I have a six month old cat.

The problem is here are too many stray dogs and they kill cats. So I think letting my cat having sharp nails will give her advantage if it comes to fighting with a dog for life.

I do get occasional cuts but I can tolerate it as long as my cat is well prepared for danger.

But does the cat herself face any problem with big nails like problem walking?

Also there are not too many things at home where my cat can scratch nails to keep them at size.

  • 1
    if a cat is an outdoor cat it needs its claws sharp not only for defence but allso for its escape,climbing to get away from dogs and foxes. Commented Aug 30, 2017 at 7:23
  • I find your point of climbing trees as the best one.
    – Sonevol
    Commented Aug 30, 2017 at 19:46

3 Answers 3


Indoor Cats

Most people will cut their cats nails to prevent damage to furniture, children or other pets in the household.

Young Cats will maintain their nails by themselves through scratching and do not require trimming unless for the reasons above.

The exception would be defective claws or "mittens"

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Cats have a much harder time maintaining these nails as sometimes they come out deformed or wedged too closely in between toes. These should be checked regularly as they can grow into the paw pads, this is painful and if untreated ends up with infection.

Senior Cats need regular checks as with arthritis developing in their joints they cannot keep those nails nice and tidy. We see these types of nails often in our senior cats (pictured below) as most people do not know.

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As you can see this is very painful and will cause problems walking. You can check out this answer on helping senior cats manage arthritis. Wikihow has a very good article on trimming nails.

Outdoor Cats

Outdoor cats need their nails for defense so I do not recommend trimming if she goes outdoors. With the exception of problematic nails.

Choosing the Right Scratching Post

A scratching post should be taller than a fully stretched cat for optimal use, there should be more than one and each with different textures.

Spraying or sprinkling catnip on the posts or cardboard will entice your cat to use them instead of your furniture.

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It's not necessary - cats are more than capable of taking care of their claws on their own - essentially this is what scratch posts etc are used for. Trimming the claws is purely a human convenience to avoid them doing too much damage to us or the furniture.

For the wider issue of the danger to the cat, obviously I don't know your personal circumstances would it not be more sensible to keep her as an indoor cat?

  • she is an indoor cat but sometimes she falls down from the balcony on the road
    – Sonevol
    Commented Aug 30, 2017 at 19:44
  • ahh she pulls a houdini on you, makes sense. Commented Aug 31, 2017 at 13:20

Young cats that regularly go outside, or indoor cats that are happy to use a scratching post regularly (so that the length and sharpness of their claws is naturally controlled) may not need their claws trimming, other than perhaps to remove the very (sharp) end to reduce the risk of them hurting you or damaging furnishings by getting tangled with them. Trimming the sharp end also reduces the risk of a claw scratch becoming infected.

(I'll add that in my experience most indoor cats need help cotrolling the length of their claws, even the most enthusiastic users of scratching post and less official alternatives).

Cats whose claws don't get worn down naturally, including elderly cats whose claws may not retract so well and/or may overgrow if left alone are more likely to need their claws trimmed. In addition, some cats (like my current pair and their predecessor) cannot retract their claws at all, and benefit from having them trimmed regularly (I know when it's time when I can hear them tip-tapping across a hard floor).

It's easiest to train a cat to tolerate having their claws clipped when they're young, which may be another reason to do it regularly before they actually need it. And it gives you an opportunity to check that there's no damage to the foot (important for outdoor cats who can acquire cuts and nailbed infections).

See Should You Trim Your Cats Claws or Ask a Vet: How to Trim Cat Claws, and Why You Should

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