Trimming your cat’s claws regularly should be a part of their ongoing healthcare routine. Unclipped claws can become overgrown and turn back on themselves, pressing into your cat’s paw which can be very uncomfortable. Keeping your cat’s claws trimmed will also protect you from being scratched, your clothing from being snagged, and you’ll minimise accidental claw damage to your sofa and other household furniture.
Many people shy away from clipping their cat’s claws for fear of being scratched, but following these tips should help to make trimming your cat’s claws a breeze.
1. Pawflexology 101
It is always easier to trim your cat’s claws if you start when they are young and if you can get them accustomed to having their paws handled. When stroking my cats, I’ll often gently massage their paws so that when I do press on their paw pads to expose a claw ready for trimming, this is nothing out of the ordinary for them.
2. Stay calm and take it slowly
If your cat senses that you are tense or nervous about claw trimming this can make the task much more difficult – try to approach it calmly and with confidence. At first, you may be a little slow at claw trimming. If your cat becomes impatient, just take it one paw and one foot at a time. Over time you’ll become quicker at trimming your cat’s claws and your cat will get used to the routine.
3. Choose the clippers that are right for you
There are two basic styles of clippers available to trim your cat’s claws – guillotine and scissors. Make sure that whatever clippers you choose are comfortable for you to use, and sharp. I use a pair of cat nail scissors (pictured) which have rounded ends to guide where to trim the claw. They are quick and easy to use with a non-slip rubber handle, and are available at pet supply shops for under $10.
4. Get someone to show you how
If you have never clipped your cat’s claws before, get your local veterinarian or cat groomer to show you how to do it. My vet showed me how to trim cat claws and it really is quite easy once you’ve been shown. For an online lesson, check out this instructional video from Dr. Christianne Schelling.
5. Give praise and rewards
Make claw trimming an enjoyable experience for your cat by rewarding him with a favourite treat, giving him extra love and affection, or scheduling a special playtime session with his favourite toy.
All cats are different, some will happily tolerate having their claws trimmed and others will fight you ‘tooth and nail’. If your cat continues to put up a fight, ask a cat-loving friend for assistance or refer to your local vet.
Do you trim your cat’s claws? What tricks do you have up your sleeve to make it as painless as possible? Please share…