Ah, yes. Nail-trimming: a step in grooming that’s commonly unpreferred among cat owners. But PetPal is here to reassure you that cutting your cat’s nails doesn’t have to be a stressful experience! That with the right attitude and tool, you can even end up with a cat that not only tolerates but enjoys their little manicure sessions, which are vital to a cat’s overall wellbeing.
Here’s a walkthrough of what you’ll need to do for a better nail-clipping experience!
Choose the right clipper
Did you know that there are actually different kinds of tools for cutting cat’s nails? Pet owners can choose from ones that look like small scissors or even plier-style ones, which work better for cats with thicker nails.
The right tool can make all the difference, so take the time to figure out which specific type of clipper would best suit your cat’s needs!
Prepare your cat
Some cats don’t react well to their paws being handled. To ensure a smoother process during nail-clipping, you may want to get them used to your touch long before you actually trim their nails.
Start by gently touching their paws, and eventually progress to pressing down on the pad so that the nails extend out. You can repeat this for a few days, making sure to reward them each time.
Create a relaxing atmosphere
It’s best to stay away from anything that might catch your cat’s attention such as windows or even other pets. You can also choose to clip their nails especially when they’re sleepy – such as after a meal – or play soothing music throughout the process!
Know where to clip
Before anything else, it’s important to get familiar with the part of your cat’s nails called the “quick.” The quick is the portion of the nail that’s closest to the paw and appears as a dark section inside a mostly clear exterior. Given that this is where nerves and blood vessels are found, cutting to the quick may lead to bleeding.
Remember that it’s always better to leave excess nails than to risk cutting too deep and hurting your cat! Be sure to have cornstarch on hand as this can stop the bleeding when applied with slight pressure.
For better maneuverability, place your cat on your lap, facing away from you. Take one of their paws, and lightly press the pad until the nail becomes clearly visible. Cut only the sharp point, avoiding the quick. Immediately release the paw once you’ve trimmed a nail, and reward them with their favorite treats! Realistically speaking, you might need more than one session to get through all their nails.
As with most skills, nail-clipping takes time and practice. It’s important for you and your cat that you display patience, as rushing the trimming itself or their comfort might lead to accidents and injuries. But if you’re still having trouble clipping their nails, PetPal suggests asking a groomer or your veterinarian for advice.