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When was the last time you inspected your cat's claws?  If you're like most people, the answer is never, or rarely at best.  With busy schedules, it's really not something that most people think about and even for myself, it's easy to forget.  In my years of experience in the rescue, boarding and grooming world, this is one of the most important overlooked aspects to your cat's health.  Embedded claws are frequently missed at vet appointments and the more discomfort a cat feels, litterbox issues can be a result.  
On a regular basis we will have clients bring their cat for boarding or grooming and say that their cat has trouble walking.  Whenever I hear this, the very first thing I do is inspect the claws of the cat in question. If your cat is urinating outside the litterbox or has trouble walking, go ahead and schedule your vet appointment......and then inspect your cat's claws. Place your cat's paw in your hand and gently push down the center of the paw with your thumb and do the same on all remaining paws.  This will expose the claws so that they are easily visible.  If your cat's claws are grown into the paw pads, you will need to get this resolved immediately.  The longer you delay, you could potentially end up with expensive vet bills if the claw needs to be surgically removed.  Claws embedded in the paw pads are extremely painful and of course, the pain your cat is experiencing will result in your cat walking awkwardly, or even limping.  The pain your cat is feeling could result in him finding another place (like the blankets on your bed) to do his business.  
You should inspect your cat's claws once a month.  Setting a recurring monthly reminder on your phone will make it easy for you to remember.  Regular nail trims are a critical preventative measure and should be done every 4 - 8 weeks, depending on how quickly they grow.  The great news is that nail trimming is a fairly easy task to do at home for most cats!  If you have tried and were unsuccessful, feel free to give us a call and we'll provide you with some guidance to try to get the job done at home.  If nail trimming doesn't work out at home, we offer a flexible schedule for you to stop in at The Cat Chalet. 


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