Where To Trim Your Cat’s Nails
If your cat likes sitting in your lap, try this position first. Get comfortable on the couch or a chair. Pet your cat and offer a treat or two to ensure they’re calm and comfortable before gently picking up their paw to begin clipping the nails. “If you can have two people with you that is great. One person can be holding the cat and the other person can managing the feet,” said Grader.
If your cat doesn’t like sitting in your lap, you can try putting them up on a table or counter. Place some treats on the countertop to distract them, then gently grasp their paw to trim the nails. If you try this approach, it can help to have another person there to pet the cat and feed them treats while you work.;
Against: What Are A Cats Claws For
Claws arent pointless . They are one of your cats essential tools. Their uses include:
- Hunting. Claws help the cat catch hold of prey, and stop it from escaping. Thats why theyre shaped like tiny hooks. Even if your cat isnt allowed out to hunt, it will still want to express this natural hunting behavior during play, which it will struggle to do without claws.
- Fighting. Cats lash out with their claws as one of their primary defense mechanisms. This applies whether your cat is fighting another cat, fighting another of your pets, or fighting you. While this is an undesirable behavior, your cat will feel defenseless without its claws, which may have an effect on its temperament and behavior.
- Climbing.;As a cats claws are good at catching hold of prey, so too do they help your cat climb and avoid falling.
It is possible for your cat to live its life without ever strictly needing to express these behaviors. But pets enjoy expressing them nevertheless, and its our job as pet owners to provide our pets with lives that mirror what they find in the wild.
Why Is It Important To Trim A Cat’s Nails
No matter what kind of nail-trimming routine you develop with your cat, it is just important that it gets done as it is an easy way to keep your cat both happy and healthy. For instance, Dr. Ireifej shared that whereas feral and outdoor cats are able to shorten their nails through climbing and hunting outdoors, indoor domesticated cats are not able to do the same, which can cause both injury and damage. “Nails that are too long are thought to not only be uncomfortable for the cat but also make them more prone to inappropriate behavior like scratching on doors, furniture, and other household items or surfaces,” he said.
Not to mention it could also be the catalyst for some pretty painful accidents. “Maintaining the length of your cat’s nails will help prevent overgrowth, which can cause damage to the paw pads or become stuck in fabric, resulting in injury,” Dr. Burch said.
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Best Cat Nail Clipper Faqs
How often you trim your cats nails depends on how often your cat depends on how quickly it grows its claws. Generally, you should clip the nails every 10 to 14 days.
When cutting your cats nails, you want to keep a safe distance from the quick. Thus, you should clip the claw to within 1.5 or 2 millimeters to the quick. You should not go any shorter to avoid causing discomfort to the cat.
The choice between the two depends on your preference and level of expertise. Clipping is a relatively faster method. Grinding provides a more measured and careful nail clipping method. However, grinding is not a foolproof method, and care should be taken to avoid grinding too close to the quick.
Against: Accidents When Cutting A Cats Claws
A cats claws are like our nails. If you cut them too short, it really hurts. To understand why, you have to understand the specific anatomy of a nail.
Both our nails and a cats claws have several distinct sections/layers. Theres the nail bed/nail matrix, which is the part underneath the nail, which connects to the finger/toe. Then theres the body of the nail, which is the central section of it that attaches to the bed. At the tip of the nail is the free edge, which if you look at your own nails, is the white or lighter part at the outside edge.
The most important part of the nail in this context is the hyponychium, better known in plain English as the quick. The quick is the part of the nail where the free edge of the nail meets the nail bed. You can trim away the edge, and its not painful at all; but if you trim too far, i.e. into the quick, its very painful indeed. Your cat has a quick just like you do, and its much easier to cut into it than you might think.
This is important because if you cut into your cats quick, it will be very, very painful for your pet. Painful to the point where it limps! Given how easy it is, we would never recommend trimming your cats claws as a beginner.
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Which Cat Clippers Do I Need
Its important that any cat nail clippers that you use are up to the task so that you dont risk injury to your cats foot or take their claw off completely. Some points to consider when choosing your cats clippers are:
- The clippers should be easy to use. Most of the time they just look like scissors with a small hole in the blade where you place the cats nail.
- The clippers should be durable. Choosing a good pair will be a worthwhile investment as you will use them regularly.
- Check reviews if purchasing online to ensure the clippers dont have a history of damaging cats claws.
- If you are unsure about what type of claw your cat needs then our vets will be able to offer you advice on your next visit.
How To Trim Your Cats Claws
First of all, talk softly to your cat to keep it calm during the procedure as cats really do not like is being restrained.The first step is to hold the cat on your lap until he/she is calm and comfortable. Then, holding one paw, press gently on pads and using special animal nail clippers clip off the end of the claw. Do not cut too close or you may nick the vein that extends into the thick part of the claw. To see where the vein stops, hold the cats claw up to the light; the pink area is the vein.If your cat yowls or squirms, you may have to introduce it gradually to having its nails trimmed. To do this, start with only one to two nails each day and give your pet a treat as soon as the job is finished.
Once your cat learns that there is a reward at the end, it will soon become tolerant of the procedure, perhaps even enjoying its manicure.
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Is It Okay To Use Human Nail Clippers On Cats
Its a very common question, the answer is might surprise you. Yes, you can use human nail clippers on your cats claws.
However, human nail clippers arent designed to trim out pets nails or claws. Using your personal clippers on your cats claws will result in cracking them. It will do more damage than good.
Not to mention, its kind of gross and unhygienic to share nail clippers with your cat. When cutting your cats nails, its important to use the right tool for the job. Human clippers will add extra pressure to the cat nail, creating an uncomfortable and unpleasant experience for them.
When Do You Need To Trim Your Cats Claws
Overall, its not necessary to trim your cats claws, but it depends of your pets lifestyle . If we are talking about an outdoor cat, his/her claws are essential to defend him/herself, hunt or climb. For an indoor cat, a scratching post allows daily self-maintenance. However, if your cat tends to sharpen his/her claws everywhere in your house, you can shorten them so they will cause less damage. The use of an educational and repulsive spray could help the pet to drive his/her scratches to a selected object like a scratching post.
When ageing, cats become less active. In such case, it is important to trim their claws which can get longer, curve and penetrate into the pad, sometimes causing an infection.Lastly, remember to check the dewclaws of the front legs. Indeed, as they are less likely to touch the ground, they wear out more slowly.
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How To Trim Your Cat’s Nails
This article was co-authored by Pippa Elliott, MRCVS. Dr. Elliott, BVMS, MRCVS is a veterinarian with over 30 years of experience in veterinary surgery and companion animal practice. She graduated from the University of Glasgow in 1987 with a degree in veterinary medicine and surgery. She has worked at the same animal clinic in her hometown for over 20 years.wikiHow marks an article as reader-approved once it receives enough positive feedback. This article received 16 testimonials and 95% of readers who voted found it helpful, earning it our reader-approved status. This article has been viewed 1,098,932 times.
A cat may need its nails trimmed to keep them from splitting or breaking, and you may find it productive to trim off the sharp points of your cats nails if the cat is prone to kneading, scratching, etc. Trimming a cats nails is fairly easy once you get your cat accustomed to it. Read on for detailed instructions.
When Once Just Wont Do: Tips On Nail Cutting Over Time
1. Try cutting one cat nail while your cat is asleep.
Another pet parent once told me this is the trick she used to keep her outdoor cats nails cut throughout his entire life.
I think its brilliant if it works, but for some reason, I typically seem to struggle to do it fast enough that my cats dont catch on to whats going on before theyre awake and running.
If you can manage, this might be the only trick you need.
2. Try cutting one nail every day, or twice a day, to decrease the novelty of the sensation.
To get your cat used to the experience of nail cutting, youll want to increase the frequency of the nail cutting to as often as you can without creating anxiety.
Usually for me, this is once a day or twice a day.
The issue is if youre trying to wait a week or even weeks before trying to cut your cats nails again.
I dont think a cat can get used to the experience as easily if the nail cutting sessions are so spaced out in time.
One nail cut once a day plus a reward after, and Id say within a month, your cat should be fine with the claw trims.
3. If your cat begins to let you cut one nail easily, increase the number to two nails, then to three, then to a whole hand.
If you started off snipping one nail because that was all you could do, and now your cat is fine with it, you can and should absolutely try to cut a second nail if your cat seems game for it.
Increase to two nails for a few cuttings, then to three if you can, then the whole paw.
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Perfect Nail Trimmers For Your Cat
When contemplating how to restrain a cat to clip its nails, you cant ignore the importance of the clipping tool. You can choose a clipper specifically made for pets, or opt for human nail clippers. In my experience, clippers for humans can be rather practical for clipping the cats nails, too, because they allow for better visibility during the process.
My Cats Claws Are Too Long How Can I Cut Them
You should only trim your cats nails if they are too long, not because they are sharp. Its best to speak to your vet if youre unsure. If your vet has advised you to cut your cats claws, you need to do so slowly and carefully. Youll need some cat nail clippers or cat nail scissors, and your cats favourite treats. We wouldnt recommend using human nail clippers, as these can cause your cats claws to split. You can buy cat nail clippers from the PDSA Pet Store online.
Its also important to remember that once youve trimmed your cats nails they will want to sharpen them again so be prepared for them to scratch more to get their nails back to their normal pointed shape.
For a good few days before, youll want to get your cat used to having their paws touched. Start to build them up by gently touching their paws and giving them a treat if they stay calm, but stop if they start to look uncomfortable or stressed.
When theyre happy to have their paws touched, you can start clipping:
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Tips For Trimming Your Cats Claws
- Choose a time when you and your cat are relaxed
- Ensure you have good light before starting
- Position your cat facing away from you an ideal time is whilst your cat is relaxing on your lap. Alternatively, wrap your cat in a towel, with one leg free
- Take your cats paw and gently press the top of each toe to extend the claw outward. Remember if your cat is elderly be extra gentle with your handling
- Examine the claw carefully and using claw clippers, snip off just the transparent tip, avoiding the blood vessel that can be seen in the centre of the claw
- If your cat becomes anxious, stop and try again another time
- Depending on your cat, cutting claws can be tricky, so consult your vet or vet nurse for advice/demonstration
Types Of Cat Nail Clippers
Cat nail clippers are designed to trim the ends of your cats claws. The blades are typically made from sharp stainless and wont split your cats claws when trimming.
Cat nail clippers are divided into a few types of styles.
- A scissor style clipper that is comfortable in your hand. With steady control of the clipper it makes for a safe trim. Its one of the more popular choices among cat owners.
- Pliers are suitable for both cats and dogs. The style allows the user to generate leverage for those tougher dog nails. A gentle touch is required if using these for your cat. They do make light work of your cats claws, just be careful.
- A guillotine trimmer has a ring on the head or end of the handle. Its quite difficult to use and therefore for home grooming I wouldnt recommend it. It can be difficult to alight the head and blade for a perfect trim on a squirming kitty.
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Buy A Claw Trimmer Here
2. Set the MoodIn order for both you and your kitten to have a pleasant experience, youll want to do the nail trimming in a low-stress environment. This is a new experience for the kitten, so you want to make it as comfortable as possible. Try trimming claws away from loud noises and distractions, maybe after a meal time or when the kitten is nice and sleepy!
3. ONLY Trim the White PartWhen trimming your furry friend’s nails you may notice that her nails are white on the ends and pink closer to their paw, just like human fingernails are pink with white tips. Only clip the white part of the kittens nail, just like you would only clip the white part of yours. The pink that you are seeing is actually their flesh, and cutting this part of the nail will cause your kitten a lot of unnecessary pain and bleeding. If youre not sure how far down to cut, simply start by trimming just the very tip of the claw. Its always better to cut too little than too much, so go slow!
4. Positive Reinforcement!One wonderful thing about starting claw trimming young is that the kitten will get used to the sensation of having her paws touched. Be sure to make this a positive experience! After trimming your kittens nails, try giving her a favorite treat as a reward for good behavior. By using positive reinforcement, youll ensure that trimming the kittens claws will continue to be a breeze as they get older.;
How Often Should I Clip My Cats Claws
If you leave your cats claws to grow long they can damage furniture, carpets and scratch their owners unintentionally. It can also cause your animal discomfort, whilst they may get caught and damaged more easily. The frequency with which you trim their nails depends on their lifestyle. If they are an outdoor cat they will naturally scratch their fingers more often so you wont need to do it too much. Indoor cats should be checked every two weeks and trimmed if their nails look uncomfortably long.
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