How to Trim Cat Nails

Even though our cats do a pretty good job of keeping their nails or claws sharp by scratching on scratching posts, trees or even our furniture, you should also trim their nails regularly so they do not become overgrown. And as with all things cats, the younger you get it used to something, the easier it will be for you both.

If your cat is not used to it, handling the feet can be very stressful for it. Feet are incredibly important to all of us, especially cats who need them for catching prey and defending themselves. In the wild, a cat with an injured foot would be unable to hunt, climb or defend itself. And a part of the domestic cat’s memory remembers this which makes them very sensitive about having the feet touched or manipulated. I make a point of gently rubbing Cassie’s paws and holding them while she is relaxed on my lap. Copper kettle┬áThis makes it much easier when I need to examine them.

If your cat is not used to having its nails trimmed, I strongly suggest you get your vet or a professional groomer to do the job for you. Remember, these claws are incredibly sharp and can do a lot of damage. You do not want to destroy the bond you have with your cat by doing something it considers unpleasant or frightening. Cats have amazing memories and you could well find your cat becoming fearful of you. And remember your cat will be upset if it knows it has hurt you.

While your kitten is still young, get it used to having its nails trimmed by starting to gently touch its feet, one paw at a time. This is something you can do when your kitten is on your lap and relaxed. You only need to start with a brief touch and stop if your kitten starts objecting. Reward your kitten with a treat and petting when you stop. After a week or so, your kitten will be used to this so start exposing the nails or claws by massaging the pads on the feet. By gently pressing there, the nails will come out automatically. Just look at the nails to begin with so you are familiar with them. If they are white, the tips should appear to be almost transparent. When the time comes, this is the part that will be clipped. You must never cut to the ‘quick’ which should be visible with a vein and look pink. On black nails, you must judge where it is. The quick generally starts about 1/16th of an inch (around 2mm) from the tip of the nail. You can purchase specialized cat nail trimmers from most pet shops. Never use the nail trimmers you would use on yourself or your family.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *