As devoted cat parents, it’s second nature for us to do everything in our power to ensure that our feline is healthy in every way. We invest money into special formula cat foods, trot kitty off to the veterinarian at the mere sound of a sniffle and shower him with toys, love and affection on a daily basis. But maintaining good health is not always as visible as a sneeze; much has to do with an aspect of cat care that often goes overlooked — kitty’s claws.
Beneficial to You Both
Your cat’s claws work in two very important ways. One, as a self-defense mechanism against predators he may encounter; and two, as a tool for climbing. To keep his nails sharp and healthy at all times, your cat will shed old nail coverings by using a scratching post or similar item to remove the nail sheath.
While keeping the nails in good order is one of the greatest motives behind a feline’s need to scratch, it is not the only one. Cats scratch to communicate to other cats and their owners where their territory is. When cats scratch something, scent glands in their paws emit an odor that announces to other animals that they live there. Cats also use their claws for scratching during play, in self-defense and when they are frustrated.
Keeping your cat’s nails trimmed is beneficial to you by alleviating the destruction of furniture within your home and avoiding the possible risk of cat scratch fever, but, more importantly, it is necessary in the complete and total care of your cat.
**Get the October 2011 issue of CAT FANCY to read the full article or click here to purchase a PDF version.**