Clipping cat claws can be a daunting task. Nevertheless clipping a cats claws is easier than you may think and an important part of cat care, especially for house cats. On this page we will give you a step by step guide to clipping cat claws, trimming tips and a great video.
Cats that have access to the outside may not need their claws clips. Running, climbing and walking on rough surfaces such as the pavement, the road or up a tree will naturally wear down the claws. It is still important for owners of outdoor cats to check the paws for overgrown claws and injuries regularly.
Indoor cats will normally require some human intervention due to a lack of rough surfaces to wear down the claws. Your cat may only get to walk on soft carpets during the day which will do little to keep the claws short and blunt. A long clawed cat can cause injury to other pets and humans without the intention to do so. They can also ruin furniture, doors and items in the house because their claws are too long. A cat will try to wear down there claws by scratching things, if they are too long a cat won't hesitate doing this on a carpet or your leather sofa. This is where we need to step in and give them a helping hand.
It is therefore important for an indoor cat to have their claws trimmed regularly. This can be done at your vet or at the groomers. It can also be done by yourself in your home.
A cat’s paw is made up of a hard protein called keratin, it is divided into two main parts.
The first part is called the 'quick'. This contains your cats nerves and blood vessels, these must not be cut as it will cause pain to your cat. If the quick is cut then your cats claws may start to bleed. Cutting part of the quick can easily be treated by a vet and to note cats can loose claws naturally outside.
The second part of the claw structure is the end of the claw which is similar to bone, this is the part that forms a sharp end and which can be trimmed. This part contains no nerves or blood cells and will not be painful if cut, similar to a human nail.
To successfully be able to cut your cats claws safely you should start from when your cat is a kitten. When clipping cat claws you will need to actually hold the paw itself. Unless accustomed with this from a young age this may irritate your cat. It is therefore recommended as a kitten to handle your cats claws. Stroking them and holding them when your cat is resting is a good way to do this and should be rewarded with a treat. A cat comfortable with having their claws touched will subsequently help you to clip your cats claws.
It is not normally necessary to trim cats claws on the back legs. Most outdoor and indoor cats will wear these down. Nevertheless still check them to see if they need a trim. If needed, clip the back paws once or twice a year. The front paws will need to be trimmed more often.
Now we are going to look at clipping cat claws and how this process can be easier than you may think!
Step by Step Guide to Clipping Cat Claws:
Step 1. Approach your cat when they are sleeping or tired.
Step 2. Ideally place your cat on your lap or on a safe yet comforting area. Try to stroke them to send them back to sleep. If you cant then rest them on a small table.
Step 3. Hold your cats paws on and off for about 20 seconds to get them used to having their paws touched without getting too curious. Do this over a course of a few minutes until they get used to it. Mixing this in with a good cuddle and fuss will make this even easier.
Step 4. When ready pick up the cutting tool.
Step 5. With your other hand gently hold the paw and retract your cats claws.
Step 6. You should see the pinkish tissue at the start of the paw and the sharp tip of the claw.
Step 7. If the claws are long then clip three quarters away from the quick of the claw (approximately a quarter away from the tip). You should see where the pink part becomes solid white, you want to cut the white part at the tip of the claw.
Step 8. Repeat the process with all your cats claws and on the other paw.
Remember you do not have to do all the claws at once, this process can last over several days, depending on your cats patience. Half a paw a day is more than satisfactory
Video of Difficult Cat Having Their Claws Trimmed
It is important for indoor cats to have access to a scratch post in the house. This will help them wear down the claws naturally, it may also save some of your furniture.
If you find clipping cat claws difficult or too daunting then get your cats claws trimmed at the vet or local groomers.
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