Many people forego trimming their feline’s nails for various reasons. Some believe it is a waste of time and effort given that the cat’s nails will grow back quickly. Others believe it is unnecessary, especially if the cat utilizes a scratching post or doesn’t habitually scratch up the furniture.
And there are those who prefer the services of a professional or veterinarian. But, for those who consider trimming down Kitty’s nails at home, there are certain precautions to follow to avoid injury. Read on to learn how to trim your cat’s nails safely.
Prepare Your Cat
As with preparing your cat for a routine visit to the vet, you should also prepare her for other uncomfortable situations in the future. Nail trimming is one of those instances. Preparation is important so that your cat is comfortable and the nail trimming process is seamless as possible. One way to prepare your cat is to caress and flex her paws softly and often.
Trim During Down Time
Timing is an important factor in regards to trimming your cat’s nails safely. Trimming Kitty’s nails when she is relaxed or near sleep is the best time. Avoid nail cutting when your cat is anxious or full of energy as this could cause injuries to you both; cat’s nails become weapons when they are stressed. Reward your cat with a treat as positive reinforcement for good behavior every time after a successful nail trimming session.
A flat, stable surface, such as a table, is the best place to trim your cat’s nails. In order to trim as safely as possible:
- Start with the front nails as the back ones are less damaging. Gently press the pad of a toe to reveal the full nail. Take note of the quick (pink tissue) before you begin to cut. This is very important as you do not want to cut this tissue and result in pain and bleeding.
- Carefully cut the area midway between the nail tip and the beginning of the pink tissue. If your cat shows anxiety or discomfort, do not continue. Instead, caress her head and wait until she has calmed down before you resume.
- Repeat Steps 1 and 2 accordingly.
- Hold the clippers vertically, or up and down, to achieve a more even cut, which results in less splitting of the nails.
- Routinely cut your cat’s nails every two weeks.
- Keep an astringent powder or pencil in supply and ready in the event you cut into the pink tissue of the nail by accident and bleeding results but does not cease after a few minutes.
- If your cat is resistant, do not attempt to cut her nails. If the resistance is ongoing, make an appointment with your veterinarian, or a professional pet groomer to have your cat’s nails clipped.