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Clipping toenails

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
I've been busy posting, but I am having issues clipping their toenails. When we first got our cats, Apollo let me clip a couple of nails (never clipped to the quick), but this time was not a good experience. I had the cat treats and my husband was trying to clip the nails. My husband is a pet nurse, so I guess he deals with animals a lot. Well the clipping did not go well. He was growling and gave my husband a warning bite (not an actual bite, but a bite that said I'm not playing). Our other cat started meowing during the site of this, and now they are both annoyed. Rocky keeps on meowing and meowing over and over again, even though Apollo was annoyed but allowed us to pet him again.

We love our cats, but I just hope we didn't blow it. We are adamantly against declawing, but we don't want to be held hostage to the sharp claws. Help!
post #2 of 14
I know there are people here that have better suggestions. This is what works for me. I have a couple that don't like their paws touched no matter how much I tried conditioning them to being touched. For those I wait until after they have played hard or eaten. They settle into a good nap and I clip a nail or two, wait for them to settle into sleep again and clip a few more.

Not a quick way but it gets the job done without a conflict. I'm sure there are better ways.
post #3 of 14
I've mostly been lucky with this, except for my feral. Though Aragorn had had a bad experience and was very difficult. What finally worked on his front paws was sitting him on my lap, with his front paws on the arm of the chair. He didn't seem to mind my doing the back ones nearly as much. I have heard of wrapping them up burrito style, with just one paw out at a time. Since you have your hubby to help, this might work for you. Sometimes, just doing one or two at a time until they are more conditioned works.
post #4 of 14
When I trim Maia's claws, it's always when she is extremely relaxed and in a attentive mood. Sometimes she lets me clip all her nails with no objection, sometimes its only a couple........but as soon as she shows discomfort, I let her go once she relaxes. I also practice extending her nails and showing her the clippers without clipping often.
post #5 of 14
You might have to scruff him and then do one foot. Wait a minute or two and try the next foot.

Ling has been getting her nails done since she was 5 weeks old and STILL complains the entire time and she's 3 yrs old now (will be four in May).
post #6 of 14
I had started a thread a while ago on clipping nails, and there were lots of good answers/advice:


Unfortunately, I still can't cut my Harley's nails. I tried a few nights ago, and she actually bit me.
post #7 of 14
With my kitty, I started doing just one or two nails a day, followed by a treat and lots of praise. He wasn't wild about it at first, but now I can sometimes get three or four at a time and he doesn't struggle as much. The front are easier. I haven't cut his back yet and they're starting to need cutting. I'll probably have someone hold him so I can do one foot at a time.
post #8 of 14
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the advice. I am going to do a few nails at a time. If I get too frustrated I'll go to petsmart and have them do it, so that my cats are mad at Petsmart and not me.
post #9 of 14
I have rarely clipped Blossom's nails. I only do them while she's sleepy. Anywhere from 2 - 10 nails at a time.
post #10 of 14
If the cat is threatening to bite you I would honestly take the cat to a place it hasn't been before, in the car, on top of the washing machine, etc.

Often times animals do better when they are in a place they don't normally hang out.

Then I would scruff the cat and lay it on its side and let your husband trim the nails. The scruffing action should relax your cat [if your cat respects its mum]. If the cat fights it, it's not worth wrestling and I would stop. It's not worth getting eaten over nails.

My cats don't enjoy having their nails done but they tolerate it. I hold them in a 'baby' position and trim them.

I would like to say though, if you and your husband can't do it, why do you expect petsmart to be able to? They are no different than you. I don't know if they do it in front of you, but more than likely they force the cat into it. If the cat is bad for you it's going to be bad for them.
post #11 of 14
no problems here. I wrap kitty in a towel to make a cat burrito then clip away. Then give treats
post #12 of 14
Sometimes a "stanger" can actually clip nails better and faster then the owner can. The cat knows what they can do to get away with things from the owner. With a stranger, they have no clue.

I've done many friend's/relative's cats who claim they cannot trim nails. I usually have fingernail clippers with me. I just pick up the cat and hold it like I do mine and they may complain a little, but are pretty cooperative. They hate me for about 5/10 mins after being done.....
post #13 of 14
I usually have fingernail clippers with me.
I agree with this too! I like finger nail clippers a lot more than regular nail trimmers... and I think something it's less traumatic for the cat [especially if they don't like it.]
post #14 of 14
Well, I get to sit on both sides of the fence on this one. I have a ragdoll (Zoey) almost 2 yrs old that I have trimmed nails on (usually with reg human clippers) from the time I got her at 3 mos without a hitch. She sits for it very well even when she doesn't love it.
On the other hand...... I got a tuxedo kitty (Harley) in October from a local rescue that is sweet as pie, but he will not sit for the nail stuff. I have tried here and there getting a nail or 2 at the time, but as time goes on, he has become much harder to deal with. I even got my DH to help hold him and nothing except protesting and even a big ole hiss the last time we tried. He does not like to be held down, he does not want me to get close to his nails. I ended up with a cut on the finger a couple nights ago from trying. He didn't lash out, but as he was moving to get away one of the nails slid across my finger.
Ok enough is enough....so....off we went to the vet today and just let me say it was the best $9.80 I have spent in a while!
The tech said he sat for it just perfectly and we were there about a whole 5 mins.
She also said sometimes it's just a matter of them being in a strange place and with somebody new that throws them off just enough that they don't put up the fight like they do with the pet parents.
So if you're in doubt of doing it or your kitty is try letting somebody else do it and see what happens.
It was kind of hard for me to give in, because I felt like I should do it but this was alot less stressful for Harley and me, so in the end it was worth it.
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