Usually, cats will keep their own claws down by either playing with a scratching post or, in the case of the back claws, nibbling on them. However, there may be times, when your cat is unwell or getting older and is, naturally, a little less active. Alternatively, it could just be that your cat is not getting enough opportunity to wear the claws down. In these instances, you may find that your cat is in danger of hurting itself with its own claws and they will, therefore, need to be trimmed.
It is advisable to check your cat’s claws at least every two weeks to ensure that they are not becoming harmfully long.
What Will I Need?
The only piece of equipment you need is a good quality set of cat claw trimmers. These can be purchased from any good pet store. how to cut cat nails with human clippers They are usually quite reasonably priced, but it is wise to avoid a budget pair, as they are likely to let you down. Remember, a good pair of clippers will last a lifetime.
How to Prepare Your Cat
First, it is important to make the cat as relaxed and calm as possible. Most cats become nervous when having their claws trimmed, so it is essential to create a nice relaxing environment before your begin. Obviously, it is wise to choose a time when your cat is at his, or her, calmest.
Some cats are very reluctant to have their paws touched. Therefore, it is a good idea to stroke your cat’s paws not only before you cut the claws, but also regularly, because it will reassure your cat that you will not hurt him, or her.
Place your cat in your lap, on a table or on the floor (whichever is easiest). If your cat is particularly resistant to the notion of a claw trim, you may find it helpful to have another person hold the cat while you do the cutting.
How to Trim a Cat’s Claws
Gently, take your cat’s paw between your finger and thumb and push the fur back to expose the claws. Make sure that you are holding the clippers vertically, because if the clippers are held at a right angle, it can lead to a splintered claw.
You will notice a pinkish tint lower down on the claw – this is the quick and much like our finger nails, if the claw is cut at the quick, it will cause bleeding. Therefore, try to avoid cutting the claw too short.
If any point, your cat becomes distressed or fidgety, it is a good idea to stop the process and begin again at another time. It is also advisable to give your cat a favorite treat after claw clipping, as this will help him, or her, to associate claw cutting with pleasant things.
How Regularly Should Cats’ Claws be Trimmed?
As mentioned above, it is a good idea to check your cat’s claws every two weeks. However, how regularly your cat will need his, or her, claws cut will depend on the individual. Typically, even cats that do not get much exercise do not need their back claws trimmed, because they will chew them. However, if your cat is unable to chew the back claws and is scratching with them, it is advisable to trim these, too.
If your cat is cooperative, trimming claws is a reasonably simple process. However, if you are having trouble with your cat, or you are fearful of injuring him, or her, then it is wise to seek the assistance of a vet or professional pet groomer.