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Clipping Cat/kitten claws?

post #1 of 22
Thread Starter 
do I need to clip my cat and kitten's claws? My kitten will climb up the back of chairs because he can with those claws and they seem to be getting quite long at just 9 weeks old. The cat, she tears around, but don't use her claws like the kitten. When playing kitten will use his claws to get at something and if you are holding it, he will scratch. Cat doesn't play like that, and when she has pawed, it seems mostly claws in.

So, I know my parents used to have a special "clipper" for the dogs nails, do I need the same thing for cats, or would nail clippers work since they are so much smaller? And how often do you do it? And when do you start?
post #2 of 22
Start NOW. I clip kitten's nails starting at 3 weeks old. Till they get a little size on them, I use ordinary fingernail clippers as the nails are too tiny for regular cat clippers. Check and clip nails as needed once a week - kittens may need twice a week.

I like the scissor kind best:

http://www.petsupply-store.com/mille...9327a0b08776a5


Just nip off the sharp tip - don't cut too far. You need to train the kittens/cat to sit still on your lap - 3 week old kittens are pretty wiggly but I get it done with very little problems.
post #3 of 22
I would also recommend starting now. You probably could use just a regular nail clipper on a kittens tiny, razor sharp little claws if you think they'll be easier.
post #4 of 22
kitties definitely need their nails trimmed. I just clipped mine after I found him looking rather pathetic as he sat there with one paw stuck in the ropes on his scratching post. My other cat gets his paws stuck on carpets sometimes as well. nevermind what their claws do to you when they go to chase your bra straps.. ouch!
post #5 of 22
I agree. I start clipping early. With our two kittens, they fussed a little to get their nails done, but I didn't have any major problems getting theirs done. I agree about the scissor type clippers. I prefer that kind. Our adults threw a fit when I first did theirs, so it was obvious that they weren't ever taught to sit still while getting them done. I had to have my husband hold them the first couple of times. They're doing better about it now, though. My philosophy is that the sooner you get them used to getting nails clipped, the easier it is when they get older.
post #6 of 22
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by TNKittyMom View Post
I agree. I start clipping early. With our two kittens, they fussed a little to get their nails done, but I didn't have any major problems getting theirs done. I agree about the scissor type clippers. I prefer that kind. Our adults threw a fit when I first did theirs, so it was obvious that they weren't ever taught to sit still while getting them done. I had to have my husband hold them the first couple of times. They're doing better about it now, though. My philosophy is that the sooner you get them used to getting nails clipped, the easier it is when they get older.
Well, thanks to everyone's advice, I did get their nails clipped today. I did baby first, and MOM was NOT happy hearing him fuss! But they are done. Then I started on Oreo- she was NOT happy at ALL- so I had dd11 bring me a towel, wrapped her in that for her second front paws, she did good, then for her back paws, I put the towel over her head and body, and she fussed, but she did ok- I didnt' get BIT! lol And by the afternoon, she was back to letting me hug and kiss and pet on her! So it wasn't the ordeal I thought it would be- AND I was able to use regular clippers on BOTH of them! yay! I would rather work week to week on clipping nails than get them declawed, so I told dh today I would do that, AND if need be, get them a scratching post!

I tell ya, day by day I am much more glad we kept the cats! they are such a blessing!
post #7 of 22
Yay! Good job! I'm really thrilled to hear that you've chosen not to declaw either. I don't agree with declawing at all when there are so many ways to work around scratching problems. Anyway, good job on getting those nails done. It will get easier with time.
post #8 of 22
Totally get them a scratching post!! They need to scratch even if you clip their claws; they shed the old tops of their nails periodically, just like we shed hair, and they scratch to get rid of them. Probably feels itchy. Also, digging their claws into something is a good way to stretch--cats' muscles need stretching, and that is why declawed cats so often have problems with muscles and joints--they can't scratch right, so they can't stretch properly.

My Tiny has got a horizontal cardboard scratcher--I put some catnip on it and he just went wild! I clip his claws also, but he still needs to scratch.
post #9 of 22
Oh I could never declaw a cat!

