How to Cut a Cat’s Nails
If you mention the topic of cutting your cat’s nails in the company of other people owned by cats, the responses are varied. Some shudder. Some howl. Some may hurl curses in your direction. It is one of the touchiest subjects in the cat care category. Easy to see why. Cats hate having their nails cut. And they are not shy about expressing their displeasure. The wounded among us can attest to that, I’m sure.
However, if the cat’s nails have grown too long, the deed must be done. Some cat people mark a certain day on the calendar. Others, like me, pray they will just stop growing. A good rule of paw is this: When kitty’s nails catch in things like furniture, carpeting or flesh, it’s time!
If your cat can pull a scatter mat across the room or adjust the bedspread, you’re probably overdue. It will still be one of the trickiest procedures in cat care but we will tread softly.
You can find several types of cat nail clippers in the pet store. Or as happy as a cat can be to have her nails trimmed. There are people who use human nail clippers but it is not recommended. Cat’s nails are different. All too often, human nail clippers shred the cat’s claws. Then nobody’s happy.
First, find a comfortable place to work. A table, on your lap, whatever your cat decides. For my feline, we sit in a big, comfy chair with her between my side and the arm of the chair. To me, it’s for restriction. For Furby, it’s more for comfort.
1. Speak softly and reassuringly.
Take hold of a paw. Expose the nail by pushing gently on the pad of the foot.
2. You will see a pink area partway down the cat’s nails. This is the vein or quick DO NOT CUT INTO THIS! It will bleed and possibly get infected. Meow! Then, of course, there is the guilt you’ll feel for days over hurting your friend. The look in your cat’s eyes will finish you off.
This is the vein or quick DO NOT CUT INTO THIS! It will bleed and possibly get infected. Meow! Then, of course, there is the guilt you’ll feel for days over hurting your friend. The look in your cat’s eyes will finish you off.
Slide the clipper just down beyond the quick and using a smooth, strong motion…clip.
3. If the quick is hard to see or if the fur around the nail is white and you just can’t see what you’re doing, just cut the hook off. You’ll notice the hook, trust me.
If you accidentally cut into the vein, apply Kwik-Stop powder to the tip of the nail to stop the bleeding. Keep watch to make sure infection doesn’t develop.
4. Praise in your best baby-talk! Breathe sigh of relief.
This is another grooming chore that will be defined by your cat. If you manage to get only one nail cut at a time, fine. Eventually, they will all get clipped. It’s not worth forcing the issue.
Sometimes they will tolerate getting both paws done in one sitting. Other times, she’ll want a break after one foot. Some people have the veterinarian perform this maintenance. It’s whatever works for you. You have my best wishes!