Contrary to the dog grooming world, trimming the hair on the paws of a cat is a definite no-no. Cat breed standards require toe tuft hair. So if you are a dog groomer, and have been trimming cat feet, stop it, stop it now!
We cat groomers spend a lot of time fluffing and coaxing the toe tufts to their luscious lengths after a bath. Cats are supposed to be very naturally presented creatures in the show ring.
Trimming the toe hair at a client's request almost feels criminal. Good reasons to trim the toe hair is for the ease of a senior cat to move around on slippery surfaces or cleanliness. Some people believe that trimming the toe hair will prevent tracking cat litter around. My experience has been that if your cat is tracking around litter it means the hair on the toes is so dirty, sweaty, and greasy that it is definitely time for a bath or serious litter box clean. A clean cat with toe tufts won't track litter. Clean hair actually repels the litter unless it becomes so saturated with dirt that it does indeed start to stick. Got litter sticking? It's time for a bath. Would you want a dirty-footed creature strolling on your kitchen counter, couch, or bed?
Regular nail trimming is essential to a harmonious co-existence with your cat. It keeps your cat's feet healthy, and your belongings and physical being intact. A scratching post is a absolute necessity in cat ownership. Hate the look of scratching posts in your decor? Sorry, but to keep your cat happy and reduce stress, the scratching post is THE cat's natural emotional outlet. It also helps with the sheathing of the nail layers.
Some cats are more intense scratch-post scratchers than others, just like some dogs are more intense chewers than others. You can't have a dog and not have chew toys. You can't have a cat and not supply a scratching post.
The need for cats to express emotions by scratching seems to reduce as the years go by. While regular nail trimming (every 4-6 weeks) is important throughout a cat's life, it is particularly important as your cat ages. I frequently see senior cats that no longer use their scratching posts and have nails that have grown so long that it is imbedded and infected the paw pads. And this isn't uncommon or rare. The worst case I've seen was a client who commented that they could hear their cat walk across the floor. The poor senior had nine nails that were so long that they couldn't be retracted and had imbedded in the pads and become infected.
I admit it, I love nail caps! When applied properly, they are comfortable, reduce scratching damage, and are a super kewl fashion statement. I often do seasonal themes and combine colours just for fun. A fabulous alternate to de-clawing (which I am personally opposed to) nail caps can save your skin, furniture, and look fabulous!
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Walk-in nail trimming: Monday, Friday and Saturday 8:30-9:00 a.m.
Janet Wormitt, CFMG CFCG
Cat-a-lyst and Ad-vo-CATe