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Nail clipping catastrophe.

post #1 of 24
Thread Starter 
My kitten, who is about 7 1/2 months old, is a terror, when it comes to clipping his nails. I have been handling his paws (and clipping his nails) since he was two weeks old, when I got him and hand-fed him. He's been progressively getting worse as the months go by, and I'm not sure why. I have never once quicked any of his nails, so I don't think he associates clipping with pain.

He has a slight problem with biting, anyway, but when it comes to clipping his nails, he's like a feral, untamed cat, spitting and biting like crazy.

I have clipped other cats' nails in front of him, especially our perfectly behaved Siamese, who "shows" him how to do it, but it obviously isn't doing much good.

Last night, a friend was over with her two cats, both of whom are pretty friendly with him. I tried clipping his nails, so my friend, who is better with cat behaviour than I am, could see how he behaves, and how bad he's gotten about it. Her cat actually hit my kitten when he started screaming and biting (her cat has this -thing- about loud noises; I guess she bites whatever is making the bad loud noises, and that's exactly what she did last night!). We didn't know that would happen. And now, I'm worried that he might act even worse when I try to clip his nails.

Does anyone have any ideas for me? Any ideas of what to do, or why he does this?
post #2 of 24
I have no idea whether this will help or not, but maybe if you just clip one nail at a time for a while -- so that he doesn't have time to get himself more than a little worked up -- then maybe gradually you can go to two at a time, three at a time...? And, of course, after clipping the one nail praise him.
post #3 of 24
My boy, Toby, doesn't like to have his clipped either. I have never forced him to endure having all clipped if he got upset. I clip as many or as few as I can until he starts getting upset, then I stop. Over the 2 years I've had him he has gotten better. Now I can sometimes clip them all without him getting upset. I try to pick times when he is relaxed to even try. Sometimes I don't get a single one clipped cuz he just isn't in the mood.

Hope this helps!
post #4 of 24
Ok, how OFTEN are you trying to clip nails? Its one thing to handle the feet (and since 2 weeks old he really should be used to it). My cats get checked and clipped every week or every other week.

If you are doing it every month or longer, then that is why he's giving you a fit - the nails are quite long by then. I agree that maybe try and clip one or two nails then let him down. Try again the following day another 1-2 nails, till they are down.

Have you tried wrapping him in a towel and doing it?
post #5 of 24
I find with one of my cats -- who's been getting his claws clipped every two weeks for about 7 years, so you think he'd not stress about it any more! -- it helps sometimes if I sneak up on him while he's sleeping.
post #6 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brokenheart View Post
I have no idea whether this will help or not, but maybe if you just clip one nail at a time for a while -- so that he doesn't have time to get himself more than a little worked up -- then maybe gradually you can go to two at a time, three at a time...? And, of course, after clipping the one nail praise him.
This is what my Kittens for Dummies book says to do! When you read the descriptions of the various cat breeds you find that Persians are very laid back. Persi does not mind in the least having his nails clipped. But Alley requires that I have DW hold her while I clip.
post #7 of 24
I have to wait till my Morty is asleep. I mean asleep like the dead. I test him by lifting his paw and if it just drops back down with no acknowledgement from Morty that I even touched him, then I clip his nails. Once he wakes up and realizes what I'm up to, I have to stop and wait till he is asleep again. I have gotten pretty fast at clipping. The hardest nail is the one that is on the inside a little higher on the foot. Tricky angle. Try while your cat is sleeping, maybe it will work. Maybe give him a treat afterward so he associates it with yummies? That might help.

Good Luck.
post #8 of 24
Course then you have a few (like Charlie) that purrs when you trim nails
post #9 of 24
Sonic hates having his claws trimmed, and trying to hold an Ori in a towel is like trying to keep hold of a bag of eels- I find that doing one or two at a time every couple of days means it doesn't get stressful for any of us, keeping it short and tolerable is preferable to turning it into a battle
post #10 of 24
Thread Starter 
Thanks, guys! I don't know why I hadn't thought of doing one each time. o_o That's like "DUH".

I try to clip his nails every five to seven days, because his nails seem to grow and get sharp SO fast, and he plays rough (another issue we're working on).

Thanks everyone. =) I think the problem is solved. I'll try the sleeping thing, too, but he's always really alert when I touch him when he's sleeping, so I don't think that'll work, but it's worth a shot. =) I'll definately start by clipping one nail at a time, and giving him a yummy afterwards. =D
post #11 of 24
That's exactly what we did. Get 'em while they're sleeping, do one nail, hand over a treat. You'll get good at being REALLY quick, and kitty's barely up before it's clipped, and he's got the treat in front of him before he's upset. We just did one nail every day.

Good luck!

Laurie
post #12 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by GoldenKitty45 View Post
Course then you have a few (like Charlie) that purrs when you trim nails
Maybe it's an Oci thing, my 3 purr too. Demetri kneads too so I don't even have to press the claws out
post #13 of 24
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by missymotus View Post
Maybe it's an Oci thing, my 3 purr too. Demetri kneads too so I don't even have to press the claws out
Lol, I hope Star will be like that. =3 I mean, she purrs when you hold her, so, maybe.
post #14 of 24
So funny you mention the purring thing! I was just brushing Shelly - a black and white domestic short hair, not an Oci - and decided to clip his claws. I pulled him onto my lap (he is NOT a lap cat) - he was still purring - I clipped all his front claws - kept purring the whole time, no struggling at all - and when I was done, I just started brushing him again. He got up off my lap, but stuck around for more brushes - and kept purring the whole time!

