How to Trim Cat Claws

Best Way To Clip Your Cat’s Nails

Clipping your cat’s nails can be a daunting task. You may be nervous about hurting the cat, stressing it out, or scared you are going to get hurt from your angry kitty! They don’t call them cat claws for no reason.

I am writing this article to give a few tips that I have learned over the years that will make your nail clipping session easier on both you and your cat or kitten.

Cat Wrapped in TowelStay Calm

First and foremost stay calm with your cat. It is hard to control your nerves sometimes, so be prepared by reading this article and watching the video before you start clipping nails. The more you know the more comfortable you will feel. So will your kitty!

If you pet or hold your cat’s paws frequently like my boyfriend does, they tend to be used to you touching their paws, which is a step closer to you cutting their claws.

Also, having everything right at your finger tips once you have picked up the cat. Most cats seem to have a time limit for being cooperative and doing as you ask! Keeping your nail clippers, towel, and styptic powder close by is a time saver. Be prepared, be calm, and be quick!

Get Help

Having a significant other, friend, or family member help hold the cat helps tremendously! It lets you not worry about keep the cat still and just focusing on clipping the nails.

If your cat is really wiggly have your helper scruff the back of the cat’s neck. This helps calms them (by releasing endorphins) and keeps them still. Wrapping the cat in a towel and/or covering their head lightly with the towel also helps!

Be careful and use extreme caution. A scared cat can bite deeply, scratch and cut. Always keep your face away from the cat’s claws.

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Use the Right Tools – Good Nail Clippers

Cat Nail Trimmers

Have a good pair of nail clippers. Spend the few extra dollars and buy the more expensive brand. I like Miller Forge brand or Four Paws brand. These will typically last you the life of your cat and will let you cut the nails with ease, so it is worth the investment! Less expensive nail clippers tend to split the nails.

I feel cat nails are easier to cut then dog nails because you can see where their quick (blood supply to the nail) is. There is a pink or peach part of the nail that is closer to the paw. This is the quick.

Always cut a little bit before the quick so you still have some white part of the nail following the pink. This prevents you from cutting into the quick and making them bleed.

Scratching, Biting – Not Cool

If during the nail trim process your cat is extremely stressed (panting), hissing, or aggressively biting while trying to clip his/her nails I strongly recommend just leaving it to a pro, either your vet or a professional groomer.

Your cat may make noises, or nibble your finger slightly – most cats don’t love getting their nails done. If it escalates more, or at any time you feel uncomfortable, stop and have a professional handle it with the proper safety equipment.


Maintaining Cat Nails

Cat Nail Close up

Check, Cut, Repeat – Check your cat’s nails frequently. You should cut your cat’s nails once a month. Outdoor cats less frequently, if ever (more in winter months or times more indoor).

It’s easy to forget to trim your cat’s nails – and the devastation is real.

Help With Furniture/Carpet Scratching

Having scratching posts or boxes for your kitty to scratch on can help them file their nails themselves. It relieves stress for your cat and is healthy for their nails.

Our cats often greet us by hopping on a scratch box (read) or scratching post, prompting immediate affection in turn.

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Questions? Leave them in the comments bellow!