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5 Tips for Trimming your Cat's Claws

 by michele on 28 Jun 2014 |
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Unless you have an outdoor cat that requires their claws for self-defense, it is best to keep your cat’s claws trimmed every two to three weeks. This will prevent injuries caused by claws caught in carpets, clothes and other fabrics. It will also keep your cat’s claws in good condition and alert you to any issues such as ingrown claws. Many cat owners find trimming their pet’s claws a slightly nerve-racking task, but with a bit of time and patience, it will become a regular ritual that your feline friend will not necessarily enjoy, but start to accept. Follow these five simple tips, and you’ll be well on your way to claw trimming success!

1. Get your cat used to the nail trimming position

The best time to trim a cat’s claws is when they’re asleep or relaxed. Start training your cat from an early age to accept having their paws and claws handled and manipulated. A good time to do this is when you are cuddling and bonding. If you're going to be trimming the cat's nails by yourself, get your cat used to sitting on its rear on your lap, facing away from you. This will enable you to hold them steady, with a paw in one hand and the clippers in the other.

2. Become familiar with your cat’s claws

To access each claw, gently press each paw between your thumb and forefinger and the claw will pop outward from the toe. At the base of each nail is a pink strip called the quick where blood vessels and nerve endings lie. You want to avoid cutting too close to the quick otherwise you will cause bleeding and pain.

3. Use specially designed cat claw clippers

Cat claw clippers come in two styles – either guillotine or scissor style. I personally prefer the small scissor-type of cat claw clippers as I find them the quickest and easiest to use. Most have a non-slip, rubber handle that makes it easier to hold the clipper, reducing the risk of splintering the claw and hurting your cat.


4. Trim just the tip of each claw

Cut just the tip of each claw, and as you get more comfortable, you can cut closer to the quick. Slowly snip just the tips off in a straight line approximately 2 mm away from the quick. Don’t yell at your cat if they won’t let you trim all their claws. At first you may only be able to trim one or two claws at a time. Be patient and keep trying!
5. Reward your cat for good behaviour

If your cat is well behaved and lets you cut all their nails, reward them with a treat that you only give them after claw trimming. That way they will come to realise that cooperating will result in a special reward.


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