Tips for trimming your cat’s nails

by | Cat Care |

Do you struggle with trimming your cat’s nails regularly? Do you worry about causing stress or fear in your cat during nail trims? Today we’re sharing 8 tips to make your next nail trim easy and fear free.

Trimming your cat’s claws can be intimidating–for both you and your cat.  But giving your cat a pedicure doesn’t need to be a difficult experience. We’re going to share some helpful tips today, but you can also find helpful resources on the Fear Free® Happy Homes website

Why do you need to trim cat’s nails?

Your cat’s nails don’t wear down naturally, so to groom, they’ll scratch textured surfaces, like your furniture. Regularly clipping your cat’s nails helps to prevent unwanted behaviour. This will also minimize the risk of your cat’s nails snagging or getting torn on anything.

Of course, the younger your cat is when you start trimming their claws, the easier it will be to get them accustomed to it.  But that doesn’t mean it’s too late to teach them if they are no longer a kitten!

Tips for trimming cat’s nails

If your cat is cooperative, you may be able to trim their nails on your lap.  You can choose a time when your cat is comfortable and sitting with you. Gently squeeze the paw from the top to extend the nails and then ensure you are cutting the tip of the nail and avoiding the quick – or the pink part of the nail. Cat nail clippers work best.

Please note, it might take a little while for your cat to adjust, and that is alright. You don’t want to create a negative experience for your cat and make them fear sitting on your lap.

Getting your cat comfortable

If your cat doesn’t respond well to having their nails clipped, you can start by gently squeezing their paws for several days until they are comfortable with that touch. You can also give them time to get used to the clippers by having them in the same room and letting your cat sniff them before you ever clip their nails.

Once your cat is comfortable with having their paws squeezed, begin by cutting their nails slowly. Try to clip one nail at a time with breaks in between so you don’t overwhelm them. Give your cat lots of praise when they let you trim one of their nails. Treats are also a great option to have handy for positive reinforcement.

If you cat isn’t comfortable doing this on your lap, you could also try wrapping them in a blanket to keep them from wiggling or cover their head so they can’t see what you are doing.

As your cat gets used to the sound and feel of nail clippers, you can work up to trimming more than one nail per session.  When you are finished clipping their nails, cuddle with your cat a little bit longer to leave the experience on a positive note.



Speaking for the ones who can’t speak for themselves

Keep up the good work speaking for the ones who can’t speak for themselves. A society who cares for their animals is a better society.  Thanks for your good work!