Young cats typically do a good job of taking care of their claws, making sure to scratch surfaces to sharpen and trim their claws regularly. However, as cats age, this behavior can become less common, and cats can develop ingrown claws. Ingrown claws pose a serious risk to a cat's health, especially if they're elderly. Read on to learn more about ingrown claws and what you can do to prevent them from happening to your older cat.
What Are Ingrown Claws
When claws become ingrown, it means that a claw has grown so long that it's penetrating into the paw pad. This means that their claws have completely punctured into their pads, which can cause bleeding, pain, and infection. When your cat walks, it will press the claws further into their pads, and if left untreated, they'll simply continue to penetrate further and further into the flesh. Understandably, this is a very painful condition for cats to experience. To make matters worse, older cats have a harder time beating infections, which means that an infection in the pad could spread elsewhere in the body.
Why Cats Get Ingrown Claws
Cats' claws are unique in that they grow out in layers. When a cat sharpens their claws, they're not only make it sharper, but they're ridding themselves of excess, long layers of claw, revealing the shorter claw underneath.
There are two main ways a cat can develop ingrown claws. One is that they stop scratching as often, so they're not properly losing the excess layers, which is common with older cats. Second, the excess layers may simply not shed properly and instead adhere to the inner, shorter claw. This is rare, but it can happen, especially if a cat's paw has been subjected to injury recently.
As cats age, it's a good idea to implement grooming as part of their care and maintenance. Older cats have a harder time grooming themselves and sharpening their claws, so taking them to a pet groomer regularly can really help boost their overall well-being. Having their claws trimmed professionally is much easier than having to struggle to do it at home, and if their claws are severely ingrown, it's better for a trained professional to handle it than to try and remove the claws from the paw pads yourself.
Ingrown claws can cause serious problems for cats, especially as they grow older. Set up an appointment with a pet grooming professional to have your kitty taken care of to prevent this problem from happening to them.