How to Trim Your Cat's Nails
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Can you trim your cat's nails at home?
Routine nail trimming is an important part of keeping your cat healthy. If the nails are not cared for regularly, they can curl and grow into the pads of the feet, causing swelling and infection.
Although most cats prevent this from happening with scratching behavior, it is important to check the nails periodically; Long, sharp nails can do a lot of damage to your property and your lap. Ideally, cats should trim their nails every three to six weeks.
While it may seem like a daunting task, with care and patience you and your cat should be able to handle a nail grooming session without much difficulty.
Before you start
Make sure your cat gets used to handling it before clipping its nails. This minimizes stress on your cat and can prevent bites and scratches.
It generally takes adult cats longer to feel comfortable being handled for something like a nail trim, especially if the cat has had negative experiences in the past.
Kittens will accept the experience more easily. In any case, go slowly and be patient.
What do you need
- Clippers or trimmers
- Styptic pen
To