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How To Trim Cat’s Nails At Home

Cutting The Cats Nails

How to trim a cat’s nails

Gently take your cats paw, hold it and press on her pad to bring out the claw let your cat smell the scissors if she seems worried.

Stay away from the opaque, darker, reddish central part and only cut the translucent one.

If you cut the opaque part by mistake and you notice bleeding, disinfect the claw and watch it for a few days so that no secondary infection develops, as many bacteria are lodged in your cats nails and can penetrate the wound.

How To Safely Trim The Claws On A Wiggly Cat

I have to get through all the claws when I do a client visit. When you trim your own wiggly cats claws it is perfectly fine if you only do one or two claws at a time. It is better for Kitty to stay relaxed than to have a get it done mentality.

  • Start with a relaxed kitty. I like to get mine when they are snoozing after a meal. Playtime and catnip can help get Kitty relaxed too.
  • Sit behind Kitty so if he backs up to get away from the clippers he is just backing further into your lap.
  • Press lightly on the pad so the claws appear and trim off the tip of the nail.
  • Give Kitty his favorite treat. I like to have something very high value to use as a treat that my cats only get as rewards for grooming.

Why Does My Cat Hate Getting Its Nails Cut

Cats’ claws are like humans’ nails in that both have cuticles, quicks, and nails. The quick contains the nerves and blood vessels of the nail. If the quick is clipped, it causes a lot of pain and bleeding. Injury is most likely the reason your cat hates getting their nails trimmed once they feel that pain, they know what to avoid. A well-trained cat will not mind getting its nails trimmed. However, not all cats are well trained, as several of us know. If you have a kitten, start nail training early.

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How Do I Safely Trim My Cats Nails

First, take your cats paw in your non-dominant hand and press the middle paw pad between your thumb and forefinger. This will extend your cats nails, so you can see what you are doing.

Next, place the clipper on the nail at the point where you wish to cut. If your cat has white nails, you should be able to see the quick your goal is not to cut too closely to the quick. If your cat has dark nails and you cannot see the quick, aim to cut at the point where the nail curves or hooks downward. Position the clipper blades so that pressure is applied from top to bottom and not from side to side, to help minimize splintering of the nail.

Close the clippers to make your first cut. Check the nail closely after trimming and repeat if necessary. It is better to make several small cuts, taking the nail gradually shorter each time, than it is to accidentally cut off too much during an overzealous first attempt.

Start By Touching Her Feet Without The Clippers

How To Trim Your Cat

Dr. Conrad recommends first touching and rubbing your cats toes without any clippers involved to get her used to the feeling of you handling her feet. Try gently squeezing a toe to extend the nail, then quickly release it. Do this for a few toes, take a break for a while and do another session later, she said. If your cat remains calm during this first step, reward her with a treat. Getting your cat comfortable with having her feet handled can take hours, days or weeks, so stick with it until she feels OK with it.

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How To Hold A Cat To Trim Nails

Next, move on to the actual nail trim. Its easier if you have a helper who can hold the cat while you focus on trimming the claws, but you can also try holding your cat in your lap while you are sitting down, or you can place you cat on a table .

Place your nail clipping supplies nearby before getting your cat. Always start a nail trimming session with a few treats, and keep them handy in case your cat becomes upset.

Be sure to trim both the front claws and the back claws. Cats usually have four claws on each paw. Some cats also have dewclaws or and some have extra toes .

Isolate one of your cats nails and look closely to see the quick running down the middle. Its easy to see the quick inside a cats nailits the pink part. Never cut into the quick, which filled with blood vessels and nerve endings. Cutting the quick is painful and quicked nails bleed .

Holding the best cat nail clippers in your hand, make a smooth cut, trimming just the hooked white part of the nail that lies in below the pink part. Dont try to clip the nails too short. Its not necessary to cut right up to the quick. If you feel you didnt trim off enough with the first cut, you can always trim a little more. If using a file, buff down the end of the nail to smooth it down.

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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Isolate The Nail To Cut

When youve found a position thats comfortable for you and your cat, pick up one of their paws. Do your best to hold the paw in a natural position for your cat, without folding it too far back or forward or bending their leg in an awkward way.

Choose a nail to start withany of them will do! Because cats have retractable claws, youll have to apply pressure to the paw pad to extend their nail. Using your non-dominant hand, place your forefinger on your kittys paw pad and your thumb on the top of the toe. Squeeze gently to extend the nail, and take note of where the quick is .

Cut Your Cats Claws At The Right Time

How to Cut Your Cat’s Nails (Petco)

Wait for a moment when your cat is calm and quiet. It is always best to start trimming a cats claws very early so that from a very young age, she gets used to this routine. Growing up, she accepts and understands it, and everything goes for the best, quickly, efficiently and without resistance.

So choose a time when your cat is calm. Avoid disturbing her for this if she is playing or sleeping, because she will associate the claw cutting with a disturbing event. This step is important to ensure your cat is calm and establish a relationship of trust.

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How Can I Help My Cat To Keep Their Claws In Good Condition

Outdoor, active cats shouldnt need their claws clipping. In the wild, your cat would wear them down running, hunting, climbing, playing and scratching. Your pet should be no different! But indoor or older cats can be more at risk of getting longer claws.

Here are our top tips for keeping your kittys claws in shape:

We’ve put together advice from our veterinary team across PDSA.

