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clipping nails and brushing teeth

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
I have two questions here:

1) I've trimmed Cleopatra's front paws without any mishaps (hope that luck keeps going), but I was wondering how many people trim their cats' back claws? And if so, how often? For some reason, it seems to me that the back claws might be harder to trim than the front. Is that true? Any tips? (Ok, so that's more like a topic full of questions than a question.)

2nd one: Is it ok for cats/kittens to swallow toothpaste? (I mean the pet toothpaste made for them, not human toothpaste.) Just wondering, as I don't see how to get them to spit all of it out after you're done. I have tried getting Cleopatra to taste the toothpaste, but I don't think she likes it (either that, or she won't touch it until I've used it first, considering she has tried to sniff/lick the toothpaste off of my toothbrush). She'll only lick it off if it gets on her. It is "original" flavor, which to me, smells like a normal tube of toothpaste. I couldn't find any of the ones flavored more so that cats might like them.

Sorry for the long-windedness, but I guess I had a lolt to say in my questions...
post #2 of 7
I trim all four paws of claws on my kitties; desensitization is the only thing that will get them used to it; I use treats to reward them (if they'll accept them) or lots of the lovin they like, for the proper behavior. With 'newbies' the process simply begins with me stroking their paws when I am holding them, then I will begin 'holding' the paw for a second or two, once they are used to the paw pets. Eventually I will work at gently unsheating a claw, then simply letting them retract it after a moment...I always work on the cat's comfort level...so sometimes you will only get to one toe a day, and that's okay. You want the kitty to accept your paw touching, not resent it. In time they get used to it; mine practically roll over on their backs and give me their paws...well, atleast my older kitties...Lol!

As far as the toothpaste question, if it is labeled 'safe for pets' then it is safe for them to swallow it, as you can't expect them to spit anything that is in their mouth out (unless we're talking about expensive medications...Lol!).
post #3 of 7
Thread Starter 
hmmmm.. I think I'll have to work up to that, then, since she still digs her back claws into me occasionally. Cleopatra's starting to become more fidgety lately whenever I do any sort of grooming on her now (although she was mostly asleep when I clipped her front paws - but she has a tendency to curl up over her back paws, so i don't know if doing it while she's asleep will work as well for that).

lol, I think I'm lucky that I haven't had to try getting er to swallow any expensive medications yet. Thank god for topical prescriptions (have given her one dose of Revolution so far)
post #4 of 7
My cats have always gotten all 4 feet done. The back ones don't grow as fast and need less trimming - but all 4 feet are checked and clipped as needed. I train mine to more/less lay on their backs in my lap, cross my leg and let them sit there to have feet done.

I usually check and clip once a week or once every other week - more often when younger; less when older.
post #5 of 7
Thread Starter 
How to you train them to just lay on their backs? Treats?
post #6 of 7
Nope, I've never bribed my cats with treats for grooming. I don't know how to really explain it - but I put 4-5 week old kittens on their belly on my knee and gently hold their foot and nip off the tips.

As they get bigger I just kinda cuddle them against me on their backs as I play or hold them - they get used to it so its kinda natural when I get the clippers out for nails. I hold tight to their leg (not real tight, but firm) and do one foot or a few nails, give them a few seconds and talk to them, then continue a little at a time.

I've had some that purr, some that complain the entire time, but I am in charge and the nails get done when I choose - not when the cat chooses. I just cuddle them and kiss them when over and set them free.
post #7 of 7
Trimming claws are never fun for my baby regardless of parts, especially for her right paw...I guess she is "right-pawed", lol.
I trim her front-paws in every other week, back is maybe less than once a month OR whenever I started to feel "the claws". She used to resent a lot, also tried to bite me all the time whenever I reached out to her paw.

Here's some tips from my trials & errors:

1) Always select the time my kitty is half-sleep/awake so she's not 100% aware of getting her claws clipped even if I approach her with her nail trimmer/clipper.
2) Try not to show her the trimmer until the very last minute. If she saw it and realized what she is getting, she'd fled & hide.
3) Reward with treat, also praise her for being "a good girl" if she lets me trim.
4) Lay her down on her back or side, and gently pull only the paw that gets trimmed. This way, I've less chance of getting bitten as my hands are away from her face, also one of my arm is always blocking her from doing it.

Although she still occasionally gets resentful and has a tendency to bite me just to scare me off, she'd let me do it OK as long as I don't restrain her longer than she likes. At least now she knows what she can get from having her claws trimmed. As soon as I release her from clipping, she'd turn around & await for goodies

I never use toothpaste of any kind when brushing her teeth, though
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