I have actually lost my kitty clippers, but when you're cutting them, gently press your finger into the large foot pad, and that gets the nails to stick out a little, and massage their paws too to comfort them. You don't need to cut them short, just get the sharp tips off. You can see through the nail a bit, do not cut the pink part you see inside! That is tissue and will be a big OUCH! from your kitty if you nick it.

Good luck!
post #10 of 22
Excellent. As the others have said, getting them used to nail clipping while really young is a great thing. I used to stroke and handle Bijou's paws whenever he was on my lap or hanging out with me to get him used to having his paws touched. Both he and Mika are great when it comes to clipping. I also use the human nail clippers - just turned to the side which seems to prevent splitting for me at least.

A scratching post is a great idea too because as said above, they still need to stretch and scratch it seems. It's a win/win situation - the cats don't get declawed and you keep your furniture intact.
post #11 of 22
I use human fingernail clippers. I've found them to be easy to maneuver and see where I'm cutting than cat nail clippers, and they don't slip around like the cat ones do... Actually I used fingernail clippers for pretty much everything but the dogs (their nails are too big...) I used those for the rats, rabbits, guinea pig, etc... Worked great for me.
post #12 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jennywren93 View Post
do I need to clip my cat and kitten's claws? My kitten will climb up the back of chairs because he can with those claws and they seem to be getting quite long at just 9 weeks old. The cat, she tears around, but don't use her claws like the kitten. When playing kitten will use his claws to get at something and if you are holding it, he will scratch. Cat doesn't play like that, and when she has pawed, it seems mostly claws in.

So, I know my parents used to have a special "clipper" for the dogs nails, do I need the same thing for cats, or would nail clippers work since they are so much smaller? And how often do you do it? And when do you start?
You may or may not "need" to. I keep around lots of cat trees and toys and stuff that is hers to make her nails sharp.

But I cut her nails often since she will accidently snag things less with them short, she won't hurt much when she climbs on people, and she won't be as likely to hurt or take an eye out on the dogs when they play rough. She can still climb great when she wants with her short nails, and she doesn't tear up our stuff (if you don't count the blinds, yes, she has trained us to keep those blinds up).

Yes, they have special cat clippers. The breeder started mine before I had her, as a kitten at 8 weeks or so I think they had their first experience I am not sure, anyway from a young age, I kept it up.
The sooner the better. I do it after bath time ( I have a Sphynx and have to wash often), so she is wrapped in a towel when I do them. I clip nails every week. Watch out for the quick, cat nails are easy to tell where the quick is located, don't hit that and you should be fine.
post #13 of 22
My family got my elderkitty declawed and she still limps. I could never do that again...it's so upsetting to watch her. (i was only 13 at the time and didn't have a choice. my parents thought it necessary...but when she came home they regretted it.)

12 years later...she still limps when she first wakes up.

I'm going to just trim Isosceles. (and it might come to a fight here at home...we have a disagreement over this, but he's so good about not scratching i don't think it's necessary! my only concern is that the older cat has no means to defend herself, but they're kept apart if i'm not around...so she can sleep.)
post #14 of 22
Fantastic that you're going to let Isosceles keep is claws and then just trim them to keep them from being razor sharp

Lots of people have kept declawed and clawed kitties together without problems. Declawed cats can still deliver a punch with their paws and cats tend to mostly intimidate one another through body language anyway. Someone else can chime in with that though I've only ever been around fully clawed cats.
post #15 of 22
Well, the shelter I used to work at (a no-kill place) had cats, ten to a room, and they had some clawed and some declawed, and they usually lived together quite peaceably. There were fights sometimes, but I can't ever recall anyone getting hurt--and this was in a place with 400+ cats in close quarters.
post #16 of 22
I cut my cat's nails once every two or three weeks. It's best to start them when they're young. I feel that they tolerate it more. I started clipping my cat Pooch's nails when he was around 2, and out of the three cats that I have (I started clipping the other two's when they were very young), Pooch whines the most.
post #17 of 22
Do you HAVE to cut them though? I can't tell you the last time I cut my guys' nails, and they haven't grown back into their paws or anything. I always get them trimmed when I take them for their yearlies, and I have scratching posts set up.
post #18 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by GoldenKitty45 View Post
Start NOW. I clip kitten's nails starting at 3 weeks old. Till they get a little size on them, I use ordinary fingernail clippers as the nails are too tiny for regular cat clippers. Check and clip nails as needed once a week - kittens may need twice a week.

