Cats love to keep themselves neat and tidy! However, even the most well-groomed cats can have problems with the length of their claws and need help to keep them short.
Nailing trimming is a vital part of your cat’s health and well-being, but it may leave you feeling overwhelmed if you don’t know where to start. Fortunately, there are simple steps that you can take to ensure that trimming your cat’s claws goes as smoothly as possible – hopefully without any scratches!
All cats are different, each with their own personalities and temperaments. There’s a chance your cat will have no problems with you helping them to groom, but some of your feline friends will not be quite as accepting! If you spot that your cat’s nails need a trim, it’s important to make all the necessary preparations so that they’re comfortable and happy.
If your cat is particularly wriggly, nervous, has black nails or you notice that they are growing into the skin – do not attempt to clip them yourself. It’s better to seek advice and help from a vet than either you or your cat getting an injury!
How to tell if my cat’s claws need trimming
If your cat’s nails are left to grow too long, this can create mobility problems and even cause them pain if they aren’t trimmed. Here are some warning signs that they need clipping:
- They are visible when the cat is resting and not actively extending
- You can hear them tapping when the cat is walking on hard
- You notice them catching on carpets or blankets.
Which clippers are best for cat claws?
It’s best to use small pet clippers, either with a plier-like design or a sliding “guillotine” blade. However, it is okay to use small human nail clippers, as long as they are sharp. Never use human nail scissors.
Before you start:
- Pick a time of day when your cat is most relaxed to trim their
- Ensure you have good lighting so you can clearly see what you are
- Always have a steady supply of treats available to reward your cat during the process!
How to easily trim your cat’s claws: A step-by-step guide
- Firstly, position your cat so that they’re facing away from Ideally this would be on your lap, although a flat surface in front of you is also fine. It can be useful to wrap your cat in a towel with one leg free so that you can keep them still and secure.
- If you are concerned that your cat may bite you at this stage, please book a nurse appointment at your local Goddard vet practice and they will be able to clip the nails and teach you to feel safe doing it at home
- Take your cat’s paw and gently press the top of each toe to extend the claw outward. Remember to take extra care with your handling if your cat is nervous or elderly, as this could be a sensitive
- Examine the claw carefully, and just snip off the transparent tip using your clippers. Don’t clip down near the pinkish area of the nail known as “the quick”, as this contains blood vessels, nerves and other tissues. Cutting near this area can be painful and cause bleeding.
- If you do accidentally catch the quick and the nail bleeds, apply firm pressure with a tissue or clean towel. If the bleeding doesn’t stop after approximately five minutes of pressure, contact your vet.
- Reward your cat with a treat! It’s best to give your cat a break after you’ve finished with each paw. Rewarding them with a treat is a great way to get them used to the process and to form positive
- Slowly work your way through each paw. If your cat becomes too anxious, it’s best to stop and try again another time. But hopefully, if you follow this process, you should have no problems clipping your cat’s nails successfully!
If you need further advice, book an appointment with your local Goddard vet practice, or get in touch with our Central Clinical Team at 020 8506 9944.