Ingrown claws are a big problem for many cats, but unfortunately, many pet parents don't recognize the signs of them early on. Not noticing that your cat has ingrown claws can open up the opportunity for their paw pads to become injured, which can lead to infection. If you don't know if your cat has ingrown claws and aren't sure how to recognize the early signs, here are three hints for you.
Cats can limp for lots of reasons, but if your kitty is kept indoors entirely and hasn't been injured recently, it may indicate that their paw pads are hurting them. The reason behind this is that when your cat's claws are excessively long, stepping down onto their foot can push the extended claws up and into the paw pads. It's unpleasant or downright painful, depending on the length of the claw that leads a cat to limp. If you notice that there's blood on their pads or left behind where they're stepping, that's also a sure sign that an ingrown claw has already developed.
Any dog owner knows the sound of a dog clicking their way across hard floors, but cats don't typically have this reputation. That's because cats pull their claws in when they walk, not only to keep them from touching the ground but also to be sneaky and quiet while they're prowling around.
If you notice that your cat is clicking when they walk, that guarantees that there's something going on with their paws. In most cases, it just means that their claws are long and can't be fully retracted. This may mean that your cat already has ingrown claws, or they could be developing them. In any case, if you hear this tell-tale sign, talk to a vet.
The final thing you can visibly recognize as a warning sign of this condition is your cat having thick claws. In general, cats' claws are slender and sharp. Thicker or wide claws usually mean that multiple layers of claws have gotten stuck together. Unlike people, cats shed the entirety of their claws after a certain period of time, and a new sharper one underneath is revealed. However, if this shedding process doesn't happen properly, the old claw will remain in place while more layers get trapped from shedding underneath. In the end, your cat's claw will appear very thick and you may not be able to see through it. If your cat's claws aren't ingrown already, they will be soon with this condition.
With any of these problems, the best thing you can do is to go to a vet for help. By the time your cat's claws are overgrown or ingrown, they may need special care removing the excess and treating their pads, so get medical help from a pet clinic.
Whether you have had a pet cat for years or you just bought a new fish tank filled with fish for your children, you likely enjoy learning more about your favorite animals and how you can help keep them in good health. We created this website to help pet owners like you learn more about their beloved pets healthcare needs. We plan to post the answers to many of your pet health-related questions on this website, such as how to choose the right food for your fish, how to encourage your indoor cat to exercise when they need to lose a pound or two, and how to know when your dog's strange behavior may signal an illness. If you cannot find the answers to your pet health questions here, we hope you can use our resources to find the answers elsewhere.