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Clipping the dew claw

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
I have real trouble with this. I have to turn my cat on his back and hold him like a baby, then try to push the claw out (that is difficult and his fur is long so that doesn't help). Then concentrate on clipping it correctly. He is not happy through all of this. The problem is the dew claw gets caught on blankets and comforters and is snagging the heck out of them.

Any suggestions? Do vets ever de-dew-claw a cat like they do a dog? Mind you I would NEVER EVER declaw my cat -- this particular chore is difficult though.
post #2 of 17
I clip both our cats. When I clip them I can usually do them all myself with the older cat, but the new cat puts up a bit of a fight and I have to ask for some help. Ask someone at home to help hold the kitty's legs and you should be able to do it just fine. After about three clippings the cat should get much better and you should be able to do it all yourself soon! Oh, and give them a treat once your done!
post #3 of 17
I clip ALL the nails - if you don't get the dew claw (thumb), then it can grow so long it curls into the toe pad! I usually do this one first; that way I don't forget it. However I have all shorthair cats

The one LH I had was a turkish angora and he HATED clipping nails - was the hardest cat I've ever done - and I could not do him in one sitting - would take 2-3 rounds
post #4 of 17
I had to teach my cats to sit in my lap to clip their claws, because I could never get their dew-claws any other way lol. I sit the cat on my lap, then bring my arm right around them so they can't go anywhere, and push the claw out that way to clip it. Kinda hard to explain lol

Both Tazz and Socks are medium haired, and I've found the easiest way to see their claws are to keep the fur around clipped short, so that there aren't tufts of hair in my way
post #5 of 17
My cat is only like 1yr old so for me I am still trainging her to stay still. I trypically almost sit on her so she can not go backwards and I lift her paw up and clip. Its taken some learning for me where to clip and to be fast with it. Even if you clip to much and it bleeds, depending how far down it will stop with in a few min. Only happened once
post #6 of 17
I always trim the declaw on my cats. It is a bit harder since it's at a different angle, but I wait until my kitties are asleep and them trim their claws.
post #7 of 17
I have always clipped my cats' claws and it can be exasperating. I find my success rate depends on their mood. RIGHT AFTER a nap works well, or right as they are falling asleep.

The dew claw is tricky because it requires a firmer hold at a specific angle. I try to do the dew first; if the cat gets too annoyed I release them and get to the rest of the nails later.

I never tried it with a cat on its back; that seems awkward? They are lying across my lap, secured under my left arm. Often I tuck their head under the crook of my arm (or they do it themselves).

I more change *my* position with I do the dew claw so as not to aggravate the cat who is sitting fairly peacefully. If that makes sense. If cat gets wiry sometimes it helps to give a firm ruffle of the neck tuft; that can buy me a couple extra seconds. If you had a 2nd pair of hands to help, that would be ideal of course.....my husband is NOT good with this so I just do it myself I have often found whether at work or at home, the too many cooks in the kitchen theory is true--it's best if I just get a command on the situation.

Three of my 5 cats have longer fur; I just get used to pushing it back at the same time as I extend their nails.

Keep the treats right there; I give one before and one after the trimming so they know it's coming.
post #8 of 17
Cutting the dewclaw on my kitten is easy compared to cutting the nails on my polydactyl (6 digits on each front) he has a small digit between his thumb and regular digits that is really hard to get at! My bf trims both cats nails because he holds them better then I can! He usually holds them so that they are sitting up (back to him) on his lap! I can do the job myself if someone else holds the cats, so instead of taking extra steps he does it on his own! The kittens dewclaws are a breeze to my bf compared to our poly's nails! Practice and patience seems to be the key! If you can only get both fronts done in one shot then come back and get the hind ones later on!
post #9 of 17
I kinda hold them on their backs or sitting with the back towards me. For very young kittens (3 weeks - a few months) its sometimes easier to just let them sprawl out on your leg. But around 3-4 months old I start training them to be done on their backs and cuddle them more like a baby.
post #10 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by GoldenKitty45 View Post
I kinda hold them on their backs or sitting with the back towards me. For very young kittens (3 weeks - a few months) its sometimes easier to just let them sprawl out on your leg. But around 3-4 months old I start training them to be done on their backs and cuddle them more like a baby.
Just goes to show different things work with different cats

Most cats I have had or worked with feel threatened when their tummy is exposed (it's a submissive position). Your cats must trust you very much

And of course, training something since kitten hood makes a world of difference.

3 of my 5 let me do just about anything but I have a couple moody doodies. They will tolerate the nail trim but let me know they are *NOT* pleased the whole time
post #11 of 17
Thread Starter 
I managed to trim both dewclaws today (I was so proud of myself). I took my cat in the bathroom (where I normally do nail trimming). I was petting and petting him until he was purring like crazy -- then I picked him up with his head and front legs hangin over my knees. I felt for the nail and clipped -- half my problem was I have been looking in the wrong place for the dewclaw. Boy, was that sucker long (excuse my language). Anyhow, even though he was purring, he snapped at me a few times but they were really pathetic attempts -- I know he wouldn't actually hurt me.