How To Cut Cat Nails Safely At Home With Nail Clippers

Cats are lovely and cute little animals who love to cuddle around with children. Their smooth and soft fur makes them adorable. They are great attention seekers. Most cats remain calm and happy, but one thing makes them aggressive towards you. They are moody and sensitive and often put you in trouble with their little paws bearing sharp nails. An angry cat will probably harm you using nails. Here comes the need to groom your cat.

Cat owners should trim their cats’ nails regularly. The cats tend to scratch the furniture and even its owner’s face with their sharp nails in most severe cases. A kitten’s nails require less trimming than an adult cat. If you own an adult cat, trim its nails every ten to fourteen days. Mature cats tend to grow nails quicker than kittens. If you are a first-time cat owner and looking for help regarding how to trim cat nails, this article includes helpful information on how to cut cat nails safely at home with nail clippers.

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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 quickâthe pink portion at the base of nail containing blood vessels and nerve endingsâand 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 herâand 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.

Taking A Little Off The Top

Pawsitively Cats: How to Trim Your Cat

Now that you’re in position and the cat’s in position, put the claw in the right position, too. Take a paw in your hand and use your thumb and pointer finger to gently press down on the top and bottom of the paw on the joint just behind the claw. This will cause the claw to extend so you can quickly but carefully snip off the sharp tip and no more.v

Don’t get too close to the pink part of the nail called “the quick,” where blood vessels and nerve endings lie. Just like the pink part of a human fingernail, the quick is very sensitive cutting into this area will likely cause bleeding and pain.

If this happens, apply a little pressure to the very tip of the claw , dip the claw in a bit of styptic powder or cornstarch or rub the nail across a dry bar of soap. Don’t continue if theyre too upset, but keep an eye on them to make sure the bleeding stops.

It’s common to only cut the front claws, but take a look at the rear claws just in case they’ve gotten too long, especially if their sharp tips hurt you when your cat leaps on or off your lap. Since most cats fuss more about having their rear claws clipped, start with the front claws.

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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.

Clipping A Cat’s Claws

This information is not meant to be a substitute for veterinary care. Always follow the instructions provided by your veterinarian.

In the photographs below, unless otherwise noted, the top if the paw is facing up. Tigger, who was the feline model, has black pads on his toes. The black pads on the bottom of his toes will help you orient yourself as you view the photographs.

Variations on these instructions exist.

Most cats do not like having their claws trimmed. Start trimming claws in young animals so that they get used to the process. Some cats will happily sit in your lap or on a table while you trim their claws but many require some form of restraint.

To restrain a cat in your lap, use your forearms draped over the cat’s neck and hind-end to keep the cat in your lap. The clipper is held in the right hand.

There are several styles of nail trimmers, including a guillotine type, a scissors cut, and a standard human fingernail clipper. Either the guillotine type or a human fingernail clipper are easiest to use in cats.

The scissors-type is used if a toe nail is so long that it is curling in a circle. Long claws can grow into the toepad.

Hold the trimmer in your right hand if you are right handed.

Close you hand around the clipper to squeeze the handle which will move the cutting blade.

this side will face you as you trim nails

this side will face the pet as you trim nails

If you cut into the quick, the claw will bleed and the cat will experience pain.

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S To Restrain My Cat And Clip Its Nails

Here are two main methods for restraining a cat and two alternatives for kitty nail trimming.

  • Towel Method This method can be used to trim nails and administer medicine to your cat. Essentially, the technique is applied as a means of control. Towel Method Directions:1.Firmly , hold your cat on a table. 2.Place the towel over the cat leaving the head exposed.3.Tuck towel under cat bringing the paws close to the body. 4.Pick up the cat in a towel and finish wrapping the cat completely. 5.Once the cat is in a swaddle position, you can release a paw and start clipping the nails.
  • Two-Person Method This method involves making the cat comfortable while an assistant trims the nails. Two-Person Method Directions: 1.The person holding the cat will start applying pressure or squishing the cat towards the shoulder and back of the ear using your hand in a V-shape. They may have to pull the leg out from under the cat to allow trimmer access to the paws. 2.Once the cat is secure, the assistant can start clipping the nails. The cat may naturally try to back up. The holder should apply mild pressure to the cat’s body to stop this movement while using theirs to block the backward escape attempts.

Find A Quiet Spot And A Comfortable Position

How to Safely Trim a Cat’s Nails | Vet Tutorial

Trimming your cats nails in a quiet area of your home, away from kids, other pets or startling noises, will help keep your cat calm, making cutting their nails easier.

With practice, you will find the best way to hold your catone thats comfortable for both of you. If youre a beginner, try these positions:

  • Seated and holding your cat lengthwise across your lap
  • Standing and holding your cat on a flat surface that you dont mind getting scratched, such as a padded ironing board
  • Reclining with the cat lying on your chest
  • Seated with the cat lying face up in the valley between your legs.

You can try several different positions until you find what works for you.

If your cat is especially squirmy, one way to keep a secure hold on them is to wrap them in a towel like a burrito, with only one paw outside the burrito at a time. This makes it harder for your kitty to escape or claw you. Some cats may also relax more if you drape a corner of the towel over their head to muffle the noise and keep them from seeing what youre doing. For other cats, these tactics could stress them out even more, so do what feels bestits all about knowing your cat.

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Can I Clip My Cats Claws At Home

Yes, you can clip your cats claws at home. Whether you choose to do it yourself or at all will depend on you and your cat. The process is simple, but some cats may be uncomfortable with the process.

Wanna give clipping your cat’s nails a try? Well, it is not as hard as you think. Check out below how you can give have your cat’s nails looking trim and manicured in no time at all.


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