How To Trim A Squirmy Cat’s Nails?

How To Trim A Squirmy Cats Nail

Having their nails trimmed is stressful for some cats. While some take to nail trimming quite easily, some felines simply do not like it. They may resort to squirming while some cats may become aggressive. Not sure on how to trim a squirmy cat’s nails? Worry not, all you have to do is follow these tips and tricks below.

How to trim a squirmy cat’s nails?

It is hard to trim a cat’s nails if she is squirming and ready to make a grand escape any moment she has the chance. You can make the experience much easier by following some basic steps both in preparation and in the actual trimming session.

Here are the steps to trim a squirmy cats nails:

Before the actual nail trimming session

1. Acclimatize your cat to the routine. 

During every playtime or cuddle time, massage and hold her paws so she will get used to having her paws handled. 

2. Try to press her paw pads and the top of the paws so she will get used to it. 

Do this for a couple of times so she will get used to the sensation.

3. Introduce her to the nail clipper so she will have a positive association with it.  

You may place the nail clipper near her food bowl or place a saucer with wet food near it. Allow her to smell and observe the nail clipper so she gets used to it. 

4. Give her treats for behaving and cooperating with you. 

Each time she cooperates while you are holding her paws and introducing her to the nail clipper, give her rewards and treats so she will have a positive association. 

5. Let your cat get used to the sound of the nail clipper by cutting pieces of spaghetti or straw. 

This will allow her to get used to the sound of nails being trimmed. 

Things you need to prepare to trim a squirmy cat’s nails 

There are at least three things that you need to prepare before trimming the nails of your squirmy cat. These are:

1. Towel

Any towel you have at home may do, although a pet towel like the Kole Ultra-absorbent Pet Bath Towel or Wooflinen Microfiber Pet Bath Towel is also ideal.  Its purpose is to wrap or swaddle your cat so she won’t be able to make unnecessary movements while you’re trimming her nails.  This is a good way to restrain your cat so she won’t be able to squirm around.  

2. Nail clipper  

Opt for a nail clipper like JW Pet Company GripSoft Cat Nail Clippers or Gorilla Grip Premium Pet Nail Clipper that is specially made for cats. Using a nail clipper intended for humans may be painful for your cat because a cat’s nails are sturdier than human nails.  A good nail clipper for cats is made of sturdy stainless steel blades, durable, convenient to use, and easy to hold and operate.

3. Treats 

Let your cat know and feel that you care for her even though she may resent you for trimming her nails! Make sure to have tasty treats like Whole Life Pet Pure Salmon Freeze-Dried Cat Treats or Sheba Meaty Tender Sticks Cat Treats prepared by your side during the nail trimming session so your cat will associate the procedure with something positive. 

During the actual nail trimming session 

After you have prepared the necessary essentials and once you are confident that your cat has gotten used to the nail clipper as well as the sound of nails being trimmed, it is time for the actual nail trimming session. If your cat gets aggressive, check out our earlier article on how to cut a cat’s nails without getting scratched for some helpful tips. 

Here are the steps that you should follow to ensure that it will be a smooth and disaster-free session: 

  1. Take things one step at a time and do not rush.  Wait for a good time when your cat just finished her meal or lunch. 
  2. Once your cat is finished with her meal, engage her with a playtime to drain most of her energy. 
  3. After about a few minutes, bring her to a quiet area of your home. Place her on top of a table and allow her to sit down.
  4. Wrap her body with a towel. You may need someone like your partner or family member to assist you.
  5.  Gently massage her paws before you begin trimming her nails. 
  6. Hold your cat like a baby and give her some back support. 
  7. Start trimming her paws, one at a time. Your cat may growl, hiss, and give you sharp looks at this time. 
  8. Stay relaxed and take breaks if you want. This will also help your cat relax. You may also give her some catnip to mellow her out.
  9. She may attempt to squirm away so be firm in holding her or if someone is assisting you, instruct them to hold her firmly. 
  10. Once you are done with the trimming, give her treats and pet her. Let her know that she behaved well and talk to her in a soothing voice.

Congratulations, you made it through the entire nail trimming session! Remember, it is best to start your cat young when it comes to trimming her nails. Introduce her to the nail trimming process while she is still a kitten so she will get used to it. The earlier, the better. 

Why is there a need to trim a cat’s nails?

Cats need to have their nails trimmed at least every ten days to two weeks. This will prevent ingrown nails which can become painful and at risk for infections. Also, it can prevent painful broken claws and avoid instances of your cat’s nails getting caught in the fabric of carpets and sofas. 


Trimming a squirmy cat’s nails is not always a easy especially if your cat was not acclimatized to this grooming process when she was still a kitten. However, the procedure is doable with the help of essentials like a good and durable nail clipper, towel, and lots of treats.  Your cat’s nails should be regularly trimmed so she stays comfortable and with patience and care, you should be able to master trimming your squirmy cat’s nails without too much fuss. 

Image: / frantic00