Kitty Claw Control: How and When to Cut Your Cat’s Nails

Kitty Claw Control: How and When to Cut Your Cat’s Nails

Cutting your cat’s nails may not be on your favorite list of pastimes. The good news is that taking the time to train your furry friend and a little patience on your part will pay off and allow for successful and maybe even enjoyable nail trims! Here’s all you need to know about how and when to exercise kitty claw control!

Prepare, Prepare, Prepare

Don’t wait until your furniture looks like scratching posts. Introduce nail trimming to your kitten’s routine from a very young age. Even if your cat is older, warming up to paw handling is still possible. Start by holding the paws and rubbing them gently while talking to your pet. Squeeze the fingers and toes so the nails extend and release them immediately. Don’t forget to give your cat a treat to encourage the desired behavior.

Set the Mood

Choose a calm, quiet location away from distractions and ideally cut your kitty’s nails when sleepy, such as after a meal. It’s important to carefully plan the place and time to ensure you and your furry friend enjoy a positive nail-trimming experience!

Kitty Claw Control: Best Practices

Now that your furry companion is comfortable with paw handling, it’s time to move on to kitty claw clipping. Start by trimming a claw or two and increase the number of nails you cut in one session. Don’t forget to offer treats to build positive associations.

Make sure you choose quality nail clippers. Gently squeeze a finger or toe to extend a nail. Place the clipper perpendicular to the nail at the point where it begins to curve downward. Only clip the part of the claw beyond the quick, the darker part of the nail, to avoid hitting any blood vessels or nerves. If you can’t see the quick, don’t go past the thin curved tip. Make sure you offer a reward to encourage cooperation.

When Is It Time for a Cat Nail Trim?

You’ll know it’s time for a kitty nail trim when the claws are long, curved, and razor-sharp. The time between trimmings varies depending on a cat’s activity level and scratching habits. For the most part, cats require nail cutting about every 2-3 weeks. Mature cats usually need more frequent nail clippings than kittens.

Make sure you provide a scratching post to support your cat’s instinctive urge to claw and to keep those nails trimmed between clipping sessions. You’ll also shift the attention away from your furniture.

Need More Feline Nail-Trimming Tips?

If you’ve never trimmed a cat’s nails and feel nervous, talk to your trusted team at All About Cats Veterinary Hospital in Kirkland, WA, for tips or a demonstration. We are happy to guide you through a nail-clipping session to ensure you are comfortable with the process. Our cat-friendly team is here to support you and your feline friend every step of the way!

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