There are several reasons your house cat keeps getting their claws hooked on things like furniture or carpets. For most cats, it’s obvious why but there are other things that you need to look out for as to why this might be happening.
If your cat’s claws keep catching on things there are several reasons for this. Some of the main reasons your cat’s claws may be too long are the following: It is an old cat, it is an indoor cat, their claws are not retracting, Illness. Below I explore more depth each of the reasons and possible solutions.
A cat’s claws are vital to their health well-being and psychological welfare. However, if they get too long most people feel the need to keep them under control especially with an indoor cat that doesn’t get to go outside and blunt them through day-to-day activity.
Top Reasons Why a House Cats Claws Keep Hooking on Things
Most cats usually maintain their own claws. they often bite the back claws to keep them in condition. And they scratch with their front claws to remove old sheaths and sharpen them and keep them shorter which prevents them from bending in on themselves.
Unfortunately in some situations for different reasons, this doesn’t happen or doesn’t happen properly. This causes both you and the cat issues such as claws tangled up in furniture and carpets or too sharp claws or too long growth of claws.
Do Cats Claws Need To Be Trimmed?
Yes, they do. Sometimes your cat’s claws will need to be trimmed. If your cat is an indoor cat is more likely to need help with their claws. This is because it doesn’t go out enough to dull them. In addition, if your cat has an older cat it will also need more help with its claws.
Even if your cat does go outside it may need help with keeping its claws in order from time to time.
I use these from Amazon. I love them. I recommended them to my mum for her cat. I’m left handed and they work well for both left and right handed people.
How Often Should You Cut a Cat’s Claws?
How often you need to cut your cat’s claws will really depend on your own circumstance and your individual cat. Some cats will need claws clipping much more than others. My old cat Holly needed to have her claws clipped every couple of weeks or so towards the last couple of years of her life. As she was a very difficult cat this meant I had to walk to the vets every couple of weeks. If I didn’t her claws got caught up in things which I felt was dangerous for her. She’d twist her legs trying to get them out of the carpets.
Boo doesn’t need his claws clipping quite so often as he is a little bit younger and he scratches to sharpen them himself and bites them himself. I do his at home with the occasional top up at the vets if he is in for a health check.
Why You Shouldn’t Declaw Your Cat As An Alternative to Clipping
Some people consider having their cats declawed to stop them from catching on things or clawing the furniture. In some countries like mine it’s illegal and the others it’s allowed. Personally, I think this is very cruel as having your cat declawed is equivalent to removing your own fingers to the first knuckle. It causes constant problems and psychological issues for your cat. It’s better to simply to have their claws trimmed. If you have difficulties with them scratching your furniture then train them to use a scratch post.
Why Your Cats Claws Get Caught On Things and How to Stop It
Difference between wearing down and getting long can be worn and sharp and long and sharp
For some strange reason, we all seem to give her cat scratching posts to blunt their claws and I admit I’ve got this in my head but it’s just not right. It’s actually the other way round. Scratching posts actually increase the sharpness of the cat’s claws while helping to keep them short.
Although cats claws are meant to be sharp there comes a point where they become too long or too sharp and this can cause you problems. This is more often than not the fact that the cat’s claws keep catching on to things like furniture, carpets and even yourself. This can be dangerous for the cat and ruin your furniture.
This usually happens when a cat for whatever reason is unable to maintain its own claws or just not going outside enough to blunt them.
This is very important because if this is left unchecked not only can it cause injury to your cat via getting hooked and things the claw can actually curve right the way around and press back into your cat paws causing it pain and distress, I guess a bit like an ingrown toenail. Although a cat’s claws are not actually the same as our nails.
It’s important to give your cat the things that it needs to keep its claws healthy and also short. This is usually simply in the case of indoor cats scratching post and outdoor cats can have a scratch and posts and also scratch outside.
My Mum uses these. You can get them on amazon (affiliate link) I think they are great because you can put them where you need them. But they are a bit messy.
If you find that your cat’s claws are still too sharp or long you can simply clip them. There are lots of different claw clippers that you can use to clip your cat’s claws. There are other methods such as declawing which is actually very very cruel and very unpleasant for the cat and illegal in some countries. I believe there is also something you can cover your cat’s claws with to prevent it from scratching.
As a cat’s claws are essential for its survival protection and if it’s hunting. I do not feel that they should have that ability removed. Not even for an indoor cat. A simple light clip is all it needs.
