How To Trim A Cat's Claws

How And When To Trim A Cat’s Claws - A Cat Lover’s Guide

Jul 19, 2022

The following provides a detailed guide to knowing how and when to properly trim your cat’s claws; tips to prepare for trim time; how to create the right atmosphere prior to trimming; which tools are best for cutting; and a few key things to avoid when trimming your cat’s nails.

In a “purrfect" world, our beloved kitties would let us know when it’s time to trim their claws, but alas and alack, if you are waiting for this to happen, you will wait forever!

Cats don’t like alterations to their daily routines and even if you train them as kittens when they are adjusting to the world around them, sometimes it can be difficult to get them in just the right mood to have their nails clipped.

When they are sleepy just after a meal might be a good time to try, but always approach with caution, fervent prayer and many, many treats.

When To Trim A Cat's Claws

When Is It Time To Trim A Cat's Claws?

According to your cat, there is never a right time to trim their claws, but one clear indication that the need has arisen occurs when the claws are long, curved and razor sharp.

The time between trimmings will vary depending on the cat’s level of activity and how much they scratch, but usually it falls between two to four weeks.

7 Tips To Improve Your Cat Claw Trimming Experience

The following tips will help every cat caretaker successfully embark upon the next cat claw-trimming adventure, which, in combination with our Clawguard cat scratch training tape, strips and other scratch protection products, will help dramatically curb mauled furniture occurrences throughout your home.

Create The Right Atmosphere Prior to Trim Time

You and your cat will need to relax, which like most things in life can be easier said than done. (Some valium for both you and kitty may be in order, but not practical because at least one of you needs to be alert and awake.)

Try some soft music and a short prelude of one-on-one lap time, at the same time avoiding distractions from open windows, other people and pets.

Understand That Most Cats Don’t Like Having Their Paws Touched

Take the time to make your cat comfortable with you touching his or her paws by carefully holding one paw between your fingers and rubbing it gently for a few seconds.

Cat paws trimming nails

Follow any movement the cat may make during the process. Then softly squeeze the paw so one nail extends. Once done a few times and rewarded with a treat, the routine will become easier both for you and your cat.

Establish Respect For That Scary Clipper

Introduce your cat to the clipper by leaving it out the night before the trimming is planned so that it can be cat-interrogated and inspected.

To a cat, the clipper is some alien thing that is now is in its space, and as such must be examined and identified as a friend or foe. Leave a treat or two on the clippers if you can, as this gesture will encourage exploration and sniffing.

Clipping - The Invasion Of Normandy Or Clip Time

Its D-Day. Are you and your cat ready? Do you even know where your cat is because he or she already knows that you are and he or she isn’t? Whatever be the case, place your cat in your lap facing away from you.

Take one of the paws in hand and press until the claw is clearly released. If there is a sharp tip at the end, it needs trimming, but never ever go beyond that, as the quick, which is the pink part of the nail where nerve endings and blood vessels lie, must be avoided at all costs.

Time to trim a cat's claws

If the cat has noticed what you have done, immediately release the paw and give kitty a treat. If the cat is already comfortable with the process, then skip the treat and go on to the next nail.

Alas for some of the best laid plans of mice and men oft go astray, as one Elizabethan-bard used to say, and many cats do become uncomfortable after two or three nails are trimmed.

If this occurs, keep cursing to a bare whisper with no mention of kitty’s name because they know and never forget, and let the cat go.

Give a reward or a treat or special toy anyway (and maybe one for yourself as well). This allows the cat to develop the association of nail trimming with fun. It may well indicate that cat claw trimming at your house will require a few short sessions to complete.

Find The Proper Tools To Trim A Cat's Claws

There are many cat claw trimming tools to choose from out there. The key is selecting the one that works best for both you and your pet. This can only be decided by trial and error because every animal responds differently.

Some cat caretakers prefer using a special pair of scissors that is specifically designed to hold a cat's claw in place. This seems like a good solution and it can be, but it will depend upon how your cat feels about that.

Pliers and clippers are often the tools of choice as well as those with a sliding "guillotine" blade.

cat's trimmed claws

In a pinch, human nail clippers can also work, but other options that are specifically made to fit a cat’s claws are safer. Of most importance is the fact that whatever the chosen tool, the blade must be sharp.

A cat’s nail can easily split or bleed from the blunt pressure of a dull blade. You should always keep styptic powder somewhere nearby to stop bleeding, should it occur.

Remember that it is always better to leave more claw than to take the chance of cutting too deep.

Establish A Clipping Schedule

For best results, trimming should occur every week and a half to two weeks. Having a routine will help to maintain nails at a healthy level.

Consult your vet or groomer if you need help or advice about trimming your cat’s claws.

Avoid These Things When Trimming Your Cats Nails

The process of trimming your cat’s nails should never be attempted if you are in a bad mood or if your cat is upset. A trimming session should never be hurried because it can cause accidents arising from cutting too deep.

Always remember your cat has nothing to do with your tax bill or the arrival of unwanted and annoying relatives. He or she should never be reprimanded for resisting a trimming session.

Finally, don’t ever attempt to trim all the cat’s nails at once, and don’t hesitate to get help when you need it with trimming your cat’s claws!

In conclusion

Following these tips, in combination with use of our Clawguard cat scratch training and scratch deterrent products, will help ease the nail-trimming process and aid in reducing the occurrence of clawed furniture throughout your home.

But you and kitty will have to join forces — albeit the cat will never enlist.

Patience and treats (and more treats) and patience will win out in the end. Your little furry friend is worth it all and so is your beloved furniture and carpets.

Save them all and make your next cat claw trimming escapade a successful endeavor that the cat may or may not appreciate.

House cat trimmed nails

Photo Credits: Pixabay, Shutterstock and Clawguard

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