Nail care

How to Trim your Cat's Claws

Josie F. Turner
By Josie F. Turner, Journalist specialized in Animal Welfare. Updated: February 22, 2018
How to Trim your Cat's Claws

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A tricky moment in cat care is trimmingits claws. Cats don't usually enjoy this a great deal; they find it very uncomfortable. Even so, you must clip them to prevent any damage being done to you, the furniture, or even the cat itself. To do this, you should learn the best ways to interact with your cat; it will be helpful for both of you, since you will achieve your goal and your cat won't have such a bad time.

Stay with us at AnimalWised to learn how to trim a cat's claws with the best tips and tricks that the procedure is safe and easy.

You may also be interested in: How do You Properly Trim a Dog's Nails?
  1. Clipping cat's nails step by step
  2. How to trim cat's claws and what to use
  3. Tips for trimming cat claws

Clipping cat's nails step by step

The most important thing before starting to trim your cat's nails is remembering that you will have to be patient. You should know exactly how you are going to do it, when will be the best time to do it, etc. This is not a procedure you can improvise.

It is therefore important to always follow basic guidelines to make it easier.

  1. From a young age you should get your cat used to having their claws trimmed, and make a habit of it. However, older cats will be much more reluctant, making the process longer and more stressful for yourself but especially for your pet.
  2. Choosing the right moment is fundamental. Cats are independent, but they also seek your affection at times. They even sometimes have particular times of day in which they want you to make a fuss over them. At this point, you should take advantage of having their attention.
  3. You need to go slowly, you can't just get the scissors and start trimming. You should first ensure that they let you touch their paws with your hand, which is something that they don't normally enjoy, so just gradually fiddle with them at first.
  4. They need to know that the scissors are harmless. To do this, let them see, smell, and play with them and touch their paws with them, to make your cat accustomed to the scissors.
  5. If you think there is a chance of it running away, it might be a good idea to ask someone else for help, but this may make them more nervous. Despite the fact that you need to be more patient and more than one attempt may be necessary, it is better for this procedure to be done by only one person so that your pet won't get overwhelmed. Still, it all depends on the character of the cat.
How to Trim your Cat's Claws - Clipping cat's nails step by step

How to trim cat's claws and what to use

It is very important that you buy specific scissors for clipping your cat's claws. You cannot use a standard pair because they will be harmful to your pet: always use special cat scissors or clippers.

It is even more important not to trim too much of the claw. Cats retract their claws, of which you should only clip off the tip. If you go any further you could cut the blood vessels of the claw, which would be very painful for your cat. Therefore, it is highly recommended to ask the vet to show you how to do it for the first time, so it will be easier for you to do after.

How to Trim your Cat's Claws - How to trim cat's claws and what to use

Tips for trimming cat claws

Finally, if you cut off too much by accident, you need to have styptic powder at hand to immediately stop the bleeding and reduce its suffering as much as possible.

There are also operations that remove your cat's claws completely, but these should not be done in any case. Luckily it is banned in many places but just in case, we warn that this is not a solution and will only result in hurting your cat.

How to Trim your Cat's Claws - Tips for trimming cat claws

If you want to read similar articles to How to Trim your Cat's Claws, we recommend you visit our Nail care category.

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About trimming cat nails...
It shows angles of “not” cutting , but does not show “best angle for cutting”. It would be helpful to see best angle. Also, best ways to hold the cat for comfort while cutting.
My cat has very thick nails compared to my daughters cat which has thin, razor sharp- like nails. Any advice on cutting (and how often) the different nails?
Also, I notice they will at times bite-pull at their nails while grooming. Does this mean it is time to trim?
i'm aware that I have an unusual kitty. I took over parenthood of a disowned runt Bengal at an early age. I [we] truly are the only family he has known so the trust level is very mature. As many Bengals our kitty loves water- he will willingly get into the tub or shower to be bathed or just to play. A wash and dry are an easy task. Nail trimming has been easy from the very beginning. It is a normal part of the hygiene routine that causes no terror and is gracefully accepted or maybe ''expected''. Our now mature kitty is still tiny so some functions are minimalized-- no high leaps - stairs are a slow challenge but all is well so far at 5 human years. he is a single house only kitty and shadows his devoted parents! He travels well too- will leash walk and requires minimal vet care SO do not fear a runt kitty- they are a blessing to you and you are a blessing to them!
Administrador AnimalWised
Thank you for sharing this beautiful story and photo.
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How to Trim your Cat's Claws