How to Trim Your Cat’s Nails at Home | Dr. Elsey's

How to Trim Your Cat’s Nails at Home

A daunting task for both pet and owner, it’s easy to see why clipping your cat’s nails is a chore you’d prefer put off. But as it turns out, keeping your feline’s nails trimmed down is necessary for the sake of your belongings and their health and wellness.

Knowing their comfort zones is the best strategy for getting your cat to cooperate during trimming time. Before getting started, try to calm your cat down with a treat or some petting — you’re the best judge of what works best for your cat. Once your cat seems relaxed, bring out the tools you plan on using for the trim to get them acquainted. Cats tend to be curious when it comes to foreign objects, so it’s important to minimize the surprise factor for the safety of both you and your feline.

If your cat has a more mild temperament, try holding your furry friend under the crook of your arm to gently secure them. Use one hand to stabilize their paw and the other to hold your trimming device. If you think your cat might need a little extra assistance, try asking a friend to secure your cat while you trim. Properly holding your pet during trimmings is essential for the safety of both owner and pet.

There’s a large variety of trimming tools you can use to cut your cat’s nails; you could even use regular human nail clippers. The one thing that’s vital when it comes to trimming tools is to make sure it isn’t an old, dull blade. It can be more painful for your pet or cause the nail to split.

For the actual act of trimming, there’s a proper technique to make the experience pain-free for your feline. Using your thumb and pointer finger, lightly press on the joint directly behind your cat’s paw. This will cause their claws to stretch forward, allowing you more visibility. When trimming, be sure to take little bits off at a time. Try not to get too close to the base or pink area of the nail, as that will cause your cat to bleed.

If you’ve considered declawing your cat instead of trimming its nails, here’s why you should reconsider. Declawing can cause an abundance of issues for your cat, including behavioral problems and pain in their paw and back. Your cat’s claws are a sensory tool and they can become increasingly more aggressive without them. Many veterinarians compare declawing a cat to amputating a human finger — some cities in the U.S. have even made declawing illegal due to the impact it can have on your pet.

Another helpful hack when it comes to your cat’s claws is to always have a scratching post for them to use. It’s instinctual for your cats to want to claw at something — it marks their territory and releases feel-good hormones. It can also file down your cat’s claws, making nail trimmings less frequent.

While trimming your feline friend’s claws takes patience, it’s essential for their natural instincts (and your furniture). Learn more about your cat’s health and wellness by visiting our Instagram page!