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Be Patient

Take time to read the instructions below and think about your approach to your cat.  Remember to be gentle and to go slowly during the process, otherwise, your cat will have a bad experience and avoid you the next time the trimmers come out of the drawer.

What You’ll Need
How To Trim Your Pet’s Nails

With one hand, hold your cat’s paw and gentle squeeze the toe ( index finger on pad and thumb on top of toe) to extend the nail.

Locate the end of the “quick”. You will see pink inside the nail that comes to a point. This is the blood and nerve supply inside.  If you cut into the quick, you will cause your cat pain and the nail will bleed.  Not the end of the world, but not ideal.

Place nail clippers around the nail, a small distance away from the end of the quick.

Squeeze clippers firmly to cut the nail.  Make sure that the blades cut through the top and bottom of the nail, not side-to-side.  In this manner, you’ll put less pressure on the nail.  Pressure is felt in the nerves of the quick.  Even though you may not be in danger of cutting the quick, the pressure of the trimmer penetrating the nail will cause your cat discomfort and cause him or her to pull away. There is a product called “Kwik Stop” that can be applied to the nail to stop bleeding if you accidentally cut the nail too short. If this product is not available you can use corn starch or flour to stop the bleeding. Although messy this is not life-threatening.

Continue these steps for each nail. Front paws have five nails, back paws four, though some cats are polydactyl

Be very careful to clip a short distance from the quick’s end. Cutting too short and into the quick can cause bleeding and pain. 


Tips for How To Successfully Trim Your Cat’s Nails

Your cat may dislike his or her paws being handled and try to get away. If this happens a few ideas:

    • Clip your cats nails during a time of relaxation.
    • If your cat tries to turn over or use back feet to kick while you trim front feet, wrap your cat in a big bath toweland pull the feet out one at a time.
  • Be sure to reward your cat with a treat when finished.
  • Nail trimming may be easier for cats that are used to their paws being handled.  Touching, gently massaging, and handling your cat’s feet during normal petting time will help your cat get used to having his/her feet handled.
  • When you first begin trimming nails you may want to trim 1-2 nails at a time until your cat is used to it. Follow with a treat.