How to Cut a Cat’s Nails Without Getting Scratched?

How to Cut Cat’s Nails Without Getting Scratched

Cats typically do not really enjoy getting their nails cut so pet parents run the risk of geting scratched or clawed. On the other hand, many people are also not skilled in doing it. However, there are ways to get it done without too much struggle with your cat.

How to cut your cat’s nails without getting scratched?

The best way to cur your cat’s nails without getting scratched is to get the cat to and relaxed state, get it used to you touching its paws so that it gets used to it, giving it treats if she behaves and getting the cat used to the clippers, as explained in more detail below.

To prepare your cat, gently take a paw in your hand during your petting or relaxation time and massage it for no longer than the count of three. Don’t squeeze or pinch if the cat pulls its paw away. Follow its gesture and keep the gentle contact. When the cat stays still, press its toe pad a little so the nail extends out then release its paw and give your pet a treat. Get your cat used to the clippers also by bringing it close to the cat while doing the massage and giving a treat after. Do this every other day on a different toe.

After preparing your cat, choose a quiet room where you can comfortably sit your cat on your lap. Make sure that there are no other distractions such as other pets around or any birds outside the window. The ideal time to trim the nails is when the cat is sleepy or groggy, usually after eating.

Follow the same procedure of pressing your cat’s paw. When the nail extends out, clip the white part of the claw only. The pink part of a cat’s nail, called quick, is where the nerves and blood vessels are. Do not cut this sensitive area. If you accidentally cut the quick, use a styptic powder or stick to stop the bleeding. If your cat didn’t notice, clip another nail, but don’t trim more than two claws in one sitting until the cat is comfortable. Reward your pet a special treat after trimming.

Another tip is to introduce your cat to nail clipping when it is still a kitten and it is easier for it to get used to clipping than as an adult.

How to restrain your cat for nail trimmings?

If you need to restrain your cat for trimming you can try the following methods:

1. The Towel Method

This is an easy way to help cats who are jumpy and wriggly. To do this, wrap the cat in a bath towel. Then try to take out a paw for nail trimming. With some practice, the towel can help envelop three limbs while you take out one limb at a time.

2. The Two-Person Method

Two people can make the task of nail trimming go smoothly. In a table or counter top, one person will hold or grip the back of the cat’s neck as the other person trims the nails.

Why should you trim your cat’s nails?

Aside from causing less damage to human skin and objects at home, trimmed cat nails benefit the cat itself. It can prevent painful broken claws that can result when a sharp tip gets caught in the carpet, fabrics or other textures close to it. Regular nail trims also prevent ingrown nails in cats, these can become painful and prone to infections.

Why do cats hate getting their nails trimmed?

Cats do not really hate nail cutting because they feel pain from it. What they squirm about trim sessions is generally because they do not enjoy being restrained or having someone grab their paws. It is essential to prepare them for it and to let them get used to the handling for easier nail cutting.

How often should you trim your cat’s nails?

While many people never trim their cat’s nails, those who want a duller nail without the sharp hook end for their cats need to be trimmed every 6-8 weeks. Arthritic or older cats should have their cats inspected every two months and trimmed if necessary.

What is declawing?

In the old days, the solution to the havoc that cat’s nails wrought upon people and property was declawing them. But in today’s modern era, most cat owners view this as an absolute last resort. 

Declawing is not just removing a cat’s nails. It involves the amputation of the last bone of each toe. Medical drawbacks to declawing include pain in the paw, infection, tissue necrosis (tissue death), lamelessness and back pain. Removing claws changes the way a cat’s foot meets the ground and can cause pain similar to wearing an uncomfortable pair of shoes. There can also be a regrowth of improperly removed claws, nerve damage and bone spurs.

Declawing is not the solution for cat nail problems. Instead, regular trimming should be done. It is also very much encouraged to provide the cat with appropriate scratching posts. Declawing should be reserved only for those rare cases in which a cat has a medical problem that would warrant such surgery, such as the need to remove cancerous nail bed tumors. 

Final Thoughts

The secret to avoiding scratches during trim sessions is doing it in a gentle way. Prepare your cat ahead and let it get used to your handling and the clipper itself. Remain calm to also avoid hurting the feline and do not forget giving treats.

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