Regular grooming is a part of responsible
cat ownership, and this includes taking care of your pet's nails.
Toenails that are allowed to grow too long can puncture a cat's foot
or get snagged and be pulled off. Both conditions are very painful.
Long toenails also increase the risk that a cat will scratch a person
badly or cause damage around the house. Cats that have their nails
trimmed regularly are less likely to have to go through a painful, expensive,
and controversial declaw surgery.
How to Trim Your Cat's Nails
Many owners are intimidated by the
thought of trimming their cat's toenails, but it's not very
difficult. First, get yourself a good tool. A sharp, new nail trimmer is much easier to use and puts less pressure
on the sensitive parts of a cat's nail. Many different types
of nail trimmers are available, but nail
scissors are often a good
choice for cats.
"If all else fails, make an appointment
with a groomer or veterinarian to get your cat's nails trimmed."
Next, get your cat used to having her
feet handled. Some cats seem to be very sensitive in this area,
so start by making it a pleasant experience for everyone. Sit
with your cat, pet her, and gradually move down her leg to her feet.
Praise her or even give her a treat when she lets you play with her paws and wiggle
her nails without pulling away. If after multiple attempts this
type of training does not work, you might need to consider giving your
cat something to help with anxiety.
Know the anatomy of a feline toenail.
The part farthest from the foot does not have any blood vessels or nerves
and so clipping in this area is not painful. But, if you move
far enough back on the nail, you will hit the quick. This does
hurt and can bleed, very much like pulling or breaking your fingernail
back too far, but it is not the end of the world. Have some Kwik-Stop Styptic Powder or a styptic pencil on hand to stop
the bleeding just in case. Cat nails are generally pretty clear
so you should be able to see the triangular, pink quick inside.
Clip the nail a few millimeters away from there.
If you just can't bring yourself
to use a nail trimmer, you can use a file or grinder. You still need to be careful
to avoid the quick, but because these tools remove the nail more gradually,
they can be less intimidating. Files are also good to smooth out the edges of a
nail cut with trimmers.
If all else fails, make an appointment
with a groomer or veterinarian to get your cat's nails trimmed.
There is nothing wrong with letting someone else be the "bad guy"
if nail trims are just too traumatic for you and your cat.
The above is provided for information purposes only and should not be used for the diagnosis or treatment of any condition.
This information does not cover all possible variables, conditions, reactions, or risks relating to any topic, medication, or product and should not
be considered complete. Certain products or medications may have risks and you should always consult your local veterinarian concerning the treatment of
your pet. Any trademarks are the property of their respective owners.