When and How to Trim Your Cat’s Claws

Claw Care for Your Cats

Nail trimming is an important part of grooming and taking care of your pet. Cats, however, can get very stressed about having their claws trimmed. With their fast reflexes and agile nature, they can make this necessary task difficult and frustrating. But there is a way to have your cat be calm and serene whilst getting their quick manicure.

Despite what you may have heard, cats benefit from having their nails trimmed. Cat’s nails grow in layers. When a cat sharpens their claws on a scratching post, they are removing the older layers and exposing the new stronger layers. However, if a cat cannot remove these older layers, they can get ingrown nails, which can be painful and lead to infections. This is where nail trimmings are a great solution.
But what if your cat hates nail clippers or even having their paws touched? We have come up with a quick list for you to try at home so you and your cat can develop a good habit of easy, stress-free nail trimming.

Know your Cat’s Claws!

Cat Grooming- Vet Clinic Potomac, Rockville, Bethesda MDMost cats have 18 claws: five on each front paw and four on each back paw. However, some cats have extra claws known as supernumerary digits. Take the time and know how many claws your cat has. While your cat is relaxed, gently press each toe and see their claws slowly extend. Practice doing this action so your cat gets comfortable with having someone touch their paws.

Start Early

Starting with a young cat is beneficial, getting them used to it from a young age. This can work with adult cats too, it just might take longer for them to be accepting of the idea.
Comfortability with paw handling.

Some cats really don’t like having their paws touched. However, this can become a comfortable action for your cat if you take time to do it. Practice holding their paws until they are comfortable with you holding them for a period of time. This may take a few days for your cat to become used to this action, but keep at it. Once they are comfortable with you holding their paws, try to extend their claws so they become used to that as well.

Paw Massage Anyone?

You can also get your cat to be more relaxed while handling their paws if you equate this action with some pleasure. Give them a gentle massage on each paw. A few seconds of gentle pressure on each paw will make them feel at ease.

Don’t Fight It

If your cat seems irritable when you are in the middle of trimming their nails, stop! Cats have good memories, and if they relate being angry during nail trimmings, it will make it even more difficult the next time you try to do it.

Be as Efficient as Possible

Cats do not have the patience to wait for you to trim their nails. Heck, if you can hold your cat for more than 10 minutes while trying to trim their nails than you have the most patient feline in the world. Be as efficient as possible, and the trimming will be over before your cat knows it.

Need a Helping Hand?

And if you don’t feel comfortable trimming your cat’s nails, don’t fret. Our staff is well-trained in cat nail trimmings. Call us to schedule an appointment to have your cat’s nail trimmed so you and your cat can enjoy some play time at home.

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