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How To Trim Kitten Nails

Get Acquainted With The Clipper

How to Trim a Kitten’s Nails

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.

How Often Should My Cats Nails Be Trimmed

  • For indoor cats, nail trimming in general should be done every ten days to two weeks.
  • A senior indoor or outdoor cat will often develop thick, brittle nails that need to be trimmed more often than when theyre a kitten. Stay alert.
  • . It is now understood that declawing means that the ends of the toes are amputated during the surgery, which has been stated as ethically problematic and not an appropriate means of dealing with feline behaviour issues. So now if you live in BC you must learn to trim your kittys nails properly, or either pay a groomer or visit your cats veterinarian to perform this task.
  • An outdoor cat may become more of an indoor cat when he or she is old and arthritic, so regular nail trimming will become a necessity.
  • Usually it is only the front paws nails that need to be trimmed, but if you notice that the back paw nails are digging into you when your cat jumps up into your lap, you should trim those nails as well.

How To Cut A Cat’s Claws

You won’t have to worry about nail-trimming if your cat spends a lot of time outdoors, as rough surfaces tend to act as a natural file. Indoor and elderly cats, however, may need to have their nails trimmed every few weeks. This prevents the claws growing inwards into their pads, causing pain and infection.How to trim your cat’s nails:

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Help Your Kitten Get Used To Having His Paws Handled

If you can, make things easier for your cat by helping him get used to having his paws handled as a kitten. Cats are usually a little skittish about having their paws touched, so expect some hesitation at first. Play with your kitten a lot, touch his paws and hold them gently. Lightly press and hold his paws for a few seconds and then let them go. Give him treats to help build positive associations with having his paws held. Let him get used to the feeling before you graduate to gently clipping his claws with a nail clipper.

If you start when your cat is young, it will be much easier to continue the practice once he’s an adult. Of course, you can also go through these steps when your cat’s older, but the process might take longer.

When To Start Trimming Kitten Nails

How to Trim Your Cat

You can start trimming a kittens nails around 4 weeks of age. Before this, the nails are typically too small and thin, and the kittens cant retract the nails or control them very well. However, its never too early to begin developing trust and handling your kitten regularly. A successful, easy nail trim is more about your relationship with your kitten than anything else. If you have adopted a kitten older than 2 months, you can start trimming his nails as soon as your are both comfortable.

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What If I Make The Nails Bleed

If you accidentally cut the nails too short you can use styptic powder, or simply use a clean bar of soap and run it under the damaged nail. The soap will plug the vessel and stop the bleeding. Usually if you have made your cat bleed, they will be a bit nervous next time, so make sure you have lots of treats at the ready and take it slow the next time you try trimming those nails. First you might need to just get the nail trimmers out, show them to your cat then give a very high value treat like a piece of BBQ chicken. Work on gradually regaining your cats trust and confidence with the nail clippers and just do one nail at a time very gently. As your cat is more comfortable you may be able to do a couple of nails.

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Why Do Almost All Cats Need To Have Their Nails Trimmed

  • An indoor cat may not be very interested in using a scratching post and so their nails may grow too fast and too long to be curbed by the post.
  • As an outdoor cat ages, he or she may become so much less active that the nails grow out. This increases the risk of their nails growing into a curve that drives into their footpads, and in turn causes your cat pain, mobility problems, or even infections.
  • Both indoor and outdoor cats need to have their nails trimmed because their nails can be snagged and caught in soft surfaces, or the cat may lose their ability to retract their claws altogether.
  • Arthritic cats, indoors or out, usually dont exercise enough to keep their nails short via scratching.
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    Trimming A Cats Claws

    Trimming a cats claws every few weeks is an important part of maintaining your pets health. Not only does a quick trim protect you, your pet and your family, it can also save your sofa, curtains and other furniture. Nail-trimming is also a fast and effective alternative to declawing, which involves surgical amputation and can cause behavioral and health issues.

    If the idea of trimming a cats claws has you biting your nails, know that all it takes is some patience and a bit of practice to sharpen your skills.

