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How To Clip Kitten Nails

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How to Trim a Kitten’s Nails

2. Set the MoodIn order for both you and your kitten to have a pleasant experience, youll want to do the nail trimming in a low-stress environment. This is a new experience for the kitten, so you want to make it as comfortable as possible. Try trimming claws away from loud noises and distractions, maybe after a meal time or when the kitten is nice and sleepy!

3. ONLY Trim the White PartWhen trimming your furry friend’s nails you may notice that her nails are white on the ends and pink closer to their paw, just like human fingernails are pink with white tips. Only clip the white part of the kittens nail, just like you would only clip the white part of yours. The pink that you are seeing is actually their flesh, and cutting this part of the nail will cause your kitten a lot of unnecessary pain and bleeding. If youre not sure how far down to cut, simply start by trimming just the very tip of the claw. Its always better to cut too little than too much, so go slow!

4. Positive Reinforcement!One wonderful thing about starting claw trimming young is that the kitten will get used to the sensation of having her paws touched. Be sure to make this a positive experience! After trimming your kittens nails, try giving her a favorite treat as a reward for good behavior. By using positive reinforcement, youll ensure that trimming the kittens claws will continue to be a breeze as they get older.

Can I Use Clipping Nippers

Tweezers designed for cutting nails one of the most common tools that injured cats inexperienced owners. To painlessly shorten the claw of a pet, it must be cut at an angle. The blades of the tweezers are closed directly, and to put them under the right angle, the cats paw will have to be bent under an unnatural angle.

Again, if your pet has an exceptionally calm temperament and lies motionless in any posture during the procedure the tweezers will do. If the pet paws, when the claw is clamped between the blades, it traumatizes. By the way, if you use tweezers, even veterinary, the pressure on the handles should be confident and sharp. Cutting the claw slowly and smoothly, you risk crushing it.

Clipping A Cat’s Claws

This information is not meant to be a substitute for veterinary care. Always follow the instructions provided by your veterinarian.

In the photographs below, unless otherwise noted, the top if the paw is facing up. Tigger, who was the feline model, has black pads on his toes. The black pads on the bottom of his toes will help you orient yourself as you view the photographs.

Variations on these instructions exist.

Most cats do not like having their claws trimmed. Start trimming claws in young animals so that they get used to the process. Some cats will happily sit in your lap or on a table while you trim their claws but many require some form of restraint.

To restrain a cat in your lap, use your forearms draped over the cat’s neck and hind-end to keep the cat in your lap. The clipper is held in the right hand.

There are several styles of nail trimmers, including a guillotine type, a scissors cut, and a standard human fingernail clipper. Either the guillotine type or a human fingernail clipper are easiest to use in cats.

The scissors-type is used if a toe nail is so long that it is curling in a circle. Long claws can grow into the toepad.

Hold the trimmer in your right hand if you are right handed.

Close you hand around the clipper to squeeze the handle which will move the cutting blade.

this side will face you as you trim nails

this side will face the pet as you trim nails

If you cut into the quick, the claw will bleed and the cat will experience pain.

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Trimming Your Cats Claws

Cats are generally regarded as self-grooming pets, though they do need their humans for some grooming activities. One grooming technique cats are unable to perform on their own is trimming their front nails. While some indoor-only cats are de-clawed in the front rear claws are always left for cats. Cat claws will require trimming. Specialty cat nail trimmers are available in pet stores with the grooming tools.

Trimming cat nails is easier when the cat learns about nail cutting as a kitten. If you have your cat as a kitten, make a point to touch your kittens paws often, making them comfortable with the act of having their paws touched. Even adult cats can learn to let you touch their paws and clip their nails if you spend time just stroking their legs and paws before trying to clip them.

To trim the nails, you should hold the cat close to you. Some cats that are not used to having their nails clipped can be wrapped in a towel and held by one person while a second person clips the nails. If your cat is relaxed, you can let them sit on a table or floor while you clip their nails.

Take the paw you intend to clip in your hand. Push up on the bottom of the paw gently to spread the paw digits wide and expose the nail. Take the specially made cat clippers in your dominant hand and clip the nail. Take off only the white part of the nail, staying away from the pink part of the nail which is the quick.

How To Trim Your Cat’s Nails

Pawsitively Cats: How to Trim Your Cat

This article was co-authored by Pippa Elliott, MRCVS. Dr. Elliott, BVMS, MRCVS is a veterinarian with over 30 years of experience in veterinary surgery and companion animal practice. She graduated from the University of Glasgow in 1987 with a degree in veterinary medicine and surgery. She has worked at the same animal clinic in her hometown for over 20 years.wikiHow marks an article as reader-approved once it receives enough positive feedback. This article received 16 testimonials and 95% of readers who voted found it helpful, earning it our reader-approved status. This article has been viewed 1,098,932 times.

