How To Trim The Nails
The first step is to get some treats, make the whole experience positive and dont feel like you need to be a hero and trim all the nails at once. Start with one, reward and come back later if you or your pet is nervous. In cats, simply trim the hook off the end. Dont try to cut them extremely short, just cut the tip off. The quick is the pink area within the nail where the nerves and blood vessels are, similar to the area underneath our nails. This is the area you want to avoid when trimming nails.
Cats have retractable claws, so to get the nail out, simply push on the top of the foot so that the nails come out of their little sleeves. This allows you to fully visualise the nail and avoid the skin around the nail. If your cat is a bit of a fidget, wrap him in a towel or enlist the help of a friend to hold him. Try not to pull your cats foot into uncomfortable positions while trimming those nails and ideally stop before he gets too cranky with the process. Even if you just do one nail a day while he is relaxed and sitting with you on your lap, it will still be better than fighting with him and having him run for the hills as soon as he sees you with those nail clippers!
How To Cut Cat Nails And How To Trim Them
Cutting the nails to a cat is not easy apart from the annoyance it poses for the animal and how delicate it can be to not cause any harm, so if you have a cat you must know how to cut cat nails. Felines are born with nails because they need them to survive and perform vital functions. But if the nails are heavy you must know how to trim cat nails and remove them.
With the nails they scratch, climb, play, grab onto the ground so as not to become unbalanced, walk and hunt. They are provided with push to jump and can save their lives when they climb to a high place to escape. Trimming cat nails should be done in a perfect way so that it wont effect cats. You should also know how to clip cat claws and remove them perfectly.
They even use their nails as a means of expression. When they stretch and extend their Unitas they feel comfortable in the place or with the person. If you approach to caress them but they do not want it will be usual to touch them with the nails of the hind legs and If you hold them in your arms and they hold you with their nails without holding too much they communicate their desire to let you go this merely happens in the maine coon cat behavior.
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 Cut Your Cats Nails
If you look at a cats paw youll notice they have 4 nails plus 1 dewclaw on their front feet. The rear feet contain 4 nails.
- Expose the claw by applying pressure with you thumb and forefinger on their toe
- Only trim the pointy shard end of the nail
- Do not cut the quick
- Its better too cut off too little than too much nail
Cat Nail Trimming 101
Make manicures enjoyable and easy for both you and your cat.
Does your kitty disappear when the clippers come out? Do you have to wrap her in a towel to give her a manicure? According to our behavior experts, calm, enjoyable nail-trimming sessions are not only possiblethats how they should always be! Check out the following tips for getting kitty to relax while you trim, turning nailclipping sessions into enjoyable together time.
Before beginning you will want to set the mood.
Ideally you should introduce your cat to nail clipping when shes a kitten. Choose a chair in a quiet room where you can comfortably sit your cat on your lap. Get her when shes relaxed and even sleepy, like in her groggy, after-meal state. Take care that she isnt able to spy any birds, wild animals or action outside nearby windowsand make sure no other pets are around.
Make friends with your cat’s paws.
Gently take one of your cats paws between your fingers and massage for no longer than the count of three. If your cat pulls her paw away, dont squeeze or pinch, just follow her gesture, keeping in gentle contact. When shes still again, give her pad a little press so that the nail extends out, then release her paw and immediately give her a treat. Do this every other day on a different toe until youve gotten to know all ten.
Get comfortable with the clippers.
Never cut the quick.
Time to clip.
What NOT to do:
For a PDF version of this information,
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Wait For The Right Opportunity
You cant trim your cats nails without his permission. So, you should select a time when he is feeling happy and calm for example when he is taking a nap, feeling sleepy, calmly resting at his favorite place. Another good time for nail trimming is when your cat has eaten his food and is ready to sleep.
Dont try to trim your cats nails when he is energetic, feeling hungry, or playing with his toys. It can cause a frustrating and restless session.
How To Trim A Squirmy Cats Nails
Cat squirm away just as youre ready to start trimming? You can restrain your cat by holding them on your lap, belly facing downwards and head facing to your side. Rest your forearms gently but firmly on their neck and behind, so you can hold them still while trimming the cat nails with your dominant hand4.
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How Often To Trim Your Cats Nails
All cats wear their nails down differently depending on how much they use a scratching post, run or climb. Examine your cats nails at least every two weeks, and trim them when they grow too long.
Youll notice the rear nails are often much shorter than the claws in the front. Trim your cats nails about every two weeks. The nails on the front paws are often longer than the nails on the rear paws.
Some cats wear down their rear nails more as they run and climb. If the rear nails are short, simply snip the tips.
Train Them While Theyre Young
If youve recently taken in a kitten, start getting him used to being held and having his paws handled as early as possible. Avoid touching your kittens paws when hes feeling rambunctious, or you may come in contact with some cat claws, but try to incorporate paw time into your regular grooming and snuggling routines.
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Need More Feline Nail
If youve never trimmed a cats nails and feel nervous, talk to your trusted team at All About Cats Veterinary Hospital in Kirkland, WA, for tips or a demonstration. We are happy to guide you through a nail-clipping session to ensure you are comfortable with the process. Our cat-friendly team is here to support you and your feline friend every step of the way!
