6 Tips to Cut Your Cat’s Nails Quickly and Painlessly!
21 January, 2016
Our cats are inherently scratchers. They love to stretch, stick out those claws and scratch anything they can! We love to keep our furniture and skin intact, so it’s important to trim your cat’s nails every few weeks. If you start the process while your cats are young, it makes it much easier to maintain throughout adulthood.
The key is to take your time, bring treats, and to trim your cat’s nails right after he or she has woken up from a nap and is groggy.
1. Get your cat used to your playing with his or her paws
It’s important for you to simply play and/or stroke your cats’ paws so your kitty can get used to your touching them. Sit down and place your kitty on your lap. Stroke your kitties’ paws and go back to petting your cat. This is the first way to build trust and that touching paws equals petting.
2. Choose the correct cat trimmers
There are plenty of tools available to trim a cat’s claws; use the one that works best for you and your pet. Whatever your tool of choice, be sure the blade remains sharp; the blunt pressure from dull blades may hurt an animal and cause a nail to split or bleed. Keep something to stop bleeding, such as styptic powder, cornstarch, or a dry bar of soap (to rub the bleeding nail across), nearby.
3. Approach your kitty slowly while ‘hiding’ your trimmers
If you approach your kitty with a sharp object in one hand while trying to grab his or her paw with the other, odds are you’ll come up empty-handed. Some cats do well with no restraint at all, but most cats need to be held firmly but gently to make sure that no one gets hurt. Try taking your kitty in the crook of one arm while holding one paw with the other hand. Or, you can put your cat on your lap and start this way
4. Trim one paw at a time as fast as you can
Take your cat’s paw in your hand and use your thumb and pointer finger to gently press down on the top and bottom of the paw on the joint just behind the claw. This will cause the claw to extend so you can quickly but carefully snip off the sharp tip and no more. Then, onto the next. Don’t get too close to the pink part of the nail called “the quick” as cutting into this area will likely cause bleeding and pain.
5. You can get away with only cutting the front nails
It’s common to only cut the front claws, but take a look at your kitty’s rear claws just in case they’ve gotten too long or their sharp tips hurt you when your cat leaps on or off your lap. Since most cats fuss more about having their rear claws clipped, start with the front claws.
6. You might need more than one session to cut your cat’s nails
If you aren’t able to trim all ten nails at once, don’t worry. Few cats can stay still for more than a few minutes, so take what you can get and then be on the lookout for the next opportunity to cut your cat’s nails. ALWAYS praise your cat with love and/or treats after a cutting session so your kitty can start associating the process as a good thing that gets rewarded. As always, practice makes perfect and the more you try to cut your kitty’s nails, the easier it becomes for both of you.
If the process it too hard for you, you might need one more person to help. You can always have your veterinarian cut your cat’s nails or you can also take your kitty to a professional groomer. Some cats don’t mind getting their nails cut, while others just won’t tolerate it. Either way, it is very important for your cat’s health and your furniture to keep your cat’s nails short. Good luck!