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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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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…
Life with Dogs&Cats (@WithDogsAndCats) says
I have 4 cats. Two will lay comfortably in my lap while I trim their nails. The other 2 will complain like I’m stabbing them.
We use the same kind of clippers as you. All of our kitties have become used to having their nails trimmed. And treats and praise are always given afterwards (and they love that). 🙂
Great tips! I wish my husband and I would have spent more time with this when Cinco and Manna were kittens. The cats don’t like getting their nails clipped, but they do seem to be relieved when it is done. 🙂
The Island Cats says
Good tips! The mom clips our claws. She usually waits until we’re sleeping…we don’t know what hit us. And she just uses regular human nail clippers. Works well. And she always gives us treats aftewards.
Great advice! I find the style of nail scissors in your picture by far the easiest for cats. Unlike dogs, it’s usually very easy to see the safe, pain-free area to cut on cats’ nails. If in doubt, vets will always be happy to give you a demo 🙂
Very good advices ! We are outdoor cats, mum doesn’t trim our claws, but she was used to do it for years with Angel Mildred, Angel Hercule and Angel Isis, who were only indoor kitties. She had a small sharp crowbar (like the ones for electrician) to do it.