In fact when my cats were outdoor cats I never needed to do that at all. It’s only since I’ve had indoor cats that I’ve had issues and found that they’ve needed to have their claws trimmed.
For safety reasons I also only trim very very lightly as I’m not an experienced vet nurse or vet. So I make sure that I don’t go anywhere near the living tissue when clipping the claws.
Reasons Why Your House Cats Claws Keep Getting Stuck
Your Cats Claws Are Too Long
One of the main reasons your cat’s nails get caught on things is simply because their claws are too long. If your cat is an indoor cat it may not be getting as much activity as an outside exercise as an outdoor cat so therefore it’s not wearing down its front claws and shedding them. Outdoor cats wear down their claws faster than indoor cats
When your cat scratches a piece of furniture, carpet or it’s scratch posts or cat trees it does so to help to remove the outer sheath and to sharpen its claws.
The Age of Your Cat May Affect the Claw Length and Trimming Routines
There is a good chance that your indoor cat will reach old age and with that brings some changes.
This is one I have huge experience with due to my old cat Holly. I got her at 16 and had her until she was almost 21. Every 2 to 3 weeks I’d have to carry her to the vets to get her claws clipped come rain come shine, come ice or a bad back, up the hill I went for the 2 miles round trip with her tucked cozily in her basket.
I didn’t feel confident to do her claws for two reasons. Firstly, she was not the most compliant of cats. It would have made it almost impossible to cut her claws. Secondly, her claws were dark colored so I couldn’t see where to cut them and I was afraid I would hurt her. Of course, some people may be lucky and either have a compliant cat or have a groomer that would come to the house.
Holly’s claws were always getting caught in things and it became quite dangerous. I was worried that she would do herself harm and twist something. She would just pull back making matters worse.
As an older cat, you’d think that claw growth would slow down but it didn’t feel like that and that because older cats have several issues that mean it is more likely that their claws will end up caught in your carpet and furniture and need clipping.
Holly had arthritis so she didn’t move around much so she wasn’t scratching or reducing them down so much. Sometimes older cats have difficulty with grooming themselves and this can cause an issue with the claws as in the case of Holly.
Senior cats don’t always scratch as much for the reason as described here, so the sheaths don’t always fall off. This causes a build up of old nail around your cat’s claws.
In addition, her caws became thick and brittle as they were weaker and broke more often, so needed more trimming.
Also, if claws are left their own devices are not run down through wear and tear the claw becomes long like an ingrown toenail and curves back on itself and can be very painful for your cat as it can press into their paw pads.
All of this meant a trip to the vets for much-needed claw clipping. Trimming her claws myself just want an option as she was totally noncompliant and would not let me. Even if she did I couldn’t see where the quick was due to the claw color and didn’t want to chance to injure her.
Something that I didn’t realize at the time but learned was that she could have a flat cat scratcher if she were struggling with a vertical one. While this does not make the claws blunt it actually sharpens them it does stop them from growing too long.
What If Your Cats Claws Are Not Retracting?
Cats retract their claws so they’re not touching the ground when they’re walking. However, claws do not retract fully anyway. The issue comes when your cats are not retracting their claws at all.
It might simply be that your cat’s claws are not retracting this can happen for different reasons. One can be old age. As cats get older and suffer from illnesses such as arthritis they may not be able to retract their claws. So you may hear that clicking sound when they’re on hard floors or their claws get tangled and carpets.
My Cat is Not Retracting Its Claws or Playing With Them Out
This is slightly different than the cat’s claws not retracting. This is simply the cat not choosing to retract its claws for whatever reason. He may be playing with them out, there for catching them on you or other things. This isn’t that the cat cannot retract its claws but simply is not retracting them.
You can teach your cat to play while retracting its claws this will prevent it from its claws hooking on things.
Some Illnesses Can Stop Your Cat From Keeping Its Claws Short and Sharp
There are illnesses that your cats can have that can cause issues with claws making them stay long and causing this issue. A couple of examples would be arthritis and hyperthyroidism.
If you were unsure as to the reason for your cat’s claws causing issues it would be a good idea to take them to the vet to get it checked out.
What Happens If You Don’t Trim Your Cat’s Claws?
If you don’t trim your cat’s claws and it’s an indoor cat or a house cat it is not going outside much, and sometimes even if it does go outside your cat’s claws will become increasingly longer and much much sharper. This can cause the cat’s claws to catch things and eventually turning on themselves cause of your cat a lot of pain.