I like the scissor kind best:

http://www.petsupply-store.com/mille...9327a0b08776a5


Just nip off the sharp tip - don't cut too far. You need to train the kittens/cat to sit still on your lap - 3 week old kittens are pretty wiggly but I get it done with very little problems.
I use those scissors too for Luna. I love them, they have made it a lot easier to clip her nails. I haven't clipped Shermie's nails yet, but i NEED to. haha.
post #19 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by Siggav View Post
Fantastic that you're going to let Isosceles keep is claws and then just trim them to keep them from being razor sharp

Lots of people have kept declawed and clawed kitties together without problems. Declawed cats can still deliver a punch with their paws and cats tend to mostly intimidate one another through body language anyway. Someone else can chime in with that though I've only ever been around fully clawed cats.
And those are some claws!

My friend has a clawed and declawed cat. The clawed cat is the younger one and wants to play more, but I think she's learned that the older cat doesn't have claws (Or that the older cat can still kick the younger one's butt if she gets too annoyed) since she has never had any scratch-injuries.
post #20 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jennywren93 View Post
Well, thanks to everyone's advice, I did get their nails clipped today. I did baby first, and MOM was NOT happy hearing him fuss! But they are done. Then I started on Oreo- she was NOT happy at ALL- so I had dd11 bring me a towel, wrapped her in that for her second front paws, she did good, then for her back paws, I put the towel over her head and body, and she fussed, but she did ok- I didnt' get BIT! lol And by the afternoon, she was back to letting me hug and kiss and pet on her! So it wasn't the ordeal I thought it would be- AND I was able to use regular clippers on BOTH of them! yay! I would rather work week to week on clipping nails than get them declawed, so I told dh today I would do that, AND if need be, get them a scratching post!

I tell ya, day by day I am much more glad we kept the cats! they are such a blessing!
Scratching posts are a must-have (and a necessary evil when you see how much they cost!! ) I still dream of getting my two kitties a really crazy tall one with all kinds of posts...they have two short ones. Maybe someday...But I've found that my two prefer sisal and short carpet over the longer carpet...In fact, all 4 cats I've introduced to this long carpet one haven't even touched it.. It may be time to give it to the shelter. Maybe SOME cat SOMEWHERE will like it. =P
post #21 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by miao_kitty View Post
And those are some claws!

My friend has a clawed and declawed cat. The clawed cat is the younger one and wants to play more, but I think she's learned that the older cat doesn't have claws (Or that the older cat can still kick the younger one's butt if she gets too annoyed) since she has never had any scratch-injuries.
oh thanks to everyone! Yeah he does seem to be behaving just how your friend's cat is...mostly just wants to play (thus my keeping them apart during the day.)

I did trim Isosceles claws. It wasn't too hard. I trimmed one paw, then he started struggling, so I let him run around. When he came back I petted him, calmed him down, and trimmed the other.

I'm glad, though, to hear about everyone's experiences! i don't want old Merfy being beat up...she deserves the best, you know? Thanks.
post #22 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by greenvillegal View Post
Do you HAVE to cut them though? I can't tell you the last time I cut my guys' nails, and they haven't grown back into their paws or anything. I always get them trimmed when I take them for their yearlies, and I have scratching posts set up.

I suppose you don't have to do them, but I don't see how you can stand to hold, cuddle, groom or wash a cat without trimming the nails. Its not that hard to do and IMO once a year is silly.

Hopefully your cats will never experience a lost eye from a long nail, getting caught in a curtain/rug and ripping it out, etc.
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