While being a pet owner is one of the best joys in life, sometimes the responsibilities that come with it may seem quite burdensome. If you are a cat owner, you are likely accustomed to the frustrations of having to trim their nails. Many cat owners, however, do not know how to trim cat claws. It can seem like your cat’s nails need to be trimmed constantly, and making routine trips to the groomer can become costly and time-consuming. Instead, this step-by-step guide will help you easily and safely clip your cat’s nails at home. Learn how to trim cat claws in order to make the experience easier and more enjoyable for both you and your cat.
1. Learn About Your Cat’s Claws
Before you go anywhere near your cat with clippers, you should be sure that you are familiar with their paws and nails. Most cats have 18 nails with 5 on each front paw and 4 on each back paw Take the time to count each nail they have. Cats’ nails grow in layers that are like shells. When cats sharpen their nails, they are removing the older shells them to allow the newer ones to show. Cats are not always successful at this, which is why you need to step in to take care of their nails. If these shells are not properly taken care of, they can lead to painful ingrown nails and potential infections. Learning how to trim cat claws begins with knowing your way around your cat’s claws.
2. Be Sure Cat is Comfortable
The ideal position to clip your cat’s nails is for them to be sitting comfortably in your lap. Not only do you have to make sure that your cat is physically comfortable, but you also want to make sure that they are comfortable with their paws being handled. If your cat is a little weary of this, you should take the time every day to set them in your lap and gently touch their paws. This will allow them to get used to your touch so it will not make them nervous when it comes time to trim their nails.
3. Recruit Help
Even professional pet groomers are known to have a helping hand when trimming cat’s nails. It just makes the process far easier if one person holds your cat, while the other works to cut their nails. Your cat may initially be uncomfortable with two people surrounding him or her when trimming their nails, so make sure that both you and your helper are being as careful and gentle as possible to ensure your cat’s comfort and security.
4. Make Sure You Have the Right Equipment
It’s very important to make sure that you have proper cat nail clippers to ensure an easy cut and avoid harming your cat. Using the improper type of nail clippers can damage your cat’s nails and cause them pain. Never use nail clippers you would use for your own toenails. There are special cat specific nail clippers that are widely available.
5. Do a Trial Run
Place your cat into your on lap and begin by gently taking your cat’s paw between your fingers and massaging for 3 seconds to extend their nails. If your cat pulls away, do not squeeze or pinch, just follow the gesture and keep gentle contact. This may take some time before they are totally comfortable with you extending their claws. Next, you want to make sure your cat is at ease around the sound of clippers. You can use your clippers to cut pieces of spaghetti near your cat so they can grow accustomed to the sound and not fear it. If all goes well, you are ready to start clipping.
6. Be Quick
Most cats do not enjoy having their nails cut, so it is best for you and your cat that you do not drag out the process. That being said, you should go at a comfortable pace where you are not worried about slipping and accidentally hurting your cat in any way. Once you have gotten your cat used to your touch, it will make it easier for you to begin trimming their nails, and over time being better skilled at doing so quickly. By trimming your cat’s nails at a quick and effective pace, you will ensure your cat does not have to be too uncomfortable.
7. Do Not Cut the Pink Part
DO NOT cut the pink part of your cat’s nails. This is called the quick and it contains a lot of nerves and blood vessels which makes this a very sensitive area. Be sure to snip only the whole part. It is better to err on the side of caution and not cut their nails short enough than to risk hurting your cat. It is not worth the risk of upsetting your cat and having to visit the vet because of an avoidable mistake.
8. Keep A Routine
Nail-trimming is recommended on a regular basis. The more often you do it, the more comfortable and accustomed your cat will be to their frequent nail clippings. Usually, this means that you should trim their paws every ten days to two weeks.
9. Get A Scratching Post
All cat owners should have scratching posts because felines have a natural behavior to sharpen their claws. Providing them with a scratching post will keep them from scratching things you do not want them to scratch. It can also help to lengthen the time needed between each trim. Your cat will be happier and more comfortable with the added luxury of a scratching post to shed their nails naturally.
10. Give Them A Treat
To help make this an enjoyable experience, give your cat a treat at the end. Or maybe a few throughout the trimming process. Do whatever is able to make this a comfortable and casual experience for them. This will condition your cat to being rewarded after each nail clipping session and make them less scared and uncomfortable.
Learn More About How to Trim Cat Claws Through Cat Sitting Services
Caring for your cat can take up a lot of time, and if you are finding that you are out of town or regularly unavailable to care for your cat, schedule cat sitting services. A cat sitter can visit your home when you are away on vacation or working later and provide them all they need. They will receive fresh water, food, a clean litter box, quality time and company, and will be administered any medications that may be necessary. They also know how to trim cat claws and effectively and groom your cat with ease. Contact Paw Pals Pet Sitting for more information about how to trim cat claws and groom your cat. You can also inquire about our cat sitting services and how you can schedule a cat sitter to make caring for your cat a little easier.