Newsday Tuesday–Claws With a Cause

I remember on Mother’s Day or Father’s Day, my children asking, “Why don’t they have a special kid’s day?” Of course, I’d tell them it’s because every day is kid’s day—kids are always the priority.

The cat that inspired the book series

The cat that inspired the book series

Maybe you heard that yesterday was National Pet Day. Again, I must say—tongue in cheek, “Isn’t everyday special for our treasured pets?” But it’s okay with me if we’re all encouraged to pay them special recognition. They’re worth it. Be sure to visit some of the sites that celebrated National Pet Day yesterday. You’ll find interesting quotes, stories of fascinating pets, of course a lot of commercial hype, all related to the pets we love.

Today, I’d like to share some interesting facts I learned recently about a cat’s claws. It’s from the Soft Paws website. The article reminds us that a cat’s claws are not a frivolous feature nor are they designed primarily to sheer our favorite blouse or scratch us during rough play. A cat’s claws actually tools with a purpose—to catch and hold prey, tear meat from the bones, and to defend themselves as well as to climb away from danger.

A cat’s claws grow continuously. They keep them trimmed by walking on them and biting them, and they also shed the outer sheath of the claws from time to time. As the cat ages, however, they might need a little help with their claws. We’ve found this to be true in our own household. Especially for inside kitties, their claws don’t wear down as fast and they need help with their pedicures. It’s been our experience that the older cat develops thicker claws and sometimes they grow out of bounds. We had a Himalayan whose dewclaw (or thumb claw) grew so fast and ferocious that it grew into her pad, causing quite a bit of discomfort before we noticed the problem. So it’s important for cat owners to invest in a nail trimmer for cats and learn to use it on a regular basis. Duller points on those claws mean less wear and tear on your furniture, as well.

Do you have a young cat who frequently gets hung up on the screen door or you find hanging from the quilt on your bed? Just trim those tips off his front claws and you’ll both be happier.

No matter what kind of animal you have, a cat, dog, horse, pig, hamster, bunny, or goat, it is important to groom them regularly. Not only does this keep their coat and skin healthier, it helps to alert you when there’s a problem with their skin, eyes, claws (hooves), teeth, ears, etc. And grooming is another way to maintain that warm relationship you share with your pet.

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