Originally Posted by momto3cats
I have never had much luck with the towel method. I find it easier to do it when they're sleepy and relaxed - I pet the cat and talk soothingly to her while clipping as quickly as I can. If she gets upset, I just stop, and finish another day. My attitude seems to make a big difference, also. I try to be very calm and matter-of-fact about the whole thing, and that makes it much easier than before, when I was apprehensive about the cat's possible reaction.
And as Amy has also said "Best time to do it is when they're groggy from a nap. Don't attempt to clip their nails on YOUR schedule
Very good advice!
Personally, I did try the towel technique and it only made it worse. Once the cat associates a negative feeling with what you're trying to do, it just makes it worse. But that is just my experience.
My youngest first got his nails clipped at the vet, without my permission. I had brought him in for something and they went ahead and did it, "as a curtesy". I was SOOOOO UPSET
. Why? Because all my hard work to build up his trust was down the drain. When I next came to trim his nails, he screamed and fought it like I was going to cuttoff his paws.
First thing I did was quit trying to cut his nails for a while. Then, each time I would hold him and be petting him, I would make sure to gently rub/touch all of his paws.
As Amy and Momto3cats have suggested, I too waited to do it while they were asleep or just waking up. If he started to wake up as I was trimming his nails, I would simply stop and gently stroke him, and just softly murmur to him.
You can't cut their nails when you're in the mood to, it has to be when the cat is very relaxed.
It's all about building up that trust. Once your kitty realizes you're not going to hurt him, he will relax a whole lot more. Also, I tend to leave the back paws alone as their nails don't get so sharp back there.
Hope this helps!
Extreme Kitty Lover