The personality of cats can be all over the place. More often than not, they act as though they own the home and rule the roost. Yet, you also have the felines that are super snuggly and playful at all times.
One thing that nearly all cats have in common though, is their aversion to hygiene by humans. Whether it is a bath or a nail clipping, they don’t seem to appreciate your effort.
That’s why it is easy to miss a nail here and there when trying to clip them. This mistake can lead to further problems, like an ingrown nail.
Often a situation like this will warrant a vet visit. But what does the cat ingrown nail removal cost?
According to several online pet forums, the average cost in the USA ranges from $30-$325 for this service. The price will not only fluctuate by geographical location but also by severity of the nail issue. A simple clipping will be the cost of an office visit, $30. A removal that requires local anesthesia will be $110. Surgery will be much higher at $325 per claw.
What Causes An Ingrown Cat Nail?
When the nails on your feline’s paws grow too long, they can start to curl over. As this happens, the top of the nail can burrow into the front or side of the toe. The nail will continue to further imbed itself into the toe over time.
After a while, this will become painful for your pet. Your cat may have difficulty walking, even having a limp at times.
It is often too late to remedy the situation in your home at this time. Attempting to do so will likely be painful for your animal.
Is it necessary to note that you should have your cat seen by a vet at the first sign of trouble.
The sooner that your pet receives care, the less traumatic the event is likely to be. Additionally, the expense will likely be less if the issue is taken care of sooner rather than later.
What Will The Vet Do?
Initially, the veterinarian will assess the situation to fully understand the severity of it. The severity level will depend on how deep the nail is embedded and whether an infection is present.
There could also be further injury as a result of it going on for so long. After the initial evaluation, your doctor will work to detach the top of the nail from the rest of the toe.
The vet can suggest several different treatments at the end of this phase:
- Restraint of your cat while removing with clippers
- Anesthesia while removing with clippers
- Anesthesia while surgically removing the nail
The needs of the situation will decide the recommended treatment. If it is a simple fix, the first option is likely to be used. For more severe cases, anesthesia may be involved.
As we mentioned before, the cost of care is dependent on many factors. One of the largest is geographic location. Because cities have different prices for living, the amount for everyday expenses is different. Therefore, ingrown cat nail removal with anesthesia may be higher in New York City than in Duluth, Minnesota.
As a pet owner, it may be in your best interest to call around ahead of time to gather estimates.
By calling different veterinary clinics, both in your city and surrounding ones, you can get an idea of the average cost. You will also be able to determine if driving further out is worth it for a lower price.
It is a possibility that an infection may develop over time. This occurrence can happen during the time of the nail embedding or after treatment.
If this occurs, your pet will need an antibiotic prescription. The cost of the medication will be in addition to the treatment and procedure.
What Happens After The Appointment?
When you leave the veterinary office, there will be some after-care required for your cat.
Outside of the possibility mentioned above of antibiotics, there are a few other things that your animal may need:
- Bandaging – this will keep the wound protected until it is properly healed
- Particular litter – your veterinarian may recommend switching to the paper litter for their box until their paw is back to normal
- Epsom salt soak – some veterinarians recommend this either as an initial treatment or as a follow-up.
- Nail care regime – Finding a more sustainable form of nail care for your cat will be necessary to avoid the same issue down the road.
Outside of these, there may be a need for a follow-up appointment to check on wound and infection status.
How Do I Prevent This?
When it comes to ingrown cat nails, you want to pay particular attention to the length of their nails. It is when the nails get too long that problems start to arise.
To avoid them from becoming too long, you need to clip the nails routinely. You can do this care at home or with a groomer.
If you choose to take on the care at home, you can use several types of tools. There are a variety of options at local pet stores or supermarkets.
Animal Nail Clippers
This specific type of clipper is designed to clip your pet’s nails at the correct angle. Most groomers use this type of clipper in their shops, so you have likely seen them before.
These clippers have been standard tools when it comes to animal care for many years.
Human Nail Clippers
Many cat owners have said that they use human nail clippers instead of animal ones in recent years.
The smaller size of the human-style clippers makes it easier to manage when clipping small animal’s nails. Additionally, this type is sharper, which makes the job faster.
Newer on the market are animal nail grinders. This device gently files down the animal’s nail until it’s the correct length.
Nail grinders are used for dogs as well, so they come in a variety of sizes. All nail grinders are battery-operated, so you don’t have to worry about your animal getting caught up in cords or finding a place to plug it in.
Cats don’t typically react well to having their nails clipped. Many times they will start to panic and become agitated.
Often during these times, they will scratch and bite the person doing the grooming. Because of this likely reaction, it is essential to plan how to tackle the situation.
Many pet owners have good luck with wrapping their cat in a towel or thick blanket so that their limbs are trapped inside.
The grooming person will then clip one paw at a time, replacing it into the wrap as they are done.
This method works best when there are two people available. One person will hold the wrapped animal while another will do the clipping. This scenario allows both people to focus on one task instead of trying to conquer both.
Going the route of hiring a professional groomer is another option. These individuals have extensive training with animals of all types and can more easily groom apprehensive cats than owners typically can.
Costs vary for a groomer’s services, but often the charge is minimal for a basic nail trim.
Things To Remember
Preventative measures are essential for keeping your pets healthy in the best way possible and for keeping common issues at bay.
Routine veterinary examinations will allow a medical professional to check your cat over any concerns or impending issues. It is crucial to keep up with the suggested vaccinations and check-ups that your veterinarian recommends for your pet.
Note that as your pet ages, the visits may need to be more frequent. Additionally, the more frequently your animal is exposed to care, the more comfortable they will be with them. This not only applies to the vet but also to grooming.
As your pet is exposed to nail clipping and other hygiene tasks frequently, those things become more common in their lives. At some point, it just becomes a regular occurrence for them and not a traumatic, panic-inducing event.
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Nobody likes to see their pets upset or in pain—unfortunately, all circumstances surrounding an ingrown nail lead to those emotions.
Whether it’s the panic from routine grooming and clipping or pain from the ingrown nail, emotions are strongly felt during this situation.
With proper planning and appropriate strategy, these moments can become easier for you and your pet. As a refresher, the most important elements to avoid ingrown nail issues are:
- Routine exams with your veterinary provider
- Frequent grooming and nail clipping
- Immediate care at the first sign of nail issue or injury
We all hope to avoid the cat ingrown nail removal cost if we can. Taking the time to prioritize feline care tasks is the first step.
Although these can be tricky to navigate, the more frequently they are done, the better.
My name is Keren Tayler. I am a stay-at-home mama to three lovely girls, Sarah + Rachel + Hannah. Prior to becoming a mom, I had a successful career in the accounting field, steps away from becoming a CPA. I decided to give up on my career in order to raise my own kids (as opposed to letting a nanny do it, no judgment here :)) I learned a lot and I love sharing it with other moms. Along the way, I also became a Certified Food Handler.