Skip to main content

See also:

Caring for nail injuries n cats

Our claws are very important
Our claws are very important
Karla Kirby

Keep an eye on your feline’s claws... Cats can injure their claws in the much same way that humans can tear a fingernail and every now and then cats' claws can be torn out in total.

When your cat's muscles are stress-free, his/her claws stay retracted--sheathed. When your cat tenses his/her muscles, the claws unsheathe and are ready to scratch. If you observe your cat gnawing on his/her claw, he/she is trying to remove the old, used up sheath from his/her paw in order to expose the newly grown, sharp nail underneath. These sheaths may look like ripped-out claws when they fall out, particularly if the sheaths fall out while your cat is clawing at the scratching post.

If your cat has ripped-out a claw, you should be able to tell by monitoring his/her behavior. If your cat favors one paw when he/she strides, has a limp this can be a sign of injury. Other signs include bleeding or a discharge of pus in the region of the injured claw, or if your cat licks and nibbles continually at the same spot on his/her paw. The first thing you must do to take care of this injury is to clean the injured site. Dilute some peroxide and wash the wound. Make triple-sure to rinse all of the solution off of your cat's paw following this so he/she does not ingest any of it. If the area is still bleeding, rub a small amount of flour or cornstarch on the wound to help end the blood flow. If need be, you may also apply a temporary bandage over the paw and leave that on for up to 12 hours.

To steer clear of infection, don't let your feline outside until his/her injury heals entirely. Feeding him/her vitamin supplements such as vitamins E, D and A once every four days can help his/her body restore to health the injury at a quicker rate, but be careful not to give your cat too much. One fourth the standard dose of vitamins for a human is typically the right amount for your feline. Try to keep your cat from nibbling at his/her paw as much as achievable. Use adhesive tape over a temporary bandage and change it every 12 in order to avert your cat from licking or biting his/her injury. If your cat chomps his/her way through the adhesive, you should ask your veterinarian about getting an Elizabethan collar for him/her.

If your cat's paw starts to swell, or if the wounded area persists to bleed or shows any mark of pus leaking out, take your cat to the veterinarian right away. The wound has more than likely become infected. If the paw feels warm to the touch, or the pad of his/her paw emerges bright red, this can also be an indication of infection. You should take your cat to the veterinarian immediately because he/she may need antibacterial treatment.