Well, hopefully we are good for another month -- at least the dewclaws.
post #12 of 17
Good job! Its always nerve racking getting those little suckers (dewclaws)! Im proud of you for taking charge and doing it yourself! Congrats!
post #13 of 17
Quote:
Anyhow, even though he was purring, he snapped at me a few times but they were really pathetic attempts -- I know he wouldn't actually hurt me.
Hah! I say that too but I always remember that pets are unpredictable It's like, if I mentally whisper to them " I know you are trusting me but could draw blood in a New York Second" they settle down more. I have strange logic

Grayboy will growl like a beast the whole time. It's really quite melodramatic. People who see this are terrified for me, hee! After we are done, Grayboy licks/rubs my hand and trots off with his treat. Frodo, if moody, will 'love bite' me. It's so gentle but I also know for her to do that she is warning. Kowe, my laidback human cat, would probably let me perform unaesthetized surgery on her. Caesar purrs. Roo freaks right before the last paw. But after a few indignant glares, everyone is peachy. Hilarious stuff.

I have noticed when I am not 'on' and I am not doing a decisive, swift/clean clip (in other words, I hesitate too much, which can actually 'pull' the nail and cause more discomfort) -- that is when my cats get more anxious. You want to be careful of course, but confident, clean clips get the most success (around here).

Good job!
post #14 of 17
After I give my cat a bath, when she is wrapped in the towel, I clip.

I guess you don't need to give the kitty a bath to clip, just wrap her up,and have one foot out at a time, then after clipping, put that foot back and go onto the next.
post #15 of 17
My husband trims their nails...he lays them in his lap with their paws up in the air! Kilowatt doesn't even mind at all. He is so laid back it only takes a few minutes!

With Megabyte I pet his head and belly and he purrs while DH trims his nails. They both are really good.
post #16 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by meow meow View Post
I have real trouble with this. I have to turn my cat on his back and hold him like a baby, then try to push the claw out (that is difficult and his fur is long so that doesn't help). Then concentrate on clipping it correctly. He is not happy through all of this. The problem is the dew claw gets caught on blankets and comforters and is snagging the heck out of them.

Any suggestions? Do vets ever de-dew-claw a cat like they do a dog? Mind you I would NEVER EVER declaw my cat -- this particular chore is difficult though.
If you've got an extra person, have one person hold the cat by the scruff of the neck. Put the cats rump sort of up in your armpit (best to do this on a counter top or bed or something) and if the cat is a biter, take the other hand and slide it up under the cats chin so that they have difficulty opening their mouth (don't strangle them or anything. It's really meant as just a guide to keep the cat from taking off a finger) then clip away. For the Dew Claws, I roll him over on his side and hold his back feet in place so he can't push up off the ground (sort of the way ranchers manipulate cattle) and take off.

We tried the swaddling method and it didn't work, The vet showed us the method I just explained and that's the way we do it now. Couple of minutes and all the front claws are snipped. We don't bother with the back claws so he can have some grip for climbing.

Our cat hates having his paws touched (he's got this "I'm being tortured" meow that starts happening as soon as my wife touches the first paw and it will build to a crescendo and then he starts hissing and spitting)., but we can't afford to pay the vet 20 bucks every 2 weeks to have it done. Plus he hates going to the vet worse than getting his claws clipped. So I guess it's the lessor of two evils. hehe

I should note, we've never cut the quick, he just hates us touching his paws. It drives him bonkers. At times like this I almost wish we had gotten him as a kitten so we could have trained him.
post #17 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jpawz View Post

Grayboy will growl like a beast the whole time. It's really quite melodramatic.

Frodo, if moody, will 'love bite' me. It's so gentle but I also know for her to do that she is warning.
I know the feeling, Spook is a regular noise machine while I'm trimming his back toes. Kay, our girl, gets kinda freaked at the noise he's making the entire time, and she comes over to pet his head and tell him it OK (the sweet empathies of a 4yo!!) He just sits and watches intently while I trim his front feet. He even kind of turns his foot for me to snag his dewclaws, but I guess after nearly 8 yrs of having 'mom' trim your toes you learn it'll be over quicker if you don't actually fight back.
And I get the 'love bites' usually when I'm giving belly rubs with my foot while he's playing sleeping otter (all sprawled out on his back). I know he can draw blood if he wants and have the scars on my arm from rescuing him from under a neighbors car in 2002, but like to think he doesn't if the need isn't there, n nail trimming and belly love just don't need it...
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