Katzyn - this is a cat we had to catch in a DEEP sleep or it was hard to do just the one claw. So there IS hope! (Of course he's five years old now - and we were still doing one claw at a time a year into it. ).

Laurie
post #15 of 24
Its not an Oci thing - my red tabby boy HHP used to do it too Maybe its a "male thing"?
post #16 of 24
Nope it's not a male thing, Maia often becomes a poor sport when it comes to nail trimming! She lets me do her back feet just fine, but I usually only get 1 or 2 at a time in front. My approach is not to push it, I rather her walk away calm then all worked up, so a couple at a time is ok with me!
post #17 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by cheylink View Post
Nope it's not a male thing, Maia often becomes a poor sport when it comes to nail trimming! She lets me do her back feet just fine, but I usually only get 1 or 2 at a time in front. My approach is not to push it, I rather her walk away calm then all worked up, so a couple at a time is ok with me!
Actually, the conversation had morphed into kitties purring while having their nails clipped.

Laurie
post #18 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by LDG View Post
Actually, the conversation had morphed into kitties purring while having their nails clipped.

Laurie
I usually try to when she is purring and in a snuggly mood, ofcourse she isn't after! The opposite!
post #19 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by GoldenKitty45 View Post
Ok, how OFTEN are you trying to clip nails? Its one thing to handle the feet (and since 2 weeks old he really should be used to it). My cats get checked and clipped every week or every other week.

If you are doing it every month or longer, then that is why he's giving you a fit - the nails are quite long by then. I agree that maybe try and clip one or two nails then let him down. Try again the following day another 1-2 nails, till they are down.

Have you tried wrapping him in a towel and doing it?
Ditto on this advise!

My kitties just sit in the crook of my arm all four paws exposed...it's rather cute really, cause they know whats coming, but could care less! I do them weekly too, and have since they were kittens.

If you can't get him to settle down yourself, you may just have to take him to the vet or a groomer to have his nails done; they will have different ways of restraining him with out hurting him, and will be able to do it really fast in order to keep the amount of stress down.
post #20 of 24
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by faith's_mom View Post
Ditto on this advise!

My kitties just sit in the crook of my arm all four paws exposed...it's rather cute really, cause they know whats coming, but could care less! I do them weekly too, and have since they were kittens.

If you can't get him to settle down yourself, you may just have to take him to the vet or a groomer to have his nails done; they will have different ways of restraining him with out hurting him, and will be able to do it really fast in order to keep the amount of stress down.
I think I've figured out that he really doesn't like laying on his back in my lap...

And I won't take him to the vet...I'm a vet-tech in training, so I've been trained how to do this, it's just not working with him.

And I have used a towel, once, Goldenkitty, but even then, I still had to have my dad help me.

I'm giving him treats every time he lets me mess with his paws, right now, and soon, hopefully, he'll let me actually work on clipping a nail. =) I really wish he was a heavy sleeper, though. ;D
post #21 of 24
I think a major issue with their stubborn attitudes with this is their comfort in their home. When Maia was at the vets, she didn't move, flinch, tense up, nothing when he did it! She was out of her safety zone and completely distracted so didn't care that her nails were being trimmed........Some people use a harness, some kitties go comatose body when they have a harness on. In the spring/summer I put Maia's harness and leash on and take her out back on our roof top sitting area and trim her nails. Such an angel then!!!!!
post #22 of 24
My mother's cat doesn't like her nails trimmed either. She's almost 2 and I think we've maybe clipped them twice her whole life. She has never liked having a manicure and pedicure. She doesn't like anybody to mess with her period. She's really a force to be reckoned with. The times that we have trimmed her nails was because she really really needed it done. Like, she was getting herself stuck to things they were so long. We have to wrap her up in a blanket and leave just the one paw exposed because otherwise she would claw and bite our eyes out. I know that must be even scarier for her but she won't cooperate otherwise.
post #23 of 24
I used to wrap Jake in a towel to clip his nails. It worked well. But honestly, I think it's a bad idea to try to do it when there are 2 non resident cats visiting. Even if they do appear to get along, it's a high stress time. Stress is not always bad stress. Just think of a kid who has 2 playmates over and then trying to get her to sit still while you comb her long, tangled hair or while you clip her nails. They are all excited for having company over and in a bit of hyper mode. Not a good time to try something like that! (IMO)
post #24 of 24
Thread Starter 
Well, the only reason I'd thought it would be okay with the two "visitor" cats there was because a couple of weeks before, they had stayed at our house with us for three whole weeks while their owner was back home in Hawaii. Stratus got along very well with these two, then, and still does, for the most part, though he may think twice about Lily, the one who slapped him up. =3

Good news, though. He let me clip all his nails for a bath today, with only two incidences of pulling away, but no biting or yelling. The bath, however, was a COMPLETELY, more painful, story, as you will see if you should read my "Bath Catastophe" thread in the Grooming section. =/
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