Cat’s Nails | Cutting & Trimming Properly | Best Guide
Keeping your cat’s nails short is an important part of keeping your sanity as a pet owner. While shorter nails on your cat may not completely protect your furniture, it will make it more difficult for them to hook their claws into the fabric and stretch. Cardboard or sisal scratching posts, however, are made for nails of all lengths and may become their new favorite scratching choice. Learning how to trim your cat’s nails and keep them under control is simple.
Before You Begin
Before you begin actually cutting your cat’s nails, spend some time touching and massaging your cat’s paws in the days leading up to the nail trim. Gentle massaging and fiddling with the feet while petting your cat is a good way to get them used to the idea that you can touch their feet and won’t hurt them. Building this trust is important.
While you are doing this, take a good look at how the cat’s nail is constructed. Close to the paw, it should be a pale pink that fades into the white tip. This pale pink tissue is the quick of the claw or nail. Cutting into the quick can be very painful as it is full of nerve endings and blood vessels. It may be a good idea to set aside a day a week or once a month for all grooming, including brushing, bathing, nail trims, and ear cleanings.
Keeping Your Cat’s Nails Under Control
Start by gathering all your supplies. You will need nail clippers, styptic powder, treats and some patience. If you are determined to trim all your cat’s claws in one go, you may also want to get a partner or a towel to wrap them in. You may use guillotine clippers, safety clippers or human nail clippers to trim your cat’s nails, however, keep in mind that human nail clippers may split the nail and cause problems later.
Always trim nails in strong light so you can see what you are doing. Carefully pick up the paw and gently press on the pads so that the claw fully extends. Hold your clippers so that the cutting blade is parallel to the claw and quickly snip off the tips. The cutting blade of your clippers should never be close enough to cut the quick.
You only want to trim the tips of the claws and blunt them. If your cat becomes antsy, let them up and give them a treat. Making the nail trimming a pleasant experience is likely to make it easier each time you have to do it. Do not make nail trimming into a war with your cat. If you only get a few nails done in one sitting, that’s okay. It’s better to work at it over time than to make it a frightening or unenjoyable experience. You will want to clip all ten front claws, but you don’t need to worry about trimming the rear claws.