How to Remove an Ingrown Claw in Cats?


Every loving owner should pay attention to the claws of his/her pet. Ingrown nail in cat is a fairly common problem, causing serious discomfort to the animal.


The reasons why there is ingrown nail in cat’s paw are:

  • ingrown claw in kittyimproper care;
  • injuries;
  • old age.

Cats walking on the streets do not need additional care for claws. They are happy to grind them on the bark of trees. Pets do not always have access to a sufficiently hard material for “manicure”, and not all owners buy special tools (“scratching posts”). In such cases, the owner must monitor the pet’s claws regularly to cut them.

Quite often a cause of improper growth of claws is injury. A cat can hurt the claw while playing, or accidentally falling from a great height. Violation of the integrity of the claw leads to the fact that it becomes softer and grows wrong over time getting into the paw. Most often owners of older animals face the problem of ingrown claws. This is due to the softening of the nail due to natural aging. A properly balanced diet, taking into account the needs of the aging body will help to prevent such.

How to Detect the Problem?

ingrown claw in cats removeIt is quite simple to identify a nail growth in cat’s paw, it is enough to observe the behavior of the animal. Such a trouble will torment the cat, so it will try to gnaw out the ingrown claw, which can lead to damage to the pads. Over time this will manifest itself through limp on the back or front paws. The gait of the animal will change. The cat will be distributing the body weight so as not to disturb the leg. Pet will avoid active games and try to jump less, so as not to accidentally damage the ingrown claw.

During the inspection of pads you will notice that the claw is deformed and grows improperly. In this case, the pad can swell and peel. The claw becomes bent, and its tip lurks under the paw, upon this any touch of the owner to this area causes pain, so the pet tries to escape.

What is so Dangerous about the Defect?

ingrown nail in catsIngrown nail in cat’s paw is a serious problem, causing discomfort to the pet. Due to the fact that stepping on the part of the pad with ingrown claw is painful for the pet, its gait changes. Growing nail imposes a number of restrictions on the usual life of the pet — it becomes less active, stops playing and jumping.

Accidental damage to an ingrown claw can lead to infection. The result will be swelling of the pads and inflammation of the skin around the nail. It causes a lot of pain. In addition, in some cases, there is a risk of abscess – then the paw increases significantly in size, it becomes hot. This problem requires surgery, otherwise the opened abscess can lead to infection of the whole body.

How to Help Your Pet?

It is possible to remove the ingrown claw at home only if the inflammatory process has not begun yet. For this you will need nail clippers, tweezers and any antiseptic.

Firstly, you should disinfect all the tools, and to moisten a paw plentifully with an antiseptic. Then, cut the nail so that not to touch the area where the capillaries (pink part of the nail) are concentrated.

The next thing an owner should do is to remove a piece of claw stuck in the paw. To do this, you need to grab the visible part with the tweezers and try to pull it with one sharp movement. The cat will not like it, the animal will hiss and scream, as the procedure is quite painful. After the claw is removed, the pad should be abundantly watered with antiseptic. To avoid infection, use antibacterial ointment, such as Levomekol.

The Help of a Veterinarian

If the pad is red, swollen and there are all signs of inflammation, you must entrust the animal to the veterinarian, but do not try to remove the ingrown claw on your own. The procedure is performed under local anesthesia. The vet cuts the area around the nail, then takes out the ingrown area and cleans the cavity from the accumulated pus. The wound is treated with antibacterial ointment to prevent the spread of inflammation. Be sure the area is redressed. After surgery, the vet will give recommendations for the care of the wound.

The owner should carefully monitor the cut healing, as well as the growth of the claw. If the problem persists frequently, it is recommended to consult a vet for additional treatment. In case of improper growth of claws of an animal, use vitamin and mineral supplements, special food and medications to strengthen the immune system.


  1. kat says:

    My cat has an overgrown dewclaw on her right paw that I only recently discovered.
    I was wondering how to determine where the end of the nail is when it’s overgrown into a complete arc? How can I tell if inflammation has set in? She doesn’t seem to mind me touching the area too much when I examine it. With the pandemic going on I would prefer to remove this at home myself, but am wondering if a course of antibiotics are standard when extracting an overgrown nail like this? Thank you for your helpful article!

  2. Candace says:

    my vet just cut out the dewclaw on Thurs. He put ointment on it but not dressing. She has a collar which she hates. Can’t clean herself but can put he paw into the food bowl and of course her box. She gets clavamox twice a day. I thought her licking and cleaning would be good for her…

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