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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 10-04-2008, 10:20 PM Thread Starter
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thick thick nails ... help!

hello all - hoping someone will be able to help. My cat Tabitha is 13 and nail cutting has always been an issue for us ... ive got to get her super chilled and get my boyfriend to pat her while i sneakily snip the tips. Until recently ... the things is, her nails are so thick ... almost like they need to shed but cant and as a result cutting them is near impossible because:
1. they are curling into her pad
2. they are SO thick that the 'quick is right near the tip

on one instance i managed to cut the tip and the rest of the thick dead nail split off but that was a fluke ... i cant get that happening again ... and im worried.
so - any advice? She has always been an indoor cat. we do have carpet (which she uses to flex her nails on) and i am seeing some random nail sheddings but not enough. She has never had a scratching post - so if i buy her one would she use it? She is also one of those 'i dont care about cat nip' cats so posts with that in it dont help.

My last resort is getting the vet to come over but it ends up with her very stressed and i hate seeing her like that.

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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 10-04-2008, 11:42 PM
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Re: thick thick nails ... help!

I'd say to get both vertical and horizontal scratching surfaces for Tabitha, so she can choose what she likes.
Try a professional groomer, maybe.

Arianwen and I walked in the forest yesterday for the first time in a couple of months, and I could actually see the nail sheddings fly as she enthusiastically scratched on her favorite tree!
Sweet, silly Kitta! That's her manicure!
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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 10-05-2008, 09:58 AM
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Re: thick thick nails ... help!

With my RB kitty Pyxl, the vet used to point her thickened claws out to his vet tech, and say "see this is what I was talking about". At first I thought he meant is had something to do with age, as Pyxl was 16 when he started seeing her. I suspect that thickening of the nails may be indicative of a health condition though, as one of my new kitties, Major Tom, has a few claws that are quite thick, and appear to have been damaged during his life (1.5 years) as an alley cat.

1. Get a scratching post, you may need to "show" her how to use it by scratching it yourself (never force or hold her paws onto it, cats are contrary, she'll avoid it just to tick you off then!), but she should actually enjoy it. If she doesn't, just know that some cats prefer vertical scratching surfaces and some prefer horizontal surfaces. Carpets are okay, but not really rough enough to do what needs to be done. In the wild (wilds of the back yard, anyways) cats will use trees, wooden fences, Adirondack chair legs, etc, as scratching posts.

2. She's old enough for a Senior Wellness Check-up (to include a senior blood panel), while there the vet can inspect her claws, trim them, and advise you. (cautionary, if the vet recommends declawing, do some research first, you really need to know what you are getting into with that). But with the senior check-up, the vet will be able to tell you if it is a health issue.
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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 10-05-2008, 08:45 PM Thread Starter
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Re: thick thick nails ... help!

thank you so much for your posts ... sounds like i should get the post and see how i go. im in australia so i dont think we have the same 'senior cat' thing ... and the idea of declawing (i never even heard of it till now) makes me physically sick to the stomach.
I would LOVE to take her to a forest but alas, we live in the city
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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 10-06-2008, 08:42 AM
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Re: thick thick nails ... help!

Check, ignore that reference then : )

I'm sure someone will chime in about what senior-kitty blood panels would consist of.
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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 10-06-2008, 01:57 PM
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Re: thick thick nails ... help!

I think a Senior Blood Panel would consist of basic blood work to make sure that there isn't anything going on that hasn't shown up like kidney issues. Even if you take your kitty to the vet for a wellness check and have them check out her nails it would be a good thing.

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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 10-06-2008, 06:12 PM
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Re: thick thick nails ... help!

My suggestion is to get better nail clippers - no matter how thick the nails are, they should never be hard to cut into. That says to me you're using something cheap and/or dull. Petsmart and Petco carry some amazing dog nail clippers - the pairs I have seen have orange or red handles and cut a lot like scissors do, except they have the short, curved blade at the end like the cheap cat nail clippers do. They are MUCH sharper and only a little bigger. They're my favorites for Tom's nails, which are bigger and thicker than most cats'.
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