Do you cut your cat’s nails? Here’s why you should.
Tigers keep their nails sharp by scratching tree trunks, and like their big cousins, cats do the same! When cats scratch at posts, logs, and even furniture, not only do they mark the surface with their scent, but they also strip away the old, frayed layers of their nails to reveal fresh, sharp claws ready to head toward the world fall.
While kittens do a fine job of keeping their nails in fine murder glove shape, extra sharp claws just aren’t enough in a household. With all of the soft surfaces and human skin around the house, cat claws that are too long can cause problems for a kitten. While cats always need their claws, helping them keep their nails to a manageable length is a must. That means you and a couple of hair clippers must step in to save fabric and meat!
Cutting cat nails may seem like a challenge, but with patience and positive reinforcement, you and your cat will be professionals at nail cutting in no time. This important job protects your cat from paw injuries that cause the nails to grow too long and get caught on soft surfaces. As cat nails grow, they tend to curl into sharp daggers that can penetrate the soft paw pads and cause pain.
Shadi J. Ireifej, DVM, DACVS from VetTriage also points out: “Nails that are too long are not only uncomfortable for the cat, but also more prone to inappropriate behavior such as scratching doors, furniture and other household items or surfaces. “
How Often Should You Cut Your Cat’s Nails?
While experts recommend every 10 days to 2 weeks as a reasonable foundation for cat nail cuts, it really depends on your cat’s nails. Dr. Ireifej suggests, “There is no specific guideline for when to cut a cat’s nails as each cat has a different nail growth rate, but eventually you can estimate how often this needs to be done.”
When it has been a while since the last cut, you will know it’s time when your cat looks like its paws are sticking to the furniture or carpet because its claws keep getting caught.
But where do you start when it comes to clipping your cat’s nails?
Nail clippers versus grinders
First of all, you need to choose whether to use a clipper or grinder to trim a cat’s nails.
When it comes to hair clippers, you can choose either scissors, guillotine clippers, or even human nail clippers, as cat claws are small enough to fit between the blades. It depends on your preference, but the College of Veterinary Medicine at Washington State University recommends using the guillotine or human fingernail clippers as the easiest way to cut cat nails and use the scissors type “when a toenail is so long that he rolls up a circle. “
Some cats might care less about getting their nails trimmed and watch them wait for the reward they know will come in the end. Other cats can be a nightmare when they see the clippers come out and fight with all their might to get out. Instead, try a grinder or emery board for cats who feel terrified at the sight or sound of clippers.
Grinders gently sand the nail and blunt the sharp point to a blunt length that will prevent kittens from getting caught on the couch or in your skin. However, if the noise or vibration of the grinder is affecting a cat’s sensitivity, try a simple nail file instead. Just grab an emery board and give your kitten a mani!
How to cut your cat’s nails
Okay you have the cat and the clipper, let’s cut!
First step: make yourself comfortable
Some cats will settle right in your lap for the cut. Others may need to be persuaded and bribed with love and goodies. Then there are these cats that could be described as difficult. And how do you cut a cat’s nails if they don’t want to? Very carefully!
Seriously, if your cat is having trouble cutting nails, consider wrapping them in a towel or blanket to hold them gently in place. You only need one paw from the packaging at a time. This kind of reluctance can also help kittens feel calmer.
You can even get a second person’s help when clipping your cat’s nails – one person to hold while the other clips.
Step two: prepare the paw
With your cat’s paw in hand, select a toe and gently press it forward with your thumb to reveal the claw. You will notice the sharp white tip and a pink center closer to the paw. That tiny white tip is what you are going to trim. It’ll be such a small clip that you might think you didn’t pinch anything at all!
But before you start any clipping or sanding, let’s talk about the pink part in the claw. Be careful not to cut into this extremely sensitive part of the nail! Known as the nail fast, this soft tissue is rich in nerves and blood vessels and causes pain if it has penetrated. Imagine cutting into your bed of nails. Yes, that awful pain that you imagine is the same as a cat will feel if its nail is nicked quickly!
If you accidentally make a quick cut on the nail, apply stylistic powder to the bleeding tip. If you don’t have a typical powder, use flour, cornstarch, or even a dry bar of soap to stop the bleeding.
Step three: make the clip
Okay, you’ve learned where to cut your nail and read your clipper or grinder’s instructions back and forth. Your cat is relaxed in your grip and you have identified the safety zone using the quick zone in your cat’s nail. It all depends. Position the blades and snap the clip with quick, firm pressure! Repeat on all of those adorable little toes and feet, including the hind paws.
Don’t forget the dew claws! Since there are dew claws on the inside of the front paws, it can be difficult to attach these claw claws. You will need to maneuver the dew claw away from the paw, but be careful not to feel uncomfortable sticking the claw off the paw to gain access.
Step four: love and reward
After the nails are nice and neat, reward your kitten with hugs, kind words, and loads of goodies!
If you don’t feel comfortable clipping your cat’s nails, make an appointment with the veterinarian to have the cat’s nails trimmed. During your stay, ask the doctor or veterinarian if they can show you how to cut a cat’s nails for you.
Tips for clipping your cat’s nails
- For the first time, do not insert a clipper to trim. Leave them in places where your cat can see and examine them. Remove the puzzle and make a happy fuss around her. This way, your cat will learn that the clippers are not an instrument brought out for their torture!
- Encourage your cat to accept handling their paws with frequent paw massages. If cats are used to having their feet touched regularly, it will help with clipping for both you and them.
- Choose a quiet place for your cat nail salon, away from other animals. Make sure your spot has plenty of light. These claws are small for seeing!
- Try different positions if your cat squirms during the pedicure. Maybe Kitty will like it if the process is better on his side than being held in your arms.
- Try clicker training to reinforce the positive association with trimming a cat’s nails.
- Start young. The sooner a cat has nail cuts, the easier it will be for you as they get older.
- The trim time should coincide with a quieter time on your cat’s day. Pick a time when your cat is usually relaxed, rather than energetic playtime. To make sure your cat is feeling calm, you can include them in a good play session first.
- Treats are a must!
- Catnip makes everything better!
While it’s a delicate job, trimming cat’s nails is one of those simple but necessary tasks that will bring you and your cat to live a good life together!
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H / T: www.popsugar.com