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Clipping nails, aggression, HELP!

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
After last night I am at my wits end with my female Manx Luci. She is a semi-aggressive female, one who does not like to be picked up, petted too long, etc.

She has never liked when we clip her nails, usually howls and screams when my BF holds her while I clip. Last night when trying to clip, she went so far as to hiss, spit and peed on my BF while he was holding her. I can't afford to take her to the groomers everytime she needs her nails clipped - what can I do to calm her down?

We've tried getting her when she's relaxed and sleepy and wrapping her with a towel. Can I get tranquilizers from my vet to help? Even after we let her go when she peed, she sat in front of us on the carpet staring, growling with her ears back and pupils dialated. She looked like she was going to attack and kill us both. When she needs a shot at the vet it takes 5 vet techs to hold her so she can't move. My other cat is a cake-walk compared to her!

post #2 of 16
My male is a massive chore to clip his nails. Its only me so I have a lot of trouble at times. I usually wrap him in a towel and basically force him to stay still and bring one arm out. There is a lot of growling and clawing etc. One time I tried getting him super high on catnip, running him around like crazy and then doing it. It went marginally better. I also would love to hear if there is an easier way! If he sleeping and I start, he just wakes up and gets mad.
post #3 of 16
Have you asked your vet for any tranquilizers? I have never had that much of a problem with all the cats I have owned. I am sorry it is going so bad for you. I hope others on here will be able to help you out in some way.
post #4 of 16
I have a female that also hates to have her paws or nails messed with. I started off taking her to the vet to let him clip her claws, never attempting to do it myself. Now with 2 cats I was trying to save some $$ also and do it myself. Plus I thought it would be less stress on her. It just turned out to be more stress for me! My youngest doesn't care for clippings, but I can do her. Cleo, however, puts up a fuss. She growls and hisses and has even snapped couple of times. She hasn't bitten....but she sure has threatened!

Sooooooooooo,,,,,,,it's back to the vet for her. She was just too difficult. He uses a muzzle which also covers her eyes and has his assistant hold her. He says the muzzle helps to calm them down a little, which it does seem to do. I guess they're more focusd on NOT being able to see what's going on and pay less attention to the paws.... I don't know. But she'll still let out a hiss....she just can't bite. She just looks so pitiful with that muzzle on. I saw a muzzle for a cat at our local pet store and thought about purchasing it. But I decided to let her associate that with the vet for right now.
But if you don't want to take her to the vet, maybe try a muzzle and see if that helps. I think I'd try that first instead of tranquilizing.
post #5 of 16
you could try just touching her paws and giving treats, then move up to clipping only one claw with more treats until you graduate to doing all the claws.
post #6 of 16
Also try rescue remedy on a pouncey treat about 30 minutes before you want to clip. or get some honeysuckle spray, for my cat honeysuckle is like valium..

Most importantly, do not let your cat get away once you begin, that teaches him that you give in if he carries on enough. NEVER GIVE UP.

and if the pee is a problem, clip him on the bathroom floor and let him get as pissed off as he wants.
post #7 of 16
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the advice everybody! I spoke with our vet yesterday afternoon. She is going to give me a few extra tranqualizers; the same one we have to give her before going to the vet after she maimed 3 of their vet techs!

I also ordered the soft claws in hopes that it will curb her scratching behavior that is getting worse. She has regressed in her behaviors since we brought Atlas into the house (german shepherd) although they get along just fine.

We are going to tranq. her and put the soft claws on and hope that it works out! I have found many positive things about these claws - does anyone have any 'negative' stories? I always like to find out the good and bad.

Thanks again!
post #8 of 16
Originally Posted by Abigail
Also try rescue remedy on a pouncey treat about 30 minutes before you want to clip.
I've seen reference to "rescue remedy" in other threads. What is
this? I'd never heard of it before.

My two semi-ferals seem not to mind our touching their paws, but
holding any body part long enough to actually clip -- that's a
completely other story. I will have scars for a long time from the
6 - count them - bites I got when just trying to put an eye drop into
one eye (Rx is 3x daily. Hah!)

So, I'm all agog to hear about this.

post #9 of 16
It is a homeopathic preparation which is available usually at organic food stores.
post #10 of 16
I also forgot about Feliway. It is a cat pheremone which helps with behavioral problems. It is available as a spray or as a diffuser. I've used when I've noticed my three getting cranky with one another. It is more expensive but may help to calm the household down.
post #11 of 16
Originally Posted by katachtig
It is a homeopathic preparation which is available usually at organic food stores.

How many here have used this? Track records?

I need to check this out.

post #12 of 16
i havent heard any bad things about the soft paws.
post #13 of 16
Originally Posted by chaz-n-luci
We are going to tranq. her and put the soft claws on and hope that it works out! I have found many positive things about these claws - does anyone have any 'negative' stories? I always like to find out the good and bad.
Overall I like the softpaws too, a lot. Without them my husband would INSIST on declawing Spirit. Bad things..... they ain't cheap, but you can buy them cheaper on ebay. You already know that depending on the cat they can be hard to put on. But with a sleepy pill or 2 you should be fine.

Sometimes they get caught on things, as they grow out. Like today Spirit somehow got the edge of the softpaw hooked around a shoelace and couldn't get it off. A little jiggling and he was free. Or just don't play with shoelaces like we were!

And for you it'll be tricky to replace the softpaws. They fall off one at a time, so unless you can give a tranq each time (maybe on avg once a week or once every 2 weeks), you'll be forced to replace a softclaw without a tranq.... but I think they're a great invention over all!
post #14 of 16
I have scars and wounds to show for the fact that I clip my two boys' claws myself. Here are some things that might help.

First of all, how is your boyfriend holding your cat? If you have someone holding them by the scruff of the neck with one hand and covering the eyes with the other, they'll tend to chill out. Especially if you're applying downward pressure. My vet taught me this and he says it doesn't hurt the cat to grab them by the scruff.

Clip their nails in a place they don't usually go up on...I use the kitchen counter for all pill doses, nail clipping, etc. They get a little bit weirded out with the new view so they don't put up as much of a fuss with clipping. Plus it serves the double purpose of associating the kitchen counter with a place where bad stuff happens...they never climb up now.
post #15 of 16
Instead of trying to do all 4 feet in one session, try doing one foot a nite till they are done. Reward with treats and get your cat used to being handled. Play with her feet as you pet her.

Ling doesn't like to sit still and complains but I never take cr*p off of any cat to trim nails. I trained my to lay on their backs in my lap and get it done. They complain (some more then others) but I usually just be patient or tell them to "shut up and sit still" - usually works fairly well till I'm done.
post #16 of 16
I don't know what everyone else has suggested, but have you tried to redirect her agression? For example my cat Jord is OK when I clip his front claws, but the back claws are a differnt story. I also happen to know he LOVES his toothbrush. So now when I clip his back claws I hand him the toothbrush & he is so focused on chewing on the toothbrush he pays no attention to what I'm doing.
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