Trim Your Cat's Nails

Edited by Debbie, Nate Pepperell, Laurel Waddell, Jmgf and 8 others

JulMol cut cats nails.png

Tired of seeing your sofa being shredded week after week because your cat has converted it into a scratching post? The solution will be to chip off those sharp nails a bit; even if it won't necessarily prevent your cat from making your sofa a scratch post, trimming the nails will be a way to lessen the damage. Trimming a cat's nails every few weeks is an important aspect for maintaining great health for your cat and a harmonious relationship between you, your pet and your furniture. Most cats, however, do not like having their nails trimmed off, it may take a whole lot of patience and practice to make them feel at ease with the trimming.


Cats & Claws

A cat and her claws are integral to a cat's identity, the uniquely extendable claws play a major role in creating a personal defense mechanism against any possible threat and the claws are also essential for hunting. Simply put, the claws of the cats affects and influence their natural behavior no matter what the orientation of the cat may be. For domestic or indoor cats, the claws pose a destructive threat for the home furniture. Since their claws grow in layers, the need to sharpen them by scratching it against coarse surfaces is essential to remove the worn outer layer of the claws. The scratching however can be reduced and re-directed when the cats are given proper training. One of the easiest ways to reduce the damage done by their continuous scratching of nails on furniture can be done by trimming the nails. Though it may take some time for the cats to get used to it, the process of trimming can be done more efficiently through time and practice.

Trimming the Nails

Whether your cat can be considered an adult or a kitten, normal response to the trimming will be at least some resistance, so familiarize your animal first with the trimming process and hand out treats after every successful trimming. Here are some guidelines to follow when trimming the nails of your cats:

Things You Will Need

  1. 1
    Cat Nail Clippers (Pet Shop, or Department Store)
    Cat claws can best be cut by using the scissor type trimmers, but make sure the blades are always sharp.
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  2. 2
    Bath Towel.
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  3. 3
    Special Pet Treats
    Give your cat with something to look forward to. Depending on the cat's preferences, give him or her some incentives for behaving well
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  1. 1
    Set the atmosphere
    Make it a priority to set the atmosphere so your animal is prepared for the trimming process.  
    1. Choose a spot where your animal is most comfortable. Find your cat's most favorite room, preferably in rooms where it is always found sleeping.
    2. Try to cut your cat's claws while it is napping.
    3. Don't trim when there are other animals present in the room or things where that may distract your cat.
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  2. 2
    Massage your cat
    Depending on your cat's personality, stroke or pet your cat, whichever will work best.
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  3. 3
    Examine the nails
    As the one to do the trimming, it is essential that you know the cat's nail parts well so you won't hurt it during the trimming process.  
    1. Hold the cat comfortably on your lap, preferably facing away from you. Take one of your cat's toes and begin massaging it.
    2. Press gently on the nails until the claws extend.
    3. Identify the quick part of the cat's nails and do not trim below it.
      Cat nail.jpg
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  4. 4
    Clip the nails.
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Questions and Answers

Where to cut a cat's claws so they don't bleed?

You will need to take a close look and make sure you do not cut the pick part of your cat's nails. The image below will show you how to identify the parts where you should cut. Make sure that you use cat nail clippers and make sure they are still sharp. For the guide, please refer to the picture below:

How to cut your cat's nails

You need to use a sharp cutting tools, cause the cat's nails are quite hard. Now to cut a cat's nail or trim it you must avoid the pink part of the nail, or stay a bit far from that part to avoid bleeding.

The proper place to cut a cat's claw to prevent bleeding is approximately 2 mm. above the quick. The term quick is the base part of the claw of the cat which contains blood vessels and nerves appearing as pink stripes. If you cut the cat's claw in the quick, the claw will bleed and the cat will feel pain. To properly cut the cat's claw, you need to cut the claw about 2 millimeter above the quick and avoid cutting parallel to the claw if you are using a nail clipper to prevent splinter and crushing the cat's claw.

Location of the quick

Cat claw quick.png

Incorrect way (causing splinters and crushing of the claw)

Improper way claw trimming.png

Proper way to cut the cat's claw

Proper way claw trimming.png

How to stop my cat's nails from bleeding after cutting too short? Should I take my cat to the vet?

You do not need to take your cat to the vet because this is not a serious case. To stop your cat's nails from bleeding, you just need either of the two, styptic powder or cornstarch. Just dip your cat's nails on styptic powder or cornstarch and it will minimize the bleeding and will stop it afterwards. You have to observe if it continues, which normally don't, and dip it to the powder some more.

You can buy nail trimmers for animals that have guards on them. You can get the clippers with a metal guard to keep from clipping too much or you can use the pedipaws device that actually uses a fine sandpaper and slowly files down the nails.

Is it okay to cut a cat's nails with scissors?

I have heard that cutting a cat's nails with clippers can fray the nails and cause them to grow incorrectly.. I have tried: I let the vet cut my cat's nails.. I think it was caused by: I would like to save some money and cut my cat's nails safely by myself at home.

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Article Info

Categories : Cats

Recent edits by: Donna, Jen M, Julia Moliere

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