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How to Clip Cat Nails

Wondering how to clip cat nails without it ending in a bloody mess? Don’t worry, we’ve got your back. Here are our tips on how to trim cat nails safely.

  1. Begin by choosing which type of cat nail clippers you would like to use. These can vary from the plier-like to others that use a sliding guillotine.  Whatever you elect to use, make sure to keep the blades sharp, as dull cat nail clippers can hurt your pet and even split their nails. You will also want to keep a towel or small blanket handy if you need additional help with restraint. You should also invest in styptic powder. It stops the bleeding if you mistakenly clip cat claws too far.
  2. If you are unable to comfortably hold your cat’s paws, try to have sessions where you gently pet his paws and do not attempt to clip his nails. Offer him praise and treats when he does allow you to touch them. Be patient and work with your cat until he is comfortable with you touching his paws.
  3. Some cats are comfortable with their nails being trimmed and require minimal restraint. Unfortunately, other cats are not, and require firm restraint in order to keep everyone safe. You will need to gauge your cat’s comfort level and adjust your approach and restraint methods accordingly. Approach your cat when he is calm and the room is quiet. Try to position your cat in the crook of one arm and hold his paw with the other hand. Keep the cat treats handy!
  4. Once you have your cat safely restrained, have a helper on hand to assist with the actual clipping of the cat claws. Be prepared to release the pet quickly if you are not able to continue safely holding him. Be sure to communicate well with your helper in order to avoid any injury.
  5. Hold the cat’s paw with your hand in a fist and use your thumb to extend the claw. The quick is the pink portion inside the nail that houses the nail’s blood vessels and nerves, so be sure to avoid cutting into the quick because it can cause a lot of bleeding and pain for your cat. The helper should only cut the clear tip of the nail and leave space between the freshly cut tip and the quick. If the quick is accidentally severed, use the styptic powder to stop bleeding.
  6. Do not be discouraged if you are unable to cut all your cat’s nails in one session. Most cats are not patient enough for their owner to cut all their claws. Simply praise and reward your cat for the nails he has allowed you to cut and wait for the next opportunity to try again.

It is important for you to trim your cat’s nails every few weeks. This will protect your couches and carpet and ensure your cat’s comfort and health. If you are still uncomfortable with trimming cat nails, you can have them trimmed for you at most veterinary clinics and grooming salons. While there, ask them if you can watch the process and if they have any tips for how to clip cat nails.

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