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Cats back paws: Do they need to be clipped?

August 8th, 2004, 12:19 PM
I have 3 cats and I have always clipped all four paws. I just adopted a cat from a shelter, and she is declawed in the front. She is very sensitive about letting people touch her paws. Does she need to have her back nails trimmed, or is that not necessary?


August 8th, 2004, 01:19 PM
You already have this on another thread. Posting the same topic on multiple threads gets confusing for everyone.

August 8th, 2004, 01:46 PM
The other thread specifically asks for opinions on declawing back paws. This thread is asking if back paw nails need to be cut at all. That's two different topics.

Lucky Rescue
August 8th, 2004, 02:31 PM
O.K., here is an answer.

I clip two of my cats' nails - front and back. My other cat is feral and will not allow me to handle her that way, so I cannot cut any of her nails.For her, my only option would be to take her to the vet and let them do it.

For the cat in question, she is probably not used to having nails cut. I suggest you start very slowly, by just touching a back paw, then giving her pets elsewhere in places she DOES like being touched.

Wait til she is sleeping, then stroke her and include touching her back paws gently. If she resists, then stop.

It can take a long time to desensitize animals to things they are not accustomed to, but it can be done by associating the thing they dislike with things they DO like. You might try a treat she is especially fond of, and give a bit each time you touch a paw.

The back claws do not retract as fully as the front ones, and do wear down a bit naturally. I don't cut my cats' back claws nearly as often as the front ones.

And for the record, I have never seen Chico say anything rude. Whatever she says comes only from compassion and caring about animals.:)

August 8th, 2004, 02:40 PM
Hi Lucky. Could you clarify something for me? Were you saying that your only option WOULD BE to take the ferral cat to get her nails clipped at the vet? Or are you saying that IS what you do?

I have been doing that(touching/petting paws while she sleeps), and getting a reasonable response from her. Now that I finally got all 8 of her toes clipped, I have some breathing room, and it gives me a few weeks to get her used to paw touch.

Perhaps you're right about chico, but she told me to Euthanise my cat. I take THAT very seriously, and I did not appreciate the suggestion.

Lucky Rescue
August 8th, 2004, 03:19 PM
Were you saying that your only option WOULD BE to take the ferral cat to get her nails clipped at the vet?

No, I don't take her. She is quite wild, and going to the vet at this point would make her regress, so I have to choose the lesser of two evils and not take her. I'm hoping to one day be able to do it myself, as I fear her getting injured by getting her nails caught when she claws my sofa. :mad:
IF she were perfectly tame, but wouldn't allow clipping, then I would take her rather than risk being bitten, as cat bites are dangerous.

You don't need to cut this cat's nails all at once. A few here and there is better than none at all,and if you do one or two at a time in a gentle way, she will get used to it.. Most cats won't sit still for having all nails cut at once, unless they are used to this from tiny kittenhood.

I think you are taking what Chico said out of context. I believe her meaning was that rather than subject this poor cat (who has been through enough) to another painful and traumatic surgery, or dump her back at the HS to be terrified and killed, that humane and gentle euthanization might be a kinder option.

Sadly, death is NOT the worst fate for many animals.:(

August 8th, 2004, 03:43 PM
I am pretty new here and I havent responded much, but I feel this is a easy question, and I dont understand all the fussing.
The main question was about declawing the back claws. The answer should be to call your vet and ask questions. Most vets dont like to declaw the back feet.
The main problem is the nails messing up the furniture or scratching, I understand these concerns: my father is a diebitic.( I know, I spelt it wrong :p ) anyhow I dont want my cat to scratch him and I dont need my cat messing up my furniture. What we do is take her to the vet every 3 weeks or 4 weeks and get the nails clipped. It only takes a second, dont need a appointment and Its only $8 dollars here for that. Well worth the money. I also pick up a climber post and put it near the furniture that she likes to scratch on. When she goes after the couch, I pick her up, put her on the post and say good girlll! So now most of the time that is were she wants to go to scratch.
I hope this has helped you. And if your grandmother cant get to a vet that often maybe there is a mobil groomer that can stop by the house for a small fee.
Sounds like a beatiful cat and I hope your grandmother is happy with her new member of the family

August 8th, 2004, 04:15 PM
It's actually a first for me on this Forum that someone is hellbent on reading me wrong and getting upset with me :D Maybe it's my English?
I never said to euthanize Fluffy,but I did say,I would rather see her PTS humanely,than being further mutilated and incapacitated.
With us trimming nails is a 2-person job,I will cuddle the cats face,scratch behind his ears and my husband will do the trimming.My Rocky does not fall for that :p ,but instead goes to the vet,where he freezes and you can do anything you want to him.
Sweetpea,I am very passionate about the treatment of cats and animals in general,just like Lucky,Sammiec and all the others and just the thought of this beautiful white, blue-eyed shelter cat,already front declawed having to go through this again on her backpaws,literally made me sick,hence the response.

August 9th, 2004, 01:17 AM
SweetPea..........check with your vet anyway. Often, what we do anyway for seniors or if pets don't like to venture outdoors....we come to you. Or at least a couple of the techs do and will trim for you in your home.You know what, just talk to the receptionist and enquire if they rec. anyone. I used to do this on the side and I only charged 10.00 or so depending on the location. This way you are getting someone good with animals and that can handle a patient that is nervous or even snarly about getting nails trimmed. This is a 2 person job though. One person will restrain and support the cats upper body.(I only scruff a kitty if they are completely out of control and attempt to bite, otherwise I hold just under the head and support it close to my body as I scratch and talk to the patient) The one doing the trimming holds both hind legs in one hand and trims with the other. Its actually not as hard as it may sound. Just talk soothingly to the cat , reassure him or her. All that need to be taken off the hind feet are the hooks. This can actually be very quick and simple....if you or the other person have experience trimming nails.

August 9th, 2004, 07:28 AM
Hi, I do not trim my 2 cats back claws. I do trim there front ones, but the back ones never get that long and sharp. I do have a large carpeted house for them to climb so maybe thats what is keeping them dull. I would just get him a tall scratching post which he can climb.

August 9th, 2004, 07:49 AM
It's my understanding the cat's front paws have been declawed, so it's needing to use the back to help stabilize itself. I just clip my cat's front claws too. The back ones never need it.