Never Cut To The Quick
If you look at your cats claws, youll see a darker section inside the mostly clear, hard exterior. This is called the quick. Its where nerves and blood vessels are found. Never cut to the quick, or your cat may bleed and become uncomfortable. If youve ever broken a nail, you know why cats dont like it. Instead, only trim the white part of the claw.
Its always better to leave more claw than to cut too deep. You may want to have a styptic stick or powder on hand. You can use it to stop the bleeding if you accidentally cut too deep. You can find these products at most pet supply stores.;
How To Get Your Cat Used To Nail Trims
Its never too early to start trimming cat nails or getting your cat accustomed to having their paws touched.
It might actually be a little late if you have an older cat who has never had their nails trimmed and will never understand why you want to start now.
How To Properly Trim Your Cats Claws
It is better to accustom your cat to this practice from a young age. Use an appropriate claw clipper bought at the vet clinic or in a pet shop.
Choose a quiet place to avoid scaring the pet. There are 4 steps:
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Taking Hold Of Your Cat
Once you are close to your cat, grab them. But be gentle about it. You want to make sure you have a firm, yet gentle grasp on them. Some cats may be fine with being held like that, others may squirm. Your cat may be so well behaved that theyll gladly plop themselves on a table or even roll onto their back. Regardless, youll want to be sure youre holding them.
Old Cats Or Deformed Nails
Older cats tend to end up with longer, thicker nails and often a greasy exudate around the nail bed. This can be cleaned off with a dilute chlorhexidine solution or gentle pet shampoo if it is difficult to remove. Older cats are also more likely to have problems with the nails growing into the pad. Thickened nails or deformed nails can also be a sign of underlying health problems, so if your cat has started growing unusually thick nails, particularly if this is combined with an increase in thirst, please get your feline friend to the vet for a check-up. Nails can also grow back a bit deformed if there has been some sort of trauma to the nail bed, such as when the dew claw has been caught in something and torn.
Whenever you trim your cats nails remember to make the whole experience rewarding by having treats at the ready. Always take a little bit at a time if you cant clearly see the quick beneath the nail. And if you have a determined couch-shredder on your hands, why not consider some soft paws to protect the furniture.
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What Types Of Cats Require Nail Trimmings
If your cat lives indoors and has a fairly comfortable lifestyle, you may need to trim their nails more frequently. If your cat spends most of their time outdoors, climbing trees, etc., their nails may need to be trimmed less frequently.Indoor cats: Inside cats may enjoy using a scratching post — or your furniture. However, they do not scratch trees to shed their nails so their claws may become overgrown. Because a cats claws are retractable, they are protected when the cat walks and will become very sharp unless they are trimmed regularly.Arthritic cats: Due to their lower activity, cats with arthritis dont usually exercise enough, and as a result, their claws may require trimming.Geriatric cats: The claws of aging felines are often overgrown, thick and brittle and will need to be clipped more often. Also, cats with hairy paws will need regular checking as it is difficult to see the length of the nails.Each groomer on our staff has a true love and affinity for animals and our combined experience ensures that your favorite feline will get excellent care each time they visit.Appointments can be scheduled at all of our three Metro Detroit locations, but walk-ins are also welcomed.When booking your appointment, feel free to talk with our staff about which of our trained groomers will be trimming your cats nails. Well be happy to chat with you about your cats personality and special needs, and recommend the best groomer for your situation.
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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What Kind Of Nail Trimmers Should You Use On Your Cat
You can choose from among several kinds of pet nail trimmers and human nail clippers. Five options appear below.
Personally, I prefer human nail clippers for cat nails. They are less cumbersome and give you a good visual of where you are cutting.
1. Scissor-Type Trimmers
These nail trimmers look like a pair of scissors made specifically to cut nails on small animals. You might find these easy to use.
Quality matters, however, and the cheap ones can be dull and not give you a nice cut.
2. Nail Clippers for Dogs and Cats
Professional nail clippers like your veterinarian uses on your dog and possibly your cat are a good investment.
Check out Millers Forge, for example. These strong clippers will usually last a lifetime, and they have user-friendly handles, surgical steel blades and a safety lock.
Some people find these too big for cat nails, but I like them.
They come in various sizes. Again, quality matters.
3. Guillotine-Style Clippers
This type of clipper is also considered professional grade, but I dont think the guillotine design is as easy to use as some other devices are. I think it is easier to hurt your cat with these.
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.
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Keeping Your Cat Calm
Unfortunately, trimming cat nails can be challenging, because most cats do not like nail trims. Here are some helpful tips on the cat nail trimming process and how to keep a cat calm during a nail trim.
Select a comfortable chair in a quiet room where your cat cant look out the window.
Hold your cat in your lap when shes relaxed and a little sleepy, such as after a meal.
For at least several days before the nail trim, massage your cats front legs and paws, pressing gently on each foot pad with your thumb and forefinger to extend the corresponding nail. Release the pressure and immediately give your cat a cat treat.
Acclimate your cat to the sound of nail clippers. Place a piece of uncooked spaghetti in the cat nail clippers. When you press on a footpad as described above, clip the spaghetti when the nail extends. Release the pressure and immediately treat your cat.
Before The Actual Trimming Process
1. Habituate your cat first.
Let your cat get accustomed first to having their feet handled. Do it habitually for at least several days before the actual day of the nail trimming.; Massage your pets legs and paws and gently press each footpad with your thumb and forefinger. This will allow their nails to extend. Repeat for at least a few times and then give your cat a treat.;
2. Introduce your pet cat to the nail trimmer.
Let your cat become accustomed to the nail trimmer and you can also try tapping the trimmer against your cats nails. Observe your pets reaction. Let your cat become used to the sound of nail clippers. You can do this by clipping uncooked spaghetti to mimic the sound of clipped nails while also pressing on your pets footpad as the nail extends. Repeat a few times and be sure to give your pet another cat treat.;
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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.
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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How To Trim Your Cats Nails
Trimming your cats nails involve a process, it doesnt happen in one go. This is because you cant expect cats to like the idea of having their nails trimmed. You must make sure that your cat is calm and receptive. The more your pet cooperates, the easier the process will be.;
Sometimes the cat can even get aggressive when trimming the nails.
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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How Often Do Cats Need Their Nails Trimmed
If youve determined that your cat needs their nails trimmed, how often will depend on their individual lifestyle. For indoor cats, its usually recommended to trim and maintain their nails about every two weeks. Doing it often can also help your cat get used to the procedure so its less stressful for everyone involved.
You might also have to do nail trims in stages over the course of a few days. If your cat doesnt like you touching their feet, you might only get a few nails done at a time. This is perfectly fine. Trimming a cats nails can be a tricky business, and its always best to go at your cats preferred pace.
for expert tips on how to best trim your cats nails.
Trimming Your Cats Nails Yourself
Trimming your cats nails may be difficult to do especially if your cat has not been trained when she was just a kitten. However, it is possible to do this task through positive reinforcement and letting your cat get used to the sound and sight of a nail trimmer. Check out our article on how to trim the claws of an aggressive cat for some great tips.;
The materials that you need to prepare are the following:
- styptic powder, to treat accidental wounds should you
- ;treats to reward your cat each time she behaves well
- towel for the nail trimmings;
- nail trimmer we recommend Boshel Nail Trimmer and Safari Nail Trimmer
If your cat wont cooperate, you may have to sedate her so she may become calm and relaxed during the nail trimming session. Check out our earlier article on how to sedate a cat for grooming for some insights.
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