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Clipping - Aw, I feel sssoo guilty

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
So when I first got my kitten I was at the vet a good amout (for shots, exams, spaying, etc.) and my vet always was able to quickly and without issue mind you, clip my kittens nails.
Well it has been 2 months since they were done so I did it tonight and what a challenge as Scout hated it! (as I expected ).
My neighbor told me that I could use a regular pair of nail clippers (her vet had told her it was OK) so that is what I used. Is this OK? Or, for those cat experts out there, should I really invest ina pair of cat clippers?
I tried to wrap him up in a towel, which worked "somewhat" well
But he squirmed, meowed, etc. while I was doing this. I tried to be firm while doing this - and I gave him what must have been 12 Pounce Purr-fection treats afterwards, using a soft voice and telling him he was a good boy!! I only was able to do the front paws and then I stopped.
We played for a while after he had his treats and he seems fine (he is currently looking up at the ceiling ready to chace after things I can't even see )
But has anyone else felt the frustration & guilt of clipping a cats nails? I am wondering if I should even bother doing this (but where he is a kitten he still swats and does some play aggression and those long nails hurt!) I don't want to bring him to the vet or a groomer, just because I don't know if it is worth the aggrevation of taking him out of his safe environment and into a strange one just for 5 minutes of nail clippings.
Feedback is very much appreciated!!!!!
post #2 of 13
THats weird.. I dont have any problem at all clipping my cats nails.. theyre both fine with me picking up their feet :P I usually just set them on their backs and clip :P my kitten sometimes pulls her paw away but really no problem :P Im glad I dont know the anguish of clipping the nails of uncooperative kitties! Maybe you should try touching your cats feet more? Start from the top of the leg and pet them down to the elbow for a while and then leave them alone, reapeat this until they dont pull away, and then start going down to justabove their foot, once they are ok with this, start to touch their feet (some cats really are sensitive about this, expecially if they were declawed) pretty soon if you work on it you should be able to just pick their feet up and hold it for a second before the cat pulls it away. :P I taught Elliot how to shake :P and he give me his arms nicely too when I take him outside, because he has to put his paw through the hole and lift his other arm up so I can get the strap around :P Ya just gotta condition them to as much stuff as you can while they are younger :P
post #3 of 13
the only problem with regular nail clippers is that it's easier to cut the skin or toes of the cat. I used it for a while when I lost the kitty clippers (I suspect one of the cats purposely hid it) and it seemed easier to clip the nails quickly, but I was too afraid of cutting the skin, especially since the cats were squirming around so much.

I personally feel better with kitty clippers. For one thing, cutting the nails seems to be easier "snippy-wise." The clippers cut the nail much faster and more effortlessly than with human clippers. I was in awe of them the first time I tried them, and I think the cats were too, lol. The ones I got were less than $10 (Canadian funds), and they last a while (if the cats don't hide them, that is)

Be glad you haven't cut the quick yet. That's the worst way to feel guilt. I cut the quick of one of Buffy's back toes once, and ohmygosh, the shriek practically made me start crying! And I did the same thing to Willow a few months later, and she shrieked too! *sob* Buffy's much more cautious about letting me touch her back feet now, and she always fights when she sees the clippers and I have her toes in my fingers. Before I cut the quick, she didn't mind me clipping her back feet. Willow, on the other hand, hasn't changed too much. She's never liked anyone touching her back feet, and it hasn't gotten worse after I cut the quick. But still, kitty shrieks make you want to bash your skull in with a hammer, you feel so bad
post #4 of 13
I believe that kitty clippers are the best but my vet said that baby nail clippers would work as well. I'm too chicken to cut my cats' nails though so i'm hard;y and expert
post #5 of 13
I think i'm a bit of a nail clipping wimp. I wait till my cats are sleeping. They both like to sleep on the couch at my feet so I just wait till they are really out and do it. There is only a tiny problem if they start dreaming and their legs start twitching in their sleep!

I use nail clippers on my kitten since the kitty clipper i have seems so big compared to his little toes. I'll switch once he's bigger
post #6 of 13
My BF pooh-poohed me when I bought clippers as he said he had used regular nail clippers all of his family cat's life, but he is deft at doing it..
I don't even cut Lovey's nails with the clippers as I am also chicken but he can do it in seconds...
post #7 of 13
I bouht special clippers but Lily is scared of them - I think they seem so big and make much more noise than regular nail clippers.

