Nail Trimming

Ideally you should introduce your cat to nail clipping when she’s a kitten.

Trimming a cat’s claws every few weeks is an important part of maintaining your pet’s health and protects him, you, your family and visitors as well as the sofa, curtains and other furniture.

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 or 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. I do front claws twice a month, but only the rear claws three times a year.

The easy and fast way, to trim a cats nails, is with help. I have someone my cats know hold them securely in their arms, or scruff the kittens. I can do all front claws at once, then reward them with toys or affection.

When a helper is not available, patience is very important. The best way to clip nails by yourself is when kitty is calm and resting. Choose a chair in a quiet room where you can comfortably sit your cat on your lap.

Gather the clippers of your choice, kitties favorite treats, and styptic powder or stick. Have them in reach along with your patience before beginning.

With your cat in your lap facing away from you, take one of her toes in your hand, massage and press the pad until the nail extends. Now trim only the sharp tip of one nail, release your cat’s toe and quickly give her a treat. If your cat didn’t notice, clip another nail,continue until kitty becomes fussy. Don’t worry if you can’t get to them all at once, just try again when kitty is calm. Be sure to reward her with a special treat afterward.

Never cut to the quick, this is the pink part of a cat’s nail where the nerves and blood vessels are. Snip only the white part of the claw. It’s better to be cautious and cut less of the nail rather than risk cutting this area. If the quick is clipped, stop the bleeding with a styptic powder or stick.

What NOT to Do

If your cat resists, don’t raise your voice or punish her.
Never attempt a clipping when your cat is agitated or you’re upset. And don’t rush-you may cut into the quick.
Don’t try to trim all of your cat’s claws at one time.
Do NOT declaw. This surgery involves amputating the end of a cat’s toes and is highly discouraged by the ASPCA. Instead, trim regularly, provide your cat with appropriate scratching posts and ask your veterinarian about soft plastic covers for your cat’s claws.

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June 2012
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