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Help! 1st Time Trimming Claws!

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
After only 2 1/2 years, I think the inevitable is going to have to happen....We are going to have to trim Ophelia's claws. She does a very good job of keeping them clean, to the right length, etc. by herself, but they have gotten really, really sharp. She is pretty skittery, and when she tore off from my lap last night, I had gouges to prove it. I also found holes in hubby's leather jacket from where she tore off of that (it was on the back of a chair).

Ophelia barely lets anyone hold her. Daddy is the only one who can pick her up. (Except last night she let me hold her up to help catch a moth! I was so excited - not to catch a moth, but that she let me pick her up!) She is also claustrophobic since she was trapped in between walls in a building when she was tiny. Daddy is also a wimp who I am not expecting too much help from. I imaging I will have to hold her and take the brunt of it while he clips.

What is the best way for us to approach this? Is it even worth the trouble? She is very good with her claws, and almost never scratches us or anything she isn't supposed to on purpose. I don't want to terrify her and take back 2 years of work to get her to trust us.

Sorry this is so long for a simple question. I'm really paranoid about my little girl!
post #2 of 11
Well, I trim my kitties claws and it was a bit overwhelming at first. I tried to do it just by holding them but did not succeed. So, after many trial runs, I now do it like this:

I wrap the kitty up in a towel or blanket. Now mind you, they may not like this, but it's over fast, and this is the safest way in my opinion. I only leave their front legs sticking out. Then I quickly just retract the skin and snip off the tip of the claw. I can do all 10 in probably about 1 min if the kitty is cooperating. I don't "smother" them, in other words I don't hold them too tight. I just try to "pin" them between the sofa and me and do the job quickly.

Good Luck!!!!!
post #3 of 11
I know I have NEVER gone anywhere near the "quick", but my Blueberry just hates the clippers. He doesn't try to hurt me, but after only 1 nail, he's off like a rocket, and I usually have a scratch. Precious just gives me funny looks. The problem is they never seem to forget what they don't like! If it's medicine in a dropper, they run at the sight of a dropper, if it's nails, they run if you want to do your own nails! They're just too darned smart. I trim their nails because of my furniture and my skin. However it's a different story with dogs. They can't retract their nails, and have to be clipped, or their walk could be affected.
post #4 of 11
If the cat's claws aren't bothering her at all, you may want to start very very slowly so she wouldn't lose her trust in you. I'm hoping there's something she loves, so you can use that as a treat, and first get her used to you picking her up (move as if to pick her up-treat, when used to that, pick her up and treat etc), then getting used to you holding her in your lap, first for only a second or two, then longer, and when she's used to that, get her used to you handling her paws, then her claws, then touching her claws with clippers etc I'm sure you get the picture. It should work, she may not like you clipping her nails, but she shouldn't lose her trust in you if you work at it slowly. Of course, one never knows with cats but it seems it *should* work.

On the other hand, my older cat who at first hated me clipping her nails and would scratch and bite me when I was trying to do it (and it had to be done- her nails grow very long and sharp very quickly and catch on everything once they get that long) has calmed down and lets me do it, I'm assuming because she knows by now that I'm not going to hurt her and she can trust me. I just held her in my lap, her back against my stomach and arm, held her firmly and just ignored any biting or scratching, tried to keep my hands away from her mouth and clipped away. Perhaps not the ideal solution, but it had to be done and luckily she got used to it in time. For my cat the towel thing did not work- she hated the towel even more than the clipping, and I just couldn't get her wrapped up in it.
post #5 of 11
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the replies! I'm just so nervous, and I know it should be a two person job but I have a feeling that hubby will put it off some more. He's only been putting it off so far for about 2 years off and on.

Ophelia does like laying on our laps, and I have tried to get her used to me handling her paws. She does pretty good with that, lets me expose the nails and even play with her claws. I will definitely take your advice, Eeva, and slowly introduce the clippers to her. Don't know about treats, though. She's a piggy, but also gets really excited when good food is around. Trent would also probably have to stick his big ol' nose in the middle of it and when he gets pushy Ophelia leaves.
post #6 of 11
My cats are alot more easy going about nail trimmings if I trim while they are sleepy. The perfect time is while they are taking their afternoon snooze.

Good Luck!

post #7 of 11
I agree with Safron. I have to get Squirt during his nap. I don't try to pick him up, just face him and get the paw. I tried having someone hold him, one of my friends. He now hates that person with a passion. Sometimes if he is truly not in the mood, I just leave him be. He usually pulls his paw under his body the second I touch it. Sometimes it takes me a couple of days to get all 10. Joey is the complete opposite. I started trimming him when he was a kitten. Now this is my cat that doesn't even like to be held, but I can sit him on my lap and get his done in no time~ all 4 paws if necessary. If I ever get another cat, I will start as a kitten again, without a doubt.
post #8 of 11
Whatever you do, do NOT cut the nails too close...make sure you stay a good distance away from the pink part. If you cat too close and hurt her, she may never let you cur her nails ever again...!
I agree that trying to do it when thyr're sleeping is good. But one of my cats got hurt when I was clipping once, and now he wakes up and runs away when he feels me getting ready to clip while he's asleep!
post #9 of 11
Okay, so I'm a wuss. I take Cleo to the cat hospital every 6-8 weeks and they give her a bath and trim her claws for me. We call it the Kittie Day Spa. She loves going. They fuss over her and tell her she's the most beautiful cat in the world, they give her treats, she just loves it. Since I'm allergic, it really helps keep the dander down in my house, I don't have to clip her nails (which is why I started doing this--I'm really bad at it), and it makes her used to going to the vet's, so she doesn't freak out when we're going.
post #10 of 11
I called my vet to fond out if I can bring them in for clipping claws. But I'm concerned they don't have any special tricks and it will be the same traumatic experience but in the vet's office, after a car ride, with strangers! I wonder if they do anything different?
post #11 of 11

In my experience the vet doesn't have any special tricks, but they do have more than one person to help.
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