Clipping your cat’s claws can be a challenge. The first and the most important thing is to get the cat to cooperate, which sometimes proves to be impossible: some cats hate their paws being touched or held, period. In such cases, you might need help from a professional pet groomer. However, it is possible to gradually train most cats to trust you enough and undergo the claw clipping procedure, especially if you start when the cat is still young.
One way to do that is to gently touch and massage your cat’s paws when the cat is relaxed or half-asleep. Don’t do that in a playful or teasing manner, it will provoke the cat to play back, biting or catching your hand. Your goal is to make the cat familiar and comfortable with you holding its paws. Giving a special treat afterwars can be helpful. Practice extending the cat’s claws by carefully and gently pressing on toe pads; let the cat get used to that experience as well.
Before you actually try clipping the claws, take a close look at them. You will see that a claw has a pinkish part at the base; that’s the area you do not want to touch. The pink part, called the quick, has blood vessels and nerves, so cutting it will cause pain to the cat and make the claw bleed. I usually clip almost at the very tip, to be on the safe side. Have some styptic powder at hand in case if you do happen to cut the quick, but, like I said, do your best not to. The cat will remember the painful experience and may never trust you to do the claw trimming again.
Carefully extend the claw, find the right place for clipping, and clip off the tip of the claw. Different types of claw clippers can be bought at pet stores, but I use a regular human nail clipper, it works just fine. At first, you might be able to do only one or two claws, then the cat will start showing signs of displeasure, jerking the paw away or trying to leave. That’s okay; do not insist on continuing the procedure, you can finish it later.
I only clip my cats’ front paw claws; many cat owners do the same. Cats usually chew on their back paw claws and thus keep them trimmed. Clipping the claws approximately every two weeks is usually enough.
*This article was written by Laura Lond.