How To Restrain A Cat To Clip Their Nails
As previously mentioned, all cats are completely different and will react different to having their nails trimmed. Some cats will be very relaxed and require little restraint, whilst others will be frightened and not keep still.
Here are three different methods you can use.
#1 Little to No Restraint
- Put a towel on your lap
- Place the cat on your lap on top of the towel
- Rest your forearm over the cats neck and pick up a foot
- Take the clippers in your free hand to cut the nails
If this doesnt work, try again another day when your cats more relaxed. If it still doesnt work, move on to one of the other methods.
#2 The Towel Method
This is a great method if you have a cat the wriggles about and doesnt keep still.
- Wrap them in a bath towel covering all of their legs
- Reveal just one of their paws for trimming
Heres an excellent video showing you the towel wrapping technique.
#3 The 2-Person Method
As you can imagine, trying to restrain your cat and cat their nails at the same time is a difficult task. If your cat is wriggling, you also run more risk of hurting them or cutting off too much nail. Two people doing this task is always going to be better than one.
- One person restrains the cat using a grip on the back of their neck
- The other person simply trims the nails
You can actually even combine this with the towel method. You will wrap your cat in a bath towel as described above. Then just simply follow the 2-person method.
Trimming A Cat’s Claws
Trimming a cat’s claws every few weeks is an important part of maintaining your pet’s health. Not only does a quick trim protect you, your pet and your family, it can also save your sofa, curtains and other furniture. Nail-trimming is also a fast and effective alternative to declawing, which involves surgical amputation and can cause behavioral and health issues.
If the idea of trimming a cat’s claws has you biting your nails, know that all it takes is some patience and a bit of practice to sharpen your skills.
Cut The Nails Of A Kitten
Cutting;your;kittens nails;is an important part of cat grooming. When kittens grow, they discover al their fighting tools, so also their nails.
When your kitten learns early that nail trimming can be a positive and rewarding experience, your kitten will find it okay later on its life. Its also important to give your kitten scratching posts or platforms so that it learns to sharpen the nails there, rather than on your furniture.
For the first time to train your kitten cutting the nails, you are focussing on making your kitten comfortable.
Start by holding the paw and touching the toes and nails while you talk to your kitten. It may seem like a slow start, but the goal is to familiarize your kitten with having the paws handled. When you are right coming with clippers, it could frighten your kitten or make it feel threatened.
It is important to reward your kitten after the training. Your kitten will then remember the positive.
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What Is A Claw
The cats claw is made up of two parts: the keratinized part formed by a superposition of horny layers, and nail pulp in the center, which contains the nerves and the blood vessels. The cat has 4 toes on each his/her hind legs and 5 toes on the front ones. This fifth toe is called a dewclaw, corresponding to our thumb. These dewclaws allow the cat to climb.;
Cat claws are retractable, that means they are viewable only when they are extended thanks to the flexor tendons. Hence, they usually dont touch the ground and dont naturally wear out as they do for dogs. It is therefore necessary for them to sharpen their claws to maintain them.
If Scratch Marks On Your Furniture Isn’t Your Idea Of An Appealing Dcor Choice Then You Should Consider Trimming Your Cat’s Nails Regularly
Taking kitty to the groomer for regular nail clippings may;be the glamorous option, but it can also be expensive. If youre living on the shabby side of chic , then home claw trimmings are your best bet.
The easiest way to get your favorite feline accustomed to nail trimmings is to start when kitty is young. If that option isn’t available to you, then itll take patience, perseverance, and practice to get your cat used to the idea. So how do you cut your cats nails with minimal stress for the both of you? Here are some instructions to help.
First, inspect your cats claws under a bright light. Gently squeeze the top and bottom of one toe to extend the nail. Youll see the pink tissue in the middle of the nail. You must cut below that or you will cause pain and bleeding. In the below image, you can see the area that is safe to cutbelow the yellow line.
It is better to cut just a small part of the nail to avoid the quick rather than cut too close. This is especially true the first few times you clip your cat’s nails, since you;don’t want him to associate nail clipping with pain.
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How To Clip Cat Nails
When your cat is calm and is comfortable with you touching her paws, you can now trim her nails. Several types of cat nail clippers are available. Scissor-type clippers, such as the JW Pet Gripsoft Cat Nail Clipper and Four Paws Ulitmate Touch Cat Caw Clipper, work great for clipping cat nails. Guillotine clippers, such as the Hertzko Professional Dog & Cat Nail Clipper & Nail File, also work well.
