Cats are known as natural predators and their claws provide the perfect protection against enemies. Their claws are also a perfect tool to catch and immobilize their prey, and cats use them for climbing, escaping, and providing balance. Felines feel safe with their claws: that is why it is essential to provide prompt treatment when a cat’s claw is torn, ripped off, or damaged due to natural causes, injury, or an accident.
Do cats’ claws grow back?
Yes, a cat’s claws grow back, and they grow continuously just like human nails. Claws usually become worn down as cats walk, bite at the claws, and shed outer sheaths when they scratch at furniture and other objects. However, when cats grow older, the claws do not wear down as quickly as they used to. In this case, there may be a need to regularly trim them. Trimming your cat’s claws is imperative to keep them healthy and to reduce injuries.
A cat’s claws may sometimes break, resulting in bleeding and damage to the underlying tissue. If this happens, you should take your cat to the vet at once for prompt treatment and to avoid complications. The earlier you take your cat to the vet, the better. Do not wait or you risk an infection.
How long does it take for a cat’s claw to grow back?
It takes around two weeks for a cat’s claw to grow back after it is trimmed. But it may take longer if the claw was broken off or damaged due to an injury. Nevertheless, each cat is unique: their claws may grow back at a slightly different rate. This also depends on the cat’s age, breed, natural growth rate, and diet.
It may also depend on how often a cat’s claws are trimmed. Cats that are perennial scratchers of furniture, carpets, cardboard boxes, and other objects quickly wear down their claws, allowing them to grow faster than the claws of cats that don’t scratch as much. If your cat’s paws are injured, take her to the vet at once for the proper care options. You may have to do extra trimming of your cat’s claws to ensure that they grow back properly.
Some fascinating facts about a cat’s claws
1. Cats are digitigrade animals.
Cats walk using their toes and are known as digitigrade animals. Humans are plantigrade walkers because the sole is the walking surface. Since cats use their toes to walk, they may have trouble balancing well if they are declawed.
2. Cats can retract their front claws.
Cats can retract their claws, but they do not retract completely all the way to the paws. When the claws are in a resting position, they are in the fur around the toes. You may also see the nail tips protruding from the fur. If a cat wants to use her claws, a tendon is contracted to extend them out. The retraction of a cat’s claws may be comparable to a person pointing their toes and flexing the ankles.
The retraction of claws allows for minimal wear and tear while retaining the sharpness of the claws. It also enables cats to walk quietly, which helps when they are hunting and sneaking up on prey.
3. Claws are not nails.
A cat’s claws are not similar to a human’s nails since the latter are flat and lie on top of the finger and toe tips. A cat’s claws come out of the front of its toes and are mainly used to tear meat, to catch and hold prey, to climb, and to provide self-defense. They are made of two parts, the keratinized part and the nail pulp that contains nerves and blood vessels.
Cats have four toes on each of the hind legs and five toes on the front ones. The fifth toe is called the dewclaw, and allows cats to climb. The claws do not touch the ground and do not naturally wear out like a dog’s claws.
Do cats claws need to be trimmed?
Most cat experts agree that trimming a cat’s claws is not necessary. However, this may depend on your personal preference and your pet’s lifestyle (i.e. whether she is exclusively an indoor cat or if she also has access to the outdoors). A scratching post is essential for indoor cats to maintain their claws. Claws are important for outdoor cats to help them hunt, climb, and defend themselves.
If your cat tends to scratch furniture and carpets, it may be helpful to trim her claws to avoid inflicting damage to your home. Older cats may also need to have their claws trimmed to prevent infections and ingrown nails since they are less active. You may check our earlier articles on how to trim a squirmy cat’s nails, cat nail trimming cost, tips on trimming the claws of an aggressive cat, and how to cut a cat’s nails without getting scratched for more insightful information on this topic.
Other reasons why you may consider trimming your cat’s claws include the following:
- to avoid being accidentally scratched by your cat during playtime
- to help your cat with claw control (if it has trouble with the velvet on its claws)
- to avoid getting their claws stuck on furniture, toys, carpets, and your clothes
- to prevent painful and broken claws
- to make your cat comfortable
Cats are independent and smart animals but they feel powerless without their claws. A cat’s claws grow back in about two weeks after trimming, and they grow continuously. While trimming your cat’s claws is not necessary, there may be a need to trim them to protect your furniture from damage and to protect your cat from broken claws and ingrown nails.
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