Your Cat Should Be Comfortable
Before you begin, you’ll want to ensure that your cat is comfortable with the different features and steps of the nail-trimming process, including:
If possible, expose your cat to the tools you plan on using when trimming their nails so that they don’t come as a surprise to your furry friend. Also, allow your cat to be curious about the tools and remember to reward them with a treat and reassurance throughout the entire experience.
In order to get them comfortable with being touched, periodically hold your cat’s paws so that they know how it feels to be handled. By doing this, it will hopefully prevent your feline from feeling sensitive to having their paws touched and held when it comes time to trim their nails. Like mentioned above, be sure to reinforce your cat’s positive behavior with treats and affirmations as you go along.
Try out some different options for positioning your cat as you trim their nails to find the right fit for both you and your feline. Once you have your ideal position, regularly get your cat situated in that manner so that it isn’t entirely new to them when it’s time to get the job done! Just like with any other training, be sure to reward your cat with treats and praise throughout the process.
If you don’t want your cat to be fearful of the sounds that your nail-trimming tools might make, give them proper exposure to the noises before you begin trimming their nails/. Doing this will hopefully get your feline friend used to the sounds and not feel afraid. Make sure to have your cat’s favorite treat handy too so that they can be rewarded with something tasty and your positive affirmations along the way!
Once you’re feeling good about your cat’s comfort level, it’s time to get the right tool to do the job.
Selecting the Best Tool
There are a variety of tools that can be used to trim your cat’s nails. Whether it be scissors, a grinder, or even a guillotine style, be sure to pick the right tool that will work best for both you and your cat. If you don’t have any experience trimming your cat’s nails, it might not hurt to consult with your veterinarian to help you choose the right option.
Steps to Follow for Trimming Your Cat’s Nails
When your cat is fully comfortable with the process and you have the right tool in hand, it’s time to start trimming your cat’s nails! Below are the simple steps for giving your feline’s claws a trim.
- Get your cat situated in the preferred position you established prior to trimming their nails. As discussed previously, your cat should be comfy in this position if you’ve practiced it with them beforehand.
- Pick up your cat’s paw firmly, but gently, and ensure that you have a stable grip. If you run into the instance of your cat retracting their claws, then it might be time to take a break and revisit the process once your cat is feeling up to it. Remember, patience is key.
- Go one by one with your cat’s toes and only clip the tip of the nail. You don’t want to go past the tip of your cat’s nail as this can present a risk for hitting the quick, which is the pink area of the nail where blood vessels are located. Just to be safe, you might want to have some kind of clotting powder handy in case bleeding occurs.
- Once all of your cat’s claws are trimmed and cleaned, be sure to give them their favorite toy or lots of snuggles, whichever they prefer!
If these steps seem scary or trimming your cat’s nails is something that just isn’t up your alley, you’re not alone! Many pet parents seek out a professional when it comes to grooming their cat, including nail trims.
Sometimes It Takes a Professional
Depending on your schedule and comfort level, it might be easier to call for help when it comes to trimming your cat’s nails. Making an appointment with a professional groomer or veterinarian is something that many pet parents do and it can make them feel a lot better for it to know that they’re companion is being groomed by an expert. For professional recommendations, don’t be afraid to ask the people closest to you or give your vet a call.
What Can Happen If You Don’t Trim
In addition to the possibility of very painful scratches, it can be a risk to your cat’s health if you don’t trim their nails. Long nails can cause injury to your cat’s paw or leg because once their long nail hits the ground it adds unnecessary pressure to the foot or leg area. Additionally, if left unkempt, long nails can be dangerous for your cat when they want to retract their claws. Can you imagine how painful it would be for them to try and retract nails that are too long and won’t fit in place? Whether it be the pet parent doing the trimming, the cat trimming their own nails with a scratching post, or seeking out a professional, we encourage all pet parents to keep their cat’s nails trimmed.
Learn More from Stella & Chewy’s
At Stella & Chewy’s, we always want pets and pet parents to live happy and healthy lives! To learn more tricks and tips, stay up-to-date on products, or be in-the-know for all things pet, be sure to check out Our Blog: For the Pet Obsessed.