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how to trim a cat's claws

How To Trim A Cat's Nails

“Time to trim the cat’s nails.” These words can inspire dread in cat and owner alike. Fortunately, keeping your cat’s nails clipped is an easy task once you know the proper way to do it. As cats scratch their claws the dead keratin sloughs off, leaving a sharper healthy nail.

The best way to get your cat used to nail trims is to start when he is young, if possible. Otherwise, work your way up to the task by holding your cat and gently handling his feet. Praise him and let him go if he resists. Try again later, when is in an accommodating mood; softly massage his toes and gently press the pads of his toes to make the nails extend. Again, lavish him with praise.

After your cat has adjusted to having his feet touched, you can start to trim. Some cats will take to the procedure with little fuss. Others will dislike it. Never forcibly restrain your cat unnecessarily. Trim one nail a day if that’s what it takes to keep your cat happy and relaxed. He will eventually realize that it’s not a big deal and allow you to trim more than one at a time. Try to stop trimming your cat’s nails before he becomes upset, if possible, even if you have to leave some untrimmed. You want to end the session on a positive note with lots of petting and praise.

Most cats have light-colored nails, regardless of their fur color. This makes it easy to see the “quick”, or the blood supply to the nail. Always cut halfway between the tip of the nail and the quick to avoid nicking the blood vessel. If you accidentally do hit the quick, use styptic powder, which you should keep nearby when trimming, to stop the bleeding.

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