A cat may need its nails trimmed to keep them from splitting or breaking, and you may find it productive to trim off the sharp points of your cats nails if the cat is prone to kneading, scratching, etc. Trimming a cats nails is fairly easy once you get your cat accustomed to it. Read on for detailed instructions.

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Things You Shouldnt Do

Here are a couple of things you should avoid when trimming a cats nails:

  • Do not start the clipping if your cat is upset, excited or moody. Wait for a better opportunity.
  • Make sure that youre not using dull clippers.
  • Dont . Thats a painful procedure that will leave your cat maimed for life and will probably lead to behavior problems.

Scratching posts are an excellent way to distract your cat from the sofa and the armchairs.

However, keep in mind that cats scratch to mark their territory. So, even if you train her to use the scratching post, she might still prefer your furniture. You just have to accept it and trim her nails every couple of weeks.

What do you think about these tips on how to trim the claws on an aggressive cat? Share your advice in the comment section.

Trimming Your Kittens Claws And Still Experiencing Unwanted Clawing

If you are still experiencing unwanted scratching after trimming your kittens claws, there are many things you can do!

  • Get a scratching post for every room where your kitten regularly spends time, placing it near the item that is getting clawed. I recommend buying a sturdy, rectangular scratch post and putting it right next to your couch!

  • Observe the kittens scratching behavior. Some kittens prefer vertical scratching while others prefer horizontal scratching Get your kitten scratching posts that match her preferred scratching style.

  • For people who frequently foster kittens, try a reusable cardboard scratcher you can change between litters.

  • Use couch corner protectors if the kitten is clawing your furniture.

  • Try using a pheromone calming spray.

  • Give your kitten lots of enrichment and appropriate play time. Always redirect clawing behaviors toward an appropriate target–for every no, be sure to offer your kitten an equal or better yes!

Keep in mind that when a cat scratches furniture, shes actually sending you a very sweet message–that she is trying to create a family scent with you. By remembering why cats scratch, and accepting it as part of life with a feline friend, we can begin to appreciate this behavior and direct it in a way that helps keep everyone happy.

Scratching and biting are both natural behaviors, but there are always things that you can do to keep kittens from targeting your furniture and hands!

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Get Acquainted With The Clipper

Unfamiliar objects can be stressful for your cat. Leave the clippers out where your cat can investigate them. You can even leave a treat on them to encourage your cat to sniff and become familiar with them.

Some cats are afraid of the sound the clipper makes when trimming their nails. With your cat in your lap, place a piece of dry spaghetti in the clippers. Hold the clippers near their paws and gently massage one paw, then cut the noodle so it makes a cracking noise. Immediately give your cat a reward for accepting the noise and the massage.


Keeping Your Cat Calm

How to Clip Your Cats Nails

Unfortunately, trimming cat nails can be challenging, because most cats do not like nail trims. Here are some helpful tips on the cat nail trimming process and how to keep a cat calm during a nail trim.

  • Select a comfortable chair in a quiet room where your cat cant look out the window.

  • Hold your cat in your lap when shes relaxed and a little sleepy, such as after a meal.

  • For at least several days before the nail trim, massage your cats front legs and paws, pressing gently on each foot pad with your thumb and forefinger to extend the corresponding nail. Release the pressure and immediately give your cat a cat treat.

  • Acclimate your cat to the sound of nail clippers. Place a piece of uncooked spaghetti in the cat nail clippers. When you press on a footpad as described above, clip the spaghetti when the nail extends. Release the pressure and immediately treat your cat.

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How To Cut A Cats Nails

Another preparation before cutting nails is having the right tools on hand. Human nail clippers are not strong enough, baby nail scissors can cause pain when used on a cats nails, and dog clippers are too big. You should get a pair of nail clippers designed specifically for cats. They should have sharp, stainless-steel blades. For your comfort, consider a pair of nail clippers with cushioned or ergonomic designs.

When youre ready to begin clipping, place the cat on your lap with their head facing away from you. Take one of their toes in your hand and gently press it, revealing the nail. Decide how far you should cut , do the deed, cutting at a slight downward angle, and then release your cats paw. Now its time to give them a treat. Cats who are just getting used to nail clipping should not have more than a few nails cut at one time. Cats have at least 18 toes, so you might start by doing one paw per sitting.

When Once Just Wont Do: Tips On Nail Cutting Over Time

1. Try cutting one cat nail while your cat is asleep.

Another pet parent once told me this is the trick she used to keep her outdoor cats nails cut throughout his entire life.

