Trimming Your Cat’s Nails

If a cat’s claws get too long, they can fracture painfully or get snagged on things. It’s important to keep your cat’s nails properly trimmed to avoid any injury. Learn how below from Fayetteville NC veterinarian.

Time It Right

The best time to start regular nail trimmings is when your cat is still young. This way, she’ll grow up with the process as a normal part of life. Of course, older cats can get acclimated to the process as well, it just may take a bit more patience.

Before the Clip

Before you ever pick up the clippers, simply massage each of your cat’s paws gently for a few minutes. Press on the paw pad and toe to extend the nail. These maneuvers will help acclimate your cat to the sensations she’ll feel during an actual clipping.

Once your cat is used to having her paws handled, you’re ready to start clipping. Sit down with your cat in a quiet, low-traffic, well-lit area.

Clip the Nails

Pick a paw to start with, then extend a claw. Gently snip off just the tip of the nail—you’re only trying to blunt it. Move on to the next nail and work your way around. If you accidentally snip too far down on a nail, you may cut the vein that runs into each nail. Bleeding will result, in which case you’ll want to have a styptic powder or pencil on hand to staunch the flow.

Multiple Clippings

Don’t think that you have to cut the nails of each paw all at once. If needed, you can break up the nail trimmings into several sessions, perhaps one paw a day. This is very helpful for cats who are anxious or have trouble sitting still.

Reward Your Cat

When trimming time is over and your cat’s claws are successfully blunted, give your cat a treat or two for a job well done.

Ask your Fayetteville NC veterinarian for a recommendation on good cat nail trimmers, as well as other advice on the claw-trimming procedure.