How to Trim Your Cat’s Nails at Home

As any cat owner will tell you, the claws on your cat are their most powerful weapon. They use them to hunt prey, defend themselves and climb trees. It is important to make sure that your pet claw trims regularly so that their nails stay short and healthy. If you allow your cats’ nails to grow too long they can not only become uncomfortable for your pet but can also cause damage to property, as well as being more susceptible to infection. Cats have a blood supply that runs through the entire length of their nails and if they are not worn down naturally by walking or climbing on surfaces, this can compress and cut off circulation to the claw which will become inflamed and infected.

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Trimming your cat’s claws is actually quite easy – all you need is a pair of high-quality clippers – good quality nail clippers should be sharp enough to bite straight through your pets’ claws easily, otherwise they won’t trim them effectively.

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Wash your hands thoroughly with anti-bacterial soap to reduce the risk of being scratched.

Place a small towel around your pet so they can’t escape and place them on a table or any elevated surface. There are some special tools available for holding cats securely whilst you trim their nails, but if you can’t locate one a thick towel wrapped tightly over the cat’s body will usually suffice.

Hold your pet firmly with your non-dominant hand and lift one of their forelimbs gently with your dominant hand i.e. whichever one is free! In order to get access to all of their claws it may be necessary to hold the paw in two hands. We’ve always found it helpful to play with our cats paws while cuddling with them so they get used to it. We start when they are kittens and this really helps them not freak out later when we are going to clip their nails.

The first that you need to do is get a good grip on the paw so that you can see where their claws are. Try to grasp between the bones so that their claw is elevated rather than resting on a surface, this will make it a lot easier for you!

Once you have a firm hold of their nail, locate the pink quick within your cat’s nail and cut only the tip off at an angle. The pink quick is essentially what connects your pet’s nail to their body and if you cut past it, it will cause pain and bleeding – neither of which are fun for your pet or yourself! Cut about 1mm -2mm from the quick at first to get used to what length suits your cat best. It’s always better to start short and work up from there as you can always cut more off, but you can’t put it back on!

cat-nail-trim

Once you have finished this step, reward your cat with a treat and lots of love as a distraction. Then repeat for all of their claws. You should only need to do this about once every month or so unless you see a sharp claw and have the opportunity to trim it at which point you will want to trim them straight away. We keep a clippers in a bowl on our coffee table for quick access when needed.

You should be aware that not all cats allow themselves to be held during this process very easily – some may require general anaesthetics in order to get nails trimmed if they are particularly uncooperative. If you think this may be the case with your pet it is recommended that you contact your vet for further advice.

Using a Cat Claw Trimming Service

The method described above is the most effective way for at-home cat claw trimmers to cut their pet’s claws, however if you are absolutely unable to do it yourself and feel your pet would be too stressed out by a visit to the vets, there are some businesses which offer this service as an alternative.

Having your cat’s nails trimmed by professionals will save you time and trouble and also reduce stress levels for both of you – often they will sedate or put them under anaesthetics in order to prevent them from moving around too much. This means that they can take their time with each nail without worrying about hurting your pet or having their head scratched off!

Most people find that the easiest option usually taking their pet into see a vet for their claws to be trimmed, however if you can’t, or don’t want to take your cat there then a professional service may be the best solution for you.

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Please leave your feedback! I would love to hear from you guys 🙂 Thank you! -Amy Just a helpful side note: You do not have to trim all of your cats nails at once. It is recommended by professionals that you only do 1-2 a week as it greatly reduces stress levels for both yourself and your pet. Please let me know what other posts you would like to see here on this blog! I welcome any requests or suggestions! Thanks again, Amy xo

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