She doesn't mind having her back claws done, but doesn't enjoy her front claws being clipped - even though we play with her feet all the time without issue.

I have discovered that if I massage her, then she relaxes and falls asleep, she doesn't mind me clipping her front claws. I take it gently with the view that if it takes me two nights to go them all then fair enough.

I think she enjoys the little kitty massage so much that she will stand having her claws clipped!
post #8 of 13
I agree that getting them used to touching their feet helps. Sometimes when Bijou is sleeping I'll just lightly caress his feet and legs. Then I'll hold his paw gently and kiss the top of his paw. He and Mika aren't thrilled to have their claws cut but they will allow it. We also usually do it when they are half asleep or very relaxed.

Last Saturday Bijou was out on his harness and lead and was just lying in the sun on the deck, so I sat on the step beside him and did his nails. I didn't even have to pick him up or hold him.

It is a matter of conditioning for most cats - (there will be the odd one I think that no matter what you do, clipping nails may be nigh on impossible).

We also just use human clippers. It's actually pretty easy to see where the quick is and avoid it. Besides, I don't cut the claws that short since we clip them about once every two weeks or less.
post #9 of 13
Thread Starter 
Thanks for all your replies!
It's nice to know I am not the only one who has issues battling against a cat who is gotta be, what 1/10 of my size
I think I will try to keep the clippers near by and when he comes to sleep up on my chest I will try to do his nails then. I just don't want him to associate coming to sleep on me with that because he'll do it even less than he already does
Thanks again for the replies!!!
post #10 of 13
We used to have terrible problems clipping our two kittens nails. While we held down one (took two of us) the other one would watch and cry in horror. It was very traumatic.

However we have perfected our method with time. Our kitties know the routine now. I sit indian style on the floor and lay a cat on his back across my lap and with one arm I support his head and use that hand to hold up his foot and with the other hand I clip the nail with the special cat clippers. If they start to squirm or get upset I just stop clipping and talk to them in a soothing voice and rock them like a baby until they calm down. Once they are calm I proceed the clipping.
post #11 of 13
Cj's nails are so long, but I cant do anything about it. It has probally been 2 months since they were trimmed. I have him lots of scratch toys, but he really isnt into them, except for his scratching post. (we have a post that hangs from a door knob, a turbo scratcher, etc.) I took him to the vet a while back and i asked her to do it but the lady who does it was out of town. Technically he is supposed to be declawed (dont get me started on that) but he is not destructive and my landlord hasnt mentioned it. his nails are getting long and I am getting good scratches even when he doesnt mean to (like jumping on my lap, jumping off my lap etc.) He doesnt mind me touching his paws, i can even retract and bare his nails and he doesnt mind. when the clippers come out he freaks out, scratches the crap out of me (I have scars!) and bites. He is not a mean cat at all, the only times is when I try to clip his nails or try is wanting to play, which normally wouldnt hurt, but his nails are too long. I dont know what to do. I should just take him and have them trimmed, but when we leave the house he hides under the bed for a day or two and wont come out.
post #12 of 13
I use these kind...

...that I bought at Petco for less than $10. They are small (only about 4 1/2 inches long) and easy to handle.

Cosmo lets me clip his nails with no problems, but it's best to wait until they are napping and somewhat groggy. I don't hold him, I let him lay where he's laying and comfortable. I also pet his paws a lot so he's gotten used to me touching them. His back claws are more difficult since he's a little more touchy about those being held.

You don't have to get them done all in one shot. If Cosmo gets antsy I just put the clippers away and wait until later.

Good luck! Hopefully your kitty (and you) will get more used to it over time.
post #13 of 13
Amy, that's the kind I use, except mine doesn't have that long bar on the handle.

Today Buffy spazzed at my dog (apparantly I shouldn't go thundering down the stairs, whooping and cheering as Jake thunders down after me) because Buffy raced him downstairs, swatted him good, and screamed bloody murder (while Jake looked sideways with a hurt expression on his face, lol). When I picked her up, she dug all 5 claws of one paw into my hand, at at least 3 claws from the other into the same hand. One of the claws on her first paw was curving, so it was really buried in my skin. Trust me, when I got that claw out, I didn't feel bad about clipping it, lol
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