    Why Is My Cats Nail Bleeding Causes

    How to trim a cat’s nails

    Cutting a cats nail too short will result in serious injury to the quick and that will lead to serious bleeding, pain, and even secondary infection if not well taken good care of. Remember, the cats paw is a very sensitive part of their body, this is why they hardly allow you to touch them unless they have developed trust and love for you overtime, believing you wont hurt it.

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    Why Does A Kitten Need Claws

    The claws are an important part of a kittens body. During the first month of life, the claws are non-retractable, which may aid in kneading the mother to stimulate milk production. Around four weeks old, the kitten develops the ability to retract the claws into the paw. Kittens use their claws to scratch and groom themselves, to stretch, to balance, for self defense, and to explore their environments . Most importantly, claws give cats the comfort and confidence to know that they can protect themselves and navigate the world around them safely.

    Knowing how necessary the claws are, it should go without saying: never declaw a cat! Declawing is a cruel procedure that permanently mutilates the cat, and can result in unnecessary pain and discomfort, as well as emotional and behavioral issues. Instead of cruel tactics like declawing, help your kitten get used to regular nail trimming by starting to trim her claws at 4 weeks of age.

    How Do I Avoid Hurting My Cat

    We all care about cat care. Thats why when trimming your cats claws you need to be careful. There is an area of their nails that has blood vessels and nerve endings, so if you cut into it, you can cause them some pain and bleeding.

    This part of the nail is called the quick. Both cats and dogs have one, but they are easier to see in a cats claws because a cats claws are mostly clearish white. However, where the quick is, you should see a darker, slightly pink area where the nerve endings and blood vessels are.

    If you aim the clippers to avoid this section, your cat should be fine, although it might be good to be prepared with some styptic powder or sticks.

    When you use the clippers, they should always be cut from top to bottom instead of on the side. If you cut the claw from the side, it will splinter and be crushed.

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    Dos & Donts When Trimming Claws

    Check out the list of things you should and should not do when cutting your cats nails. Some may seem obvious, but if one person asks the question, it is worth mentioning especially to beginners. Be sure to review the nail trimming FAQ section at the bottom too.

    • Buy a good pair of nail clippers designed for cats
    • Be patient and act calmly
    • Find a calm area where you can have complete control of your cat
    • Do give rewards with your cats favorite treats
    • Do cut nails at a 45 degree angle
    • Take your your time
    • Always have styptic powder on hand in case you accidentally cut the quick
    • Dont try to do all 4 paws in one sitting
    • Dont cut before locating the quick.
    • If your cat is fidgeting, it may take more than one attempt to press down on their paw to get the claw extended and locate the quick.
    • Dont cut if you cant clearly see the claw
    • Dont crush the claw
    • Dont cut the claw straight across

    How Often Do I Need To Cut My Cats Nails

    Kitten Nail Trimming

    A cats nails continuously grow. If not trimmed, they will grow downward and sometimes into a cats paw. It will eventually become painful for a cat to walk if their nails are not regularly cut. The time between routine nail clippings will depend on how fast your individual cats nails grow, but on average it should be every 10 to 14 days.

    Keeping your cats nails short is an important part of feline hygiene that requires your help to complete. Although they might be reluctant to cooperate at first, with the proper training techniques, your cat will be thankful that youre around to trim their nails for them.

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    Define The Cutting Range

    Once your cat is relaxed and sitting on your lap, gently lift up one of their paws and be careful not to move your little buddy too much. Press a toe pad between your fingers to expose the nails, like in the image below:

    It helps to take a closer look at claw anatomy to make sure you understand how best to trim a cats nails. Mainly, youll want to be able to identify the three key parts:

    • The sheath, the outer layer which cats regularly shed off by scratching
    • The quick, the inner pink bit full of nerves and blood vessels
    • The claw, the sharp bit were all familiar with

    This graphic might help you better picture it:

    WARNING: Do NOT trim into the quick, the pink part which holds nerves and blood vessels.

    In the illustration below, you can see where it is safe to cut your cats nails towards the bottom of the nail, and closer to the tip. Do not cut into the pink area, or you could expose your cat to bleeding and infection. Its better to trim just a little bit than to risk cutting them at the quick.