I think its brilliant if it works, but for some reason, I typically seem to struggle to do it fast enough that my cats dont catch on to whats going on before theyre awake and running.

If you can manage, this might be the only trick you need.

2. Try cutting one nail every day, or twice a day, to decrease the novelty of the sensation.

To get your cat used to the experience of nail cutting, youll want to increase the frequency of the nail cutting to as often as you can without creating anxiety.

Usually for me, this is once a day or twice a day.

The issue is if youre trying to wait a week or even weeks before trying to cut your cats nails again.

I dont think a cat can get used to the experience as easily if the nail cutting sessions are so spaced out in time.

One nail cut once a day plus a reward after, and Id say within a month, your cat should be fine with the claw trims.

3. If your cat begins to let you cut one nail easily, increase the number to two nails, then to three, then to a whole hand.

If you started off snipping one nail because that was all you could do, and now your cat is fine with it, you can and should absolutely try to cut a second nail if your cat seems game for it.

Increase to two nails for a few cuttings, then to three if you can, then the whole paw.

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Trimming Your Cats Nails With Help

  • 1Choose a person your cat knows and trusts. Don’t get a stranger or relative stranger to help you trim your cat’s nails or your cat will be even more scared.
  • Though it sounds good and fine to get your cat used to having its nails trimmed, the reality is, many cats will still protest every single time, and you may have to get some extra help to do it.
  • 2Have your helper hold the cat in place. You can both try standing on opposite sides of a raised surface, like a counter.
  • Both of you should talk calmly and reassuringly to the cat.
  • Have your helper pet the cat and try to keep it in place by holding on to its body without hurting it or scaring it too much.
  • If your cat enjoys being brushed, the other person can brush the cat to distract it from the fact that it’s getting its nails trimmed. Have your helper brush the cats head, under its neck, or in other places where it enjoys being brushed.
  • 3Hold one of your cat’s paws in your hand. While holding the paw, push down on the pad to extend the claws.
  • If your cat is being rowdy, wait for it to settle down so that you can isolate the paw.
  • 4Trim your cat’s nails as you normally would. Your helper will continue to distract the cat while you trim its claws.
  • Just follow the directions in the previous section to make sure you give your cat a smooth, painless nail trim.
  • When you’re done, reward your cat with a nice treat.
  • Get The Right Supplies

    Kitten Nail Trimming

    The first thing you’ll need to do is find the tools you need to use to clip your cat’s nails. Tools you may need include:

    As you’ll see in my video, I prefer to use traditional cat nail clippers. They’re fast and easy to use, and that’s what most professional groomers use as well. Traditional clippers are like scissors. You squeeze the handles together and the blades clip the nail by coming together horizontally.

    With guillotine style clippers, the blades clip the nail vertically when you squeeze the handles together. There really isn’t much a difference, it just depends on your personal preference and what’s more comfortable for you.

    Nail grinders are electric devices that file the nail down instead of clipping the tip off. I don’t prefer these simply because it takes a lot longer to trim your cat’s nails with a grinder than with regular cat nail clippers. Also, you cat may be timid around a nail grinder because of the noise they make.

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    Anything Else Worth Noting

    Last but not least remember that your cats nails will grow her entire life and this is something youll need her to get used to at some point. Even if you find trimming her claws difficult you should not declaw your cat.

    It is horribly painful for your cat and can cause all sorts of both health and behavioral issues.

    Id also suggest you ensure you provide a high quality scratching environment for your cat. This will ensure that your cat doesnt end up scratching your furniture or your carpet and instead focuses on the right items that you specifically want them to scratch.

    Check out this article for more details on cat scratching.

    Indoor Vs Outdoor Cats

    If your cat is an outdoor cat, trimming their nails is a bad idea. They need long, sharp claws for hunting, defense, and marking their territory. The claws of a cat release a pheromone, so by scratching theyre marking what areas they consider theirs. Shorter, less-sharp nails will hinder all these activities. and may even be life-threatening if your cat decides to fight something with short, stubby claws.

    For an indoor cat, the story is different. Theyre not really having to fight other cats and at most, they may hunt some bugs that are roaming around. So by trimming their nails, youre not really hindering them although they may not like it when you pull clippers out.

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    Perfect Nail Trimmers For Your Cat

    When contemplating how to restrain a cat to clip its nails, you cant ignore the importance of the clipping tool. You can choose a clipper specifically made for pets, or opt for human nail clippers. In my experience, clippers for humans can be rather practical for clipping the cats nails, too, because they allow for better visibility during the process.


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