they are usually playful, but don’t fight with each other…can anything bad physically happen to their paws if I don’t trim them regularly?

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10 Answers

Tantigirl's avatar

The quick answer to this question is no, nothing bad should happen.

AstroChuck's avatar

I never trim my cats’ nails and I have three, all indoor. I’m fortunate that they all leave the furniture alone.

Seesul's avatar

Not that I know of to the cat itself but I keep them trimmed because once I was holding my very tame cat, something frightened her and she lunged out of what she thought was harm’s way across my neck. I had just bragged to my mother-in-law (who was only used to working farm cats) that she was very tame and wouldn’t hurt a fly.

My current kitten actually pets me in the face (she thinks I’m her mother), so I trim hers for self defense as well.

Maybe syz can give us a more professional answer to this.

Hobbes's avatar

My cat hasn’t had his nails trimmed, and we’ve had no problems. He does have a nasty habit of kneading his claws into my lab when I’m stroking him, though. ;-)

RandomMrdan's avatar

thanks for the input everyone.

poofandmook's avatar

in not-very-common instances, they’ll grow awkwardly or too long and then become ingrown. But in most cats, claw-trimming is for humans and furniture.

marissa's avatar

I have had cats get their nail caught in the material they were scratching/kneeding and rip their nail, it was painful and caused them to bleed, luckily it didn’t get infected. This isn’t a common problem, but I did want to mention it, since you asked.

poofandmook's avatar

I forgot about the claw-getting-caught thing. sorry. What she said. LOL

syz's avatar

The only issue is typically for older cats. Older, less active cats who don’t spend as much time scratching and sharpening (possible because of arthritis) will often have toenails grow all the way around and pierce the pads of their feet. I don’t know how many times I’ve seen old cats come into the clinic for something completely unrelated and found painful, infected wounds in their feet from the nails growing into their own pads. It’s very sad.

Just check their feet once in a while for problems.

scamp's avatar

Hmmm, I never never cats claws could become ingrown. I’m glad I read this thread!

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