    Will The Quick Recede

    After trimming the tip of the nail, generally within seven days the quick should recede enough that you can have the nail trimmed again, Carlo De Vito and Amy Ammen write in The Everything Puppy Book: Choosing, Raising, and Training Our Littlest Best. Consider that every time your vet or groomer trims your poochs

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    What Should I Do If My Cats Nails Start Bleeding

    If you accidentally nick the quick or something else causes bleeding, there isnt too much need for concern. You can use a styptic pencil or styptic powder to help stop the bleeding, although your cat may not like it too much.

    If they complain and try to get away, you can let them go. The bleeding should stop after five minutes, but if it hasnt stopped by then, it may be cause for concern, and you should call your cats vet.

    If you are a policyholder of a pet insurance plan provided by Spot, you get access to a 24/7 pet telehealth service provided by VetAccess.They may be able to advise you on how to help your cat with their bleeding claw if the bleeding hasnt died down.

    How To Clip Cat Nails

    How to Safely Trim a Cat’s Nails | Vet Tutorial

    When your cat is calm and is comfortable with you touching her paws, you can now trim her nails. Several types of cat nail clippers are available. Scissor-type clippers, such as the JW Pet Gripsoft Cat Nail Clipper and Four Paws Ulitmate Touch Cat Caw Clipper, work great for clipping cat nails. Guillotine clippers, such as the Hertzko Professional Dog & Cat Nail Clipper & Nail File, also work well.

    If youre not sure which nail clipper to choose, your veterinarian can help you decide which clipper type would be best for you and your cat.

    Below are the steps to properly trim cat nails:

  • Organize your supplies: sharp cat nail clippers, a towel and styptic powder .

  • Place your cat in your lap with her facing away from you and your forearm over her neck. Gently wrap her in the towel if she starts to squirm.

  • Massage and press a foot pad to extend the nail.

  • Locate the quick, which is the pink portion of the nail that contains nerves and blood vessels.

  • Before clipping, position the clippers perpendicular to the nail so you are cutting it from top to bottom cutting side to side may split the nail.

  • Cut only the sharp tip of the nail. Do NOT cut the quick! Cutting the quick will be painful and cause bleeding. If you accidentally cut the quick, apply a small amount of styptic powder to quickly stop the bleeding.

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    Overview: How To Trim Cat Nails

    • Most cats dont like having their nails trimmed.
    • Start while your cat is young so they get used to the trimming process.
    • Some cats are easy-going about getting their nails trimmed others may need to be gently restrained.
    • Trim your cats nails with their paws relatively close to their body, in a position that feels natural to them. If you pull their paw out too far, their instinct will be to pull it back in.
    • Using cat nail clippers or regular nail clippers, trim your cats nail at the tip do NOT cut the quick .
    • Dont do it all in one go aim to trim one nail a day until all nails are trimmed.
    • Use positive reinforcement to reward your cat after youre done trimming.

    Types Of Nail Trimmers

    There are many different types of nail trimmers. Buy good quality trimmers that are sharp and designed for cats. They should be concave at the cutting edge, to avoid crushing the nail. Blunt or poor quality trimmers will split and crush the nail. If the nails arent that long but are sharp you can simply file them or use a pumice stone to take off the tips. In the US it is common to use a dremel to slowly burr down the nails and this can be more gradual and safer than clipping.

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    Buy A Claw Trimmer Here

    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.

    What Happens If You Dont Trim Your Cats Nails

    Quiet Corner:How to Trim Your Cat

    When cats nails get too long, they can create problems for the cat and pose a danger to you too. Overgrown nails can catch or get snagged on clothes, blankets, carpets and furniture. This may lead to a broken nail, or other cat boo-boos.

    Not to mention, youre more likely to receive a nasty scratch if your cats nails are too long.

    Its also important to mention that very overgrown nails may become ingrown and curl into the paw pad, which can lead to infection. And that means pain, and likely medication for your cat. You can spare yourself the headache by trimming your indoor cats nails regularly.

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