Author Topic: Claw breakage, need some advice  (Read 1617 times)

Offline 4JerseyGirl

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Claw breakage, need some advice
« on: February 12, 2009, 04:58:34 AM »
I have three cats, and both of my boys have turned up with one or two broken claws.  When I say broken, I mean the claw is split down almost or all the way to the quick and peeling. 

We clip our cat's claws... not very regularly, because they are very good about scratching only where they are supposed to (i.e., on the post and cardboard scratcher we have given them), we only clip them now to keep them from being so sharp that they hurt us or each other while playing. 

I am not sure why we have seemingly so suddenly turned up with broken claws (one back and one front on my older male, one front on the younger one), but I have a few theories.  The first was that I changed their litter pans to enclosed litter pans and all the cats have a habit of scratching their paws really hard against the edges of the litter pans... the first few times they used the enclosed ones they tried doing that on the inside wall and it made this god awful noise... but they stopped doing it, I don't hear it anymore... and if that were it, my girl cat should be suffering the same type of nail breakage right?

Second theory is that the boys do it while they are sliding across the hardwood floors with their claws out chasing each other.  I have seen my youngest one do this kind of running-slide-thing alone for fun... I think they may be breaking their claws on the floor, but I'm not sure (makes me think of 'less claw, more pad!' from Over The Hedge).  You'd think if they hurt themselves doing it, they would stop??

Well I have bought vitamin paste for them hoping it will help strengthen their nails, have ordered actual nail scissors and stypic powder (because before we were just using human nail clippers... I was told there wasn't a huge difference), and I am going to start trying to clean out under their claws because they get dirty, that way any broken claws won't get infected, but I have some questions:

Should I clip down broken claws, or will that make the problem worse?
Would putting those Soft Claws things on them keep them from breaking them, or would that just hurt them y hiding broken claws from me? (I assume they should not be applied to a broken claw before it has healed?)
How often do you clip your kitties?

Offline forkyfork

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Re: Claw breakage, need some advice
« Reply #1 on: February 13, 2009, 07:50:04 PM »
Clip from the sides, not from the top/bottom.  Ive caused problems myself with my cats claws from clipping from the top/bottom.

The nail caps could cause an infection if the quick is exposed.  Much like how artificial nails can cause infections if not clean.

Offline 4JerseyGirl

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Re: Claw breakage, need some advice
« Reply #2 on: February 13, 2009, 11:40:38 PM »
We do clip side to side... currently it is with human nail clippers though.  I have ordered proper claw scissors in case this is contributing to the problem... also, quick is not really exposed... tips are broken off or mashed, and on two out of three the nails there's a split an additional part of the way down the side, but no exposure of the quick.  I would of course scrub and clean out under all the claws before I'd put on the soft claws... but if it won't help the problem I'm not buying them lol

Offline forkyfork

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Re: Claw breakage, need some advice
« Reply #3 on: February 14, 2009, 12:08:42 AM »
You do know that its normal for the sides of the claws to peel away. Thats kind of how they get sharper and longer.

Do you think thats what your seeing? Its fairly thin but sometimes it can be quite a bit almost the whole side down into the cuticle.

Offline 4JerseyGirl

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Re: Claw breakage, need some advice
« Reply #4 on: February 14, 2009, 12:35:19 AM »
I don't think so, we've seen some peelage before, but this looks like they mashed it on something... the tip is snapped and then there's a small crack and it splits down from there, and they bleed a little and are painful if we handle the claw.  That's why I'm afraid of clipping the broken claw down... I didn't know if I should or not...

Offline forkyfork

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Re: Claw breakage, need some advice
« Reply #5 on: February 14, 2009, 12:53:55 AM »
If they bleed then they could become infected with the caps.  Ive had a lot of cats and never had the claws crack. I have had the side start to come off too much at a time, I supposed it could have bled but I didnt mess with it because I didnt want to make her afraid of handling her paws.