Clipping Your Cat’s Nails

Scratch marks on your curtains, couches, and even your arms are a common sight when you’re a cat owner. And since I’m not an advocate of declawing cats, the best way I can think of to deal with sharp cat claws is regular trimming and encouraging your cats to refrain from clawing on certain items.

Trimming a cat’s nails can either be no big deal, or a big production, depending on your cat and your attitude and state of mind. One of the best things you can do for you and your cat is to start them young. Begin trimming your cat’s claws when they are kittens.

Get Your Cat Used to Handling Its Feet

You will need to start working with your cat as young as possible. Don’t worry if your cat is now an adult. how to cut cat nails with human clippers It will just take longer to acclimate your cat to handling its feet and nails. Just follow these same guidelines.

  1. Start off by gently holding your cat and stroking his paws. You want him to get used to being handled and having his paws touched and manipulated. Always give a treat when you do these exercises so they associate being handled with something pleasant. At all times, use lots of praise.
  2. As your cat gets used to having its feet handled, and is at ease with this, begin gently squeezing your cat’s paw to expose the nails. Simply do this by using your thumb on top and your forefinger on the bottom of the paw and gently squeeze. This will cause the nails to stick out. Use praise and treats.
  3. Keep practicing this technique until your cat willingly lets you do this, and has no issues with it. You should practice how much pressure you need to exert on the paw to fully expose your cat’s nails without pressing too hard.
  4. Next, start playing with your cat’s nails. Simply handle the nails, hold the nail, and see what your cat will allow you to do. Don’t forget to use praise.
  5. Look at the nail carefully and note that toward the tip, the nail is a whitish or clear color. Further in, a bit toward the paw, you will see a pinkish color, called the ‘quick.’ That pink part is what you want to avoid when clipping the nails because it contains nerves and blood vessels. You just want to trim the very end of the nail to get rid of that super-sharp tip, just before the ‘quick.’ If you cut into the ‘quick’ of the nail, your cat will feel a lot of pain and the nail will bleed a lot. Your cat will be fine, but it will bleed heavily.

This part of training your cat to let you work on it’s nails may take a while. It may take a few days before you can move on to trying to trim the nails, or it may take several weeks. This depends on your cat, and on you. Very young kittens will adapt more quickly than an adult cat who has never had its nails trimmed before.

You also need to be confident and relaxed. You should not rush, and if you are very nervous about this, maybe another member of the family should be in charge of clipping your cat’s nails.

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