Cut Across The Topand Avoid Going Too Deep
With one paw in your hand and applying slight pressure to extend a nail, make one snip straight across the tip. If any sharp corners remain, plan to file them afterward . It’s also important to look out for the quickthe pink portion at the base of nail containing blood vessels and nerve endingsand ensure you do not cut into it, says Kornreich, as that will cause pain and bleeding. If that happens, don’t panic. Just apply pressure to the nail with your thumb or use a styptic pencil or cornstarch to stop the bleeding, then let her go and plan to try again in a day or two.
Otherwise, keep moving from nail to nail, snipping the tips so long as your cat doesn’t resist. If she starts to get jittery at any point, release herand yes, plan to give it another try in a few days. Offer loving praise and treats for whatever she is able to accomplish, even if it was just one or two nails. Creating a positive association will make it much easier the next go-round.
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Preventing Problems With Your Cat During Trimming
If you accidentally cut too close to the pink part of the nail, your cat may experience brief pain and have some bleeding from the nail. Apply the styptic pen or powder to the area until the bleeding stops. If your cat seems upset, the nail trim session should be stopped. You can try again another day.
If your cat is too wiggly to handle for nail trims, you may need to get help from someone else. It may be easier to have one person hold your cat on a table while you focus on the nails. If you hear growling or hissing, it’s best to stop so no one gets hurt.
If you continue to have trouble getting your cat to be still for nail trims, or if you are still uncomfortable with the process, get some help from a professional. Consider bringing your cat to the vet or a groomer for regular nail trims.
How To Cut Overgrown Cat Claws
When you’re ready for a trimming session, find a position that’s comfortable for you and safe for her. Many cats do great if allowed to lie on their side or in their owner’s lap. The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals tells cat owners the best time for nail clipping is when your cat is relaxed, maybe even sleepy after she’s eaten. That way, you won’t have to figure out how to trim a squirmy’s cat’s nails.
Before doing any clipping, examine your cat’s nails and find the quick, the pink, fleshy section that runs through the center of clear or light-color nails. It’s where all the nerves and blood vessels are so it’s important to NOT cut into the quick to avoid causing pain and risking infection.
Clip one nail , give her a treat, and take a break. If you do accidentally clip through the quick. dab with some styptic powder to stop the bleeding.
As she gets more comfortable with the process, you’ll be able to trim more than one nail at a time. Follow each snip with a tasty snack. If she gets restless, let her leave, and plan to finish the job another day.
Choose the right tools to cut your kitty’s claws. If her claws are long enough to curl into a circle, use a scissors-type clippers for the job. Otherwise, you’ll find it easier to use guillotine-type clippers. In a pinch, you can can cut cat nails with human nail clippers, too.
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How To Restrain A Cat To Clip Their Nails
As previously mentioned, all cats are completely different and will react different to having their nails trimmed. Some cats will be very relaxed and require little restraint, whilst others will be frightened and not keep still.
Here are three different methods you can use.
#1 Little to No Restraint
- Put a towel on your lap
- Place the cat on your lap on top of the towel
- Rest your forearm over the cats neck and pick up a foot
- Take the clippers in your free hand to cut the nails
If this doesnt work, try again another day when your cats more relaxed. If it still doesnt work, move on to one of the other methods.
#2 The Towel Method
This is a great method if you have a cat the wriggles about and doesnt keep still.
- Wrap them in a bath towel covering all of their legs
- Reveal just one of their paws for trimming
Heres an excellent video showing you the towel wrapping technique.
#3 The 2-Person Method
As you can imagine, trying to restrain your cat and cat their nails at the same time is a difficult task. If your cat is wriggling, you also run more risk of hurting them or cutting off too much nail. Two people doing this task is always going to be better than one.
- One person restrains the cat using a grip on the back of their neck
- The other person simply trims the nails
You can actually even combine this with the towel method. You will wrap your cat in a bath towel as described above. Then just simply follow the 2-person method.
Habituate The Cat To Holding Still And Having Her Feet Handled
Another important point in how to trim cat nails is learning how to handle your cats paws in the first place. Cats very rarely resent nail trims unless the quick is struck. However, many cats do not like to hold still and have their feet handled. I recommend that cat parents handle their cats feet every day. If your cat is used to having her feet handled, the job will be much easier. Kittens are especially amenable to this habituation, but it works for many mature cats as well. You can practice extending the nails while you are handling the feet.
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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.
How To Restrain Your Cat For Nail Trimmings
Some cats require very little restraint, but here are some tips for the fearful, fretful or ferocious feline.
Little or No Restraint
If you have a fairly willing cat, they may find comfort lying in your lap.
Gently rest or drape your forearm over the cats neck and hindquarters and try to pick up a foot, usually with your left hand and clippers in the right hand.
You might want to have a thick towel or pillow on your lap between you and the cat in case your cat decides to use your thighs as a springboard to leap off your lap.
Lets say this doesnt go so well: My suggestion is to wait and try again at another time when your cat is calm and is not aware of what youre up to.
The Towel Method
Some cats are not necessarily nasty but are just jumpy and wriggly.
- First, wrap them in a bath towel.
- Then try to take out a paw for nail trimming.
With some practice, the towel can help envelop 3 limbs while you take out 1 limb at a time.
The 2-Person Method
If you have ever watched your vet and a vet tech trim your cats nails, 2 people can often make this task go quite smoothly.
A table or countertop works well. One person holds or even restrains with a back-of-the-neck grip while the other person trims the nails.
This is not for every couple or roommate team nor is it for every cat. You can get hurt if you arent comfortable with your partner or with restraint.
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