So how to do it?
- My first advice is don’t be scared—be confident. The cat will sense it and be more likely to be calm. And you’ll be less likely to jerk if the cat squirms, and therefore less likely to startle the cat.
- My second suggestion is get a helper. What works for us, is if one person cradles the cat on her back like a baby so the other person has good access to each foot.
- Finally, be sure to check out this helpful set of videos from Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine illustrating how to trim your cat’s claws by yourself, where to cut, what to use, and what to do if you cut the quick. You can watch them in sections One, Two, Three, Four, and Five. Or you can watch the whole video.
There are also bags like the Klaw Kontrol bag that you can use to restrain your cat and still have access to their feet through zippered opening.
There are a number of reasons to trim your cat’s claws.
- Trimming claws to protect your furniture is a big reason.
- Elderly cats who aren’t as active and polydactyl cats with their extra toes may need their claws trimmed to keep the claws from growing into their toe pads and hurting them.
- Kitten’s claws are like needles and they aren’t as good at controlling these daggers when they’re young. I found it was really important to keep Sage’s claws trimmed when she was a kitten and she and Raven were getting to know each other. When I didn’t keep them trimmed, Raven would react angrily at a kittenish swipe from Sage because it really hurt. When Sage’s claws were kept trimmed, they played without Raven overreacting.
- We’re sure to trim them if we’re going to have to be giving them medicine.
- And I trim them before visits to the vet, so I can reassure the vet and vet techs that they won’t get scratched. I figure the more comfortable people are with my cats, the more gently they’ll treat them.
Don’t miss the instructional videos on how to pill your cats.