Buddy ‘Declaws’ Himself

Despite having real scratchers, including the biggest-available tower scratcher sturdy enough for him to stretch out completely, Buddy likes to scratch anything and everything he can get his paws on.

The couch, area carpets, the screen door leading to the balcony, even my brand new La Z Boy desk chair.

Without fail he gets his claws stuck on things he’s not supposed to scratch, and then he mews pitifully in his kitten voice until I find him and gently lift him up to get him unstuck.

After I free him he gets all affectionate, and then he forgets all about it until the next time he decides it’s a good idea to scratch on things he’s been snagged on before.

Today the little dude was having another go at the new desk chair and got his claws stuck on the protective cover that’s there to stop him from clawing the chair in the first place.

I stood up to help him and he yanked on the cover, pulling his paw loose but dislodging something in the process.

Sure enough, when I looked on the floor, this is what I found:



As you can see, he tore off his entire claw.

I’m surprised he didn’t give any outward indication of pain. He’s been walking around just fine without a limp. I know his instinct will be to hide the pain, like all other cats, but he doesn’t seem very good at that: Just last night he was crying for a few minutes because of an upset stomach, after he’d regurgitated his dinner. (I sat with him and scratched his head. He felt better within 10 minutes.)

I’m pretty sure the claw came from his right paw, but I haven’t had the chance to examine him yet. I’ll have to wait until he’s in a chill mood to handle his paw and take a closer look.

I don’t see anything to indicate the quick was ripped or dislodged in any way. Still, I can’t imagine it’s not bothering him.

Have any of you guys dealt with anything like this before? Is there any reason to worry?

17 thoughts on “Buddy ‘Declaws’ Himself”

    1. Thanks, Laura. Yeah it looks like it had to hurt. I’m gonna take a closer look when I can (he’s very temperamental about having his paws pressed, however gently, to extend his claws) and make sure everything looks okay. I think it will grow back.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Hi!
        The pics aren’t very good, but I think you don’t have to worry. On the second one too, I don’t see the whole of the claw (which would also have made it bleed), but its envelope, its “sheath”, which will grow back and allow Buddy to courageously resume its devastating stretching sessions.
        Good day to you both !

        Liked by 2 people

  1. I don’t think you need worry. It looks like the outer sheath of the claw, which cats regularly shed, rather than the whole claw. Having six cars, we regularly find pussy parts like that lodged in our carpets.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. MY goodness PLEASE immediately take your sweet cat to the VET! Really Today. He may, alas, have an infection and if so – needs injected antibiotics and perhaps, also, oral antibiotics.

    Some infections are not visible to our eyes but produce pain.

    Please kindly take your sweet cat to the vet or an animal hospital immediately.

    Good luck in all things. May Buddy soon feel better!! ________________________________

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I find little claws like that all the time even though I trim my cat’s nails on a regular basis. I’ve never asked, but it seems like it’s similar to a snake shedding its skin. My cats have not experienced any issues after having lost a claw like this, so I think it’s somewhat natural. Give Buddy a hug and I’m sure he’ll be fine.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. That looks like a big claw sheath, not an entire claw. If it were an entire claw there would be some blood at the end. My cats leave claw sheaths all over the place and they do look like an entire claw. However, I’ve seen torn claws and there’s no mistaking a missing
    and/or injured claw.
    Little Buddy probably won’t like you checking out his paw, but I think you’ll find he’s OK.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. That looks like a claw sheath, which is a natural part of his claw. As the claw grows out, they shed the sheath to reveal the new, sharp claw underneath. I’ve never heard of a cat not shedding these, but maybe it’s because you keep his claws clipped and when he sheds them, they don’t look as claw-like. Frank’s claws are unclipped (I tried it once and have the scars to show for it) and I find these on the floor all the time.
    If he tore off the actual claw, I’m pretty sure that he would be in obvious pain.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Hi Steve, when Jezabel passed this year I decided to clean everything, behind the arm chairs. I was so upset, I thought being busy might help.
    Now Jez was a big baby too and would howl if something was up, events to the point of her pretending to be ill so that I would give her extra yeast tablets lol.
    Behind the arm chair I found 3 or 4 claws, exactly like yours, or rather Buddys. She didn’t tell me about it ( and believe me if she could have made a big fuss for extra treats she would have!)
    And I really didn’t notice , (well yes I noticed that the chairs had big holes in them)! but I think that the claws must of grown back, and for some reason, it didn’t hurt.
    I hope that Buddy’s claw grows back quickly:)

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Tux had to cover his eyes when he saw this! It has never happened to him but I worry. He has a tendency to morph from sweet kitty/very good boy to savage people maimer when his claws are clipped, so his nails don’t get clipped often enough! Our well wishes and hugs to little Buddy!

    Liked by 2 people

  8. That does look like the outer sheath in the photo, and I agree Buddy should be fine. Nod did do more extensive damage last year last year. She had hooked a dewclaw into something, and tore out the claw. She wasn’t limping, I did not notice it until I went to trim her claws and got to the dewclaw, which was swollen and seemed like it had encrusted blood around it. Thinking infection, I called the ER vet who said they didn’t need to see her. Being pre-vaccination covid times, I think they were keeping things to serious emergencies only. I cleaned it with warm water and a little liquid soap, and called her regular vet the next day who instructed me to just keep it clean. The nail bed was fortunately still intact, and the nail regrew.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. No, there is no reason to worry.

    He simply pulled off the claw sheath, not the entire claw. If you look at it carefully, you can see that it’s hollow. My cats did this all the time.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. I forgot to mention there is a dangerous aspect of these claw sheaths. They’re still pretty pointy and tend to hurt when stepped on. Guess how I know …

    Liked by 1 person

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