If youre not sure which nail clipper to choose, your veterinarian can help you decide which clipper type would be best for you and your cat.
Below are the steps to properly trim cat nails:
Organize your supplies: sharp cat nail clippers, a towel and styptic powder .
Place your cat in your lap with her facing away from you and your forearm over her neck. Gently wrap her in the towel if she starts to squirm.
Massage and press a foot pad to extend the nail.
Locate the quick, which is the pink portion of the nail that contains nerves and blood vessels.
Before clipping, position the clippers perpendicular to the nail so you are cutting it from top to bottom; cutting side to side may split the nail.
Cut only the sharp tip of the nail. Do NOT cut the quick! Cutting the quick will be painful and cause bleeding. If you accidentally cut the quick, apply a small amount of styptic powder to quickly stop the bleeding.
How To Trim The Nails
The first step is to get some treats, make the whole experience positive and dont feel like you need to be a hero and trim all the nails at once. Start with one, reward and come back later if you or your pet is nervous. In cats, simply trim the hook off the end. Dont try to cut them extremely short, just cut the tip off. The quick is the pink area within the nail where the nerves and blood vessels are, similar to the area underneath our nails. This is the area you want to avoid when trimming nails.
Cats have retractable claws, so to get the nail out, simply push on the top of the foot so that the nails come out of their little sleeves. This allows you to fully visualise the nail and avoid the skin around the nail. If your cat is a bit of a fidget, wrap him in a towel or enlist the help of a friend to hold him. Try not to pull your cats foot into uncomfortable positions while trimming those nails and ideally stop before he gets too cranky with the process. Even if you just do one nail a day while he is relaxed and sitting with you on your lap, it will still be better than fighting with him and having him run for the hills as soon as he sees you with those nail clippers!
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Indoor Vs Outdoor Cats
If your cat is an outdoor cat, trimming their nails is a bad idea. They need long, sharp claws for hunting, defense, and marking their territory. The claws of a cat release a pheromone, so by scratching theyre marking what areas they consider theirs. Shorter, less-sharp nails will hinder all these activities. and may even be life-threatening if your cat decides to fight something with short, stubby claws.
For an indoor cat, the story is different. Theyre not really having to fight other cats and at most, they may hunt some bugs that are roaming around. So by trimming their nails, youre not really hindering them although they may not like it when you pull clippers out.
Maintaining Your Cats Nails Between Trimmings
The best way to maintain your cats claws is with a scratching post or tower. Its a great idea to encourage your cat to scratch from an early age. Not only will this get them used to doing this straight away, but it will also save your expensive furniture.
- Scratch Post Texture: They are generally either cardboard, sisal , or carpet.
- Scratch Post Location: Place them close to your cats favourite locations.
Also, as mentioned many times in this article, reward them with treats for positive reinforcement.
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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.
Do All Cats Need Nail Trims
- Indoor cats should have their nails inspected occasionally to make sure they are healthy and trimmed as necessary.
- Outdoor cats usually take care of their own nail trimming and should have natural claws for climbing and defense purposes.
Scratching posts and non-approved scratching surfaces help to keep an indoor cats nails in shape, but most indoor cats have quite sharp nails.
So, how often should you trim your cats nails?
- While many people never trim their cats nails, those who want a duller nail without that incredibly sharp hook at the end need to trim nails every 68 weeks.
- Arthritic or older cats should have their cats inspected every 2 months and trimmed if necessary.
To get started, you will need:
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Do You Need To Trim Your Cats Nail
Now that you know what happens to a cats nail if its not trimmed, do you need to actually trim it? In truth, cats are well adapted at caring for themselves, although you still might need to provide some help. Before you think of clipping a cats nail, take these three factors into consideration,
- Is your cat an indoor or outdoor type?
- Does your cat enjoy scratching?
- Is your cat old?
Answering these three questions will give you a yes-or-no answer on trimming.
Teach Your Kitten To Relax
Prepare your kitten for nail trims by teaching her to lie on her back, Dr. Yin recommends. While your cat lies on her back, reward her continually with easily consumed treats like canned cat foodor small pieces of tuna on the end of a spoon. Deliver the treats right to the cats face so she doesnt have to move to eat the treat. As your cat gets more comfortable lying on her back, phase out the treats.
Once your cat enjoys lying on her back, Dr. Yin recommends that you get her used to having her paws and claws handled. Gently squeeze her paws, offering treats at the same time,” Dr. Yin says. Time the treats right. When the paws are handled, treats should be given continuously at first so the cat is just thinking about food. When paws are not being handled, stop any rewards. This approach, Dr. Yin says, builds a clear positive association between paws being handled and good things happening.
Progressively increase how vigorously you handle your cats paws, but only as long as she stays relaxed. Work toward squeezing more vigorously and then tapping the claws with trimmers without trimming. Dr. Yin also recommends having two people participate in the training, one rewarding with treats and the other handling the paws and trimmer.
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Is It Necessary To Trim A Cats Claws
Its important to keep a cats nails trimmed short to avoid injuries to the claws and paws. Too-long nails can grow right into the paw pad, causing a painful injury that will need veterinary attention. Keeping the claws trimmed short also helps minimize scratches to your skin and damage to your furniture.;
Begin Using The Nail Trimmers
Now it’s time to introduce your cat to the nail trimmers. Do this during one of your calm petting sessions. Let your cat sniff and explore the trimmers without moving them at first. Gradually;start to move the trimmers, rewarding for calmness.
After several days of sessions, try gently touching the trimmers to your cat’s paws. Then, try picking up a paw and touching the trimmers to the paw again. Remember to keep the rewards coming.
The process of getting your cat ready for a nail trim may take weeks to months. Remember;that all cats learn at their own pace. Kittens may even be ready in a few days.
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How Often To Cut Your Cat’s Claws
If the cat uses the scratching posts it has at home that reduce the length of their claws while they play, then you will need to cut their claws approximately every 15 days. The cat will already play with the scratching posts, so it is not that necessary to cut its claws so often. However, it is important to trim them from time to time to stop them from being too long and causing inconvenience, which may cause the animal to decide to scratch other surfaces to file them down.
If your cat has been used to this process since it was a kitten, it won’t take more than a couple of minutes to do.
How Often To Trim Your Cats Nails
All cats wear their nails down differently depending on how much they use a scratching post, run or climb. Examine your cats nails at least every two weeks, and trim them when they grow too long.
Youll notice the rear nails are often much shorter than the claws in the front. Trim your cats nails about every two weeks. The nails on the front paws are often longer than the nails on the rear paws.
Some cats wear down their rear nails more as they run and climb. If the rear nails are short, simply snip the tips.;
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What Should You Watch For In A Cat Sedated For Grooming
Once you sedate your cat, look for any signs of adverse reactions. Cats can suffer hypersensitivity to a wide range of substances, or some compounds just do not agree with them.
Generally, prescribed sedatives are safe, but if you experience any concerns, contact your veterinarian immediately.
If any medications do not have the effect you were anticipating, contact your veterinarian. Never go beyond dosing ranges without consulting a professional.
Not Sure How Often To Trim Your Cat’s Nails Here’s What Vets Recommend
Somewhere between taking a much-needed bath and having to have their teeth brushed lies another activity many cats may not be too fond of getting their nails trimmed. Even though this tedious task, which usually involves me chasing my youngest cat around the house while trying to coax him with treats and toys, is necessary, many pet owners, such as myself, still may be confused with the specifics of it. For example, how and how often should we trim our cat’s nails? And why is it so important to remember to do so? To help us learn more, POPSUGAR connected with two veterinarians.
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Why Should You Trim Your Cats Nails
Aside from causing less damage to human skin and objects at home, trimmed cat nails benefit the cat itself. It can prevent painful broken claws that can result when a sharp tip gets caught in the carpet, fabrics or other textures close to it. Regular nail trims also prevent ingrown nails in cats, these can become painful and prone to infections.
One: Get Everybody Comfy
Some cats will settle right into your lap for the trim. Others may need convincing and can be bribed with love and treats. Then, there are those cats one might call difficult. And just how do you trim a cats nails when they dont want you to? Very carefully!
Seriously, if your cat is difficult during nail trims, consider wrapping them in a towel or blanket to keep them gently restrained. Youll only need one paw out of the wrapping at a time. This type of restraint can also help kitty feel calmer.
You can even enlist the help of a second person when trimming your cats nailsone person to hold while the other clips.
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