A cat’s claws are one of their most important features, allowing them to defend themselves and mark territory. Cat claws grow continuously, and although active or outdoor cats naturally wear their claws down by scratching, older, less active felines need to have their class clipped for health and safety. This is one of the most important pet care tasks for your cat, and it can be easier if you follow these tips.
How to Safely Trim Your Cat’s Nails
1. Prepare Your Cat
Before trimming your cat’s claws, get them used to you touching their feet. Every day, sit with your kitty and massage a few toes, pushing on the pad until the claw comes out. Give your cat a treat after the massage. Within a week or two, they’ll be ready for you to trim their claws.
2. Eliminate Clipper Fears
Some felines will run and hide the moment they see or hear the clippers. Prepare your furry friend by letting them see and smell the clippers. You can even place a treat on top of them. To help them acclimate to the sound, practice cutting on another object in front of your cat — such as a piece of dry pasta — so they can hear the sound without fear.
3. Stay Calm
As with any pet care task, you should only try to trim your cat’s nails when everyone is calm and not in a rush, and in a quiet room. Try sitting in a comfortable chair near a window with your kitty on your lap when they’re relaxed or even a little sleepy. If your cat resists, don’t get frustrated or try to hold on and force them to be still. Trim a few nails at a time if possible, and finish the rest later.
4. Avoid Cutting Too Short
To keep your cat safe and prevent bleeding and pain, take care to avoid cutting the quick — the pink part at the base of the nail. Only trim the sharp part of the nail at the top. If you accidentally cut too close, use some styptic powder to stop the bleeding. Also, cut perpendicular to the nail, not sideways, to prevent it from splitting.
5. Get Help
This pet care task should be down every 10-14 days to keep your cat’s nails healthy, but if your cat resists or you’re unable to do it on your own, get help from a professional. This will ensure that your cat’s nails stay at a proper length without putting you at risk of being scratched or bitten.
For help with all of your pet care needs, turn to West Pine Animal Hospital and Pet Resort. This compassionate veterinary team provides exceptional animal care and pet boarding services in West End, NC, including pet wellness exams, pet dentistry, and surgical services – and they never say no to an animal that needs help. Call (910) 673-3103 today to schedule an appointment or book a stay for your pet at their boarding facility, or visit their website to learn more.