Every Cat Owner Should Know How To: Trim Your Cat’s Nails!

Keeping your cat’s nails trimmed is an important part of maintaining his health. It protects you from getting scratched, it protects your furniture from getting shredded, and yes, it even protects your cat.

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If you’ve ever seen a kitty with untrimmed nails get caught up in carpeting and rip a nail out, you understand that keeping those claws short is ideal all around. It’s best to get your cat used to regular nail trims when he or she is a kitten, but even most adult cats will learn to accept having their nails cut. Just go slowly, speak softly, and reward your cat when you’re done.

  1. Start when your cat is relaxed and go to a quiet place, away from distractions and other animals. You’ll need to experiment with the best position to hold your cat. You can lay your cats on their backs, you might try cradling your cat in the crook of your arm, or having kitty lay on his side on your lap. See what works best for you and your cat.
  2. Gently grab one paw and give a toe a slight pinch to extend the nail.
  3. Using your nail trimmers, quickly and carefully clip the sharp tip of the nail. Be careful not to cut too close to the pink part of the nail, called the “quick”. The quick is very sensitive and will likely bleed and be painful if you cut it. If you do accidentally cut the quick, you can stop the bleeding with some styptic powder from your cat’s first aid kit.
  4. Move on to the next nail, until you’ve done them all! Then praise and reward your cat for being such a good kitty. Repeat in another week or two when the nails are long again.

For cats that are especially resistant to nail trimming, you can get a restraint bag that allows you to gently restrain your cat and access each paw to trim the nails and avoid injury – to both yourself and your kitty!

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