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How do you clip your cat's nails?

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
We adopted our cat a month ago and he must be ready for a nail clipping. I bought a cat nail clipper that looks like a scissors. Do you have your DH or SO help you or do you just hold him/her yourself and do it. Do you hold him/her on your lap or on a different surface? Do you keep styptic powder near by incase you clip the quick? Any suggestions are welcome.
post #2 of 13
I had my vet show me how to do it correctly the first time, and I've never clipped too short as a result, although I do have some of that powder in the medicine cabinet.

I hold Ginger myself, and she doesn't like it, but submits. I give her a treat right afterward. I can do all 4 paws at once with her. I haven't even attempted to do Ferris' because he's still too feral, and will bite and claw if restrained like that.

Some people don't even hold their cats, but they wait until they are lying relaxed or asleep and then sneak in to cut one claw at a time. Sometimes just one is all you can do, so you just keep coming back to do the others, one at a time.

I think because every cat is different, you just have to experiment a bit and find what works best for you and your kitty.
post #3 of 13
We clipped Carl's claws the first night he was at our apartment (we adopted him this Saturday). DH let him fall asleep in his lap, and held him/petted him while I trimmed his claws. I have the clippers that look like a mini guiotine, where you put the claw in the whole and close the blades-it works alright, but I think I may try the scissors kind since Carl doesn't like the feeling of having his claw trapped in the hole. It was pretty uneventful, he seemed to not really care, as long as I only had a hold of his paw for a short time. We will probably trim them again before we put on his Soft Claws.

You have to be VERY careful not to trim too short, if you hit their quick (the flesh part in the nail), it will bleed for a long time, and it hurts like hell for them. When we had our lab, my brother quicked him by accident(easier to do with dogs who have black nails cause you can't see the fleshy part through the nail), and he was lame for a while (not to mention bleeding all over the place and howling like a crazy dog, poor thing). Keeping styptic powder on hand is a good precaution.
post #4 of 13
My neighbors do Gizmo's hind claws for me. One holds Gizzy with her belly upperwards, and the other clips the claws. Gizmo just lets them do it. I haven't speculated on whether she is mild mannered enough to let ME try alone!
post #5 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by peeps View Post
We adopted our cat a month ago and he must be ready for a nail clipping. I bought a cat nail clipper that looks like a scissors. Do you have your DH or SO help you or do you just hold him/her yourself and do it. Do you hold him/her on your lap or on a different surface? Do you keep styptic powder near by incase you clip the quick? Any suggestions are welcome.
Be very careful.. But i have my Dear Husband hold my cats in a blanket to cover all their paws and nails.. Then I pull out one paw at a time.. It works out faster and quicker.. My girls have soft claws on their front paws.. So I only have to do the back claws right now..

Just don't cut to close to the quick and if the cat has dark claws, then I'd go to the vet or a groomer to show you how close you can cut...

Good luck!
post #6 of 13
Thread Starter 
I had our vet show me how to trim his nails a week after we got him so I understand where the quick is and luckily it's pretty easy to see on him. I held his paws and the vet did the trimming. He lets me touch his feet all the time but he doesn't like being constrained so maybe having DH wrap him in a blanket while I pull out each paw at a time might be easier.

Right after we got him he got something in his eye and it was sore so we had to put eye ointment in his eye for a week and he was awful about letting us do that so that's why I'm concerned that he might be really squirmy during the nail trimming but I guess that's a lot different than putting ointment in his eye.
post #7 of 13
one of our cats is fine about me clipping his front claws, so I do it myself, but for the back claws, I have to have my FI hold him. Our other cat is front declawed (we rescued her from an alley already declawed and spayed) and so she hates her feet being touched, so I hold her (since I'm a bit more experienced than FI) and he clips just the tips of her back feet.
post #8 of 13
I watched the vet cut them the first couple of times. After that I got better with practice. I was hesitant to cut more than the very pointed tip off for the longest time. I'm lucky though, both of my cats have clear nails so it's easy to see the quick. I imagine it would be harder if they had dark nails.

Chynna loves to get her nails cut because I give her a foot massage before and after and she loves that.

Abby on the other hand I have to catch while she's asleep and sneak up on her, hehe
post #9 of 13
I use the scissor type clippers - cat's nails are small and it works well for me (plus I can use it in either hand )

I train my kittens ( and eventually train older cats) to lay back on my lap to clip nails. I always do the back first as if they protest, they tend to push you away with the back nails before the front ones.

Until you get used to clipping (and the cat too) it would be helpful for one person to hold the cat, other to clip the nails. Or you can wrap in a towel and do one foot at at time.

Make it a once a week routine to check and clip nails as necessary - that way kitty will get used to having it done and feet handled.

Its rare for cats to have dark claws - almost all of them (even blacks) have white nails which is a good thing
post #10 of 13
I like to play with my cat's paws. I'll grab them and kinda massage them, and I'll push their claws out and rub the webbing between their toes. At first I don't think any cat likes that, but over time I think they get used to it. It's more difficult to get them used to having their hind paws grabbed though, cat's are pretty protective of their hind paws. Getting them used to having their paws grabbed makes nail cutting a breeze, don't even have to hold the cat or restrain them. Some cats however won't ever get used to this, they just run like hell the moment the see the clipper, and they'll bite and dig nails into you till it hits bone. For those cats using a blind fold helps very much, they kind of just freeze and back up till they hit a wall, and you can grab a paw and clip away.
post #11 of 13
I did have ONE cat that actually purred the entire time you trimmed his nails- yes he was a little nutty
post #12 of 13
I fully endorse getting your cat used to being handled from a very young age, just spreading their pads when they feel comfortable is a good start. Mine are now 9 years old, one is a great softy, the standing line being 'half a cup of cold tea and he's anybodys' he loves it; it's just another opportunity for a cuddle. His brother is a typical black and white with attitude doesn't really mind either. We have the initial squirm of indignity and hurt pride, but even he settles down and lets me get on with it, rounded off with a look of complete disdain when I finish. 2 to 3 minutes a cat and we're done, even the 5th nail, which I agree can grow into the pad if you are not careful. Fortunately they use their scratching post so they're not too bad. I am lucky having got them used to this when they were young and having trained as an animal nurse I have an advantage. However, to anyone who has difficulty doing this please believe you're not a failure, it takes time and your vet is always there to help you.
post #13 of 13
We have a former feral - and she likes hubby more than me - but when she is relaxed, laying on his lap - I am able to do a paw or 2 or 3 before she gets disgusted.
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