Every pet owner knows that cats scratch whether they want them to or not. Whether it's your curtains, carpet, or furniture, chances are you've spied your cat scratching at one time or another. However, if you've also noticed that your cat's claws frequently get stuck on whatever it is that they're scratching, they may need some help. Read on to learn why this problem happens and what you can do to make it easier on your kitty.
How Cat Claws Work
Cat claws grow a little differently from a human's nails. While they do become longer over time and can be sharpened to a point by scratching similarly to a human getting a manicure, that's where the similarities end.
Cats' claws grow in multiple layers, thickening over time. If your cat has a good hard surface to scratch, they will shed the excess layers that have died during the scratching process. However, if your cat is kept indoors, these layers can build-up and begin to fray or crack, causing them to get stuck when your cat scratches. This can be uncomfortable or downright painful for your cat to experience.
One of the best ways to prevent this problem from happening is to get your cat a high-quality scratching post. Something with a hard edge that will allow your cat to grip and scratch tightly on it is ideal. While cats enjoy scratching fabric and carpet, they're more likely for your cat's claws to get caught on, especially while they're currently thick and frayed. Instead, look at wood or corrugated cardboard to give your cat the scratching surface they need.
Another way you can help your cat is to begin clipping their nails. Cutting off the end of the nail will make it easier for your kitty to shed the excessive layers of their claws.
If you've never clipped a cat's nail, the most important thing is to avoid trimming too high up. If you look closely, you should see a red area on the nail. This is where blood flows and it will hurt if you cut the nail that high up. In general, simply trimming off the very end of the nail is enough to stop your cat from getting hooked.
Once your cat has shed the excessive layers of claw and is using its scratching post on a regular basis, you should start trimming your cat's nails on a regular basis. If your cat is restless and won't let you do it easily, visit a vet or groomer to have them do it instead. Doing so will help to prevent this problem from ever happening again and should help to make your kitty much happier.