How to Trim Your Cat's Claws

Filed Under: Cats, General Care

Regular trimming of your cat’s claws will not only make your cat more comfortable, it will probably save you a few minor cuts and scrapes, too.

At a pet supply store you should be able to find a pair "guillotine-style" cat clippers. When using these clippers, the cat’s claw is poked through a hole on one side of the clipper, and a blade cuts through the nail on the other side. Standard human nail clippers will also work just fine.

Hold your cat firmly in your arm with her front paw in your hand. Gently press the foot pad to extend a claw. These first two steps should be practiced a bit before you actually begin trimming, so that your cat becomes accustomed to your pressing her paws.

If you look closely at the claw under a light, you will see a light pink area in the middle. Called the ’quick,’ this is the end of a blood vessel, and will bleed if you cut your cat’s claws too short.

Hold the clippers parallel to the flat part of the claw, and cut off the tip quickly. Holding the claw in the clippers will make your cat very uncomfortable, so cut as fast as possible while still cutting accurately. With practice you will grow more adept at cutting the nails quickly.

Give your cat a few moments to relax after the first claw, even if she still seems calm and comfortable. There’s no reason to hurry the process; if it makes things go more smoothly, you could do one claw per day until all the nails on both front paws are trimmed. You will not need to trim the back claws.

Although with practice this is an easy process, if you’re still not comfortable with trimming claws yourself, your can schedule a nail appointment with your veterinarian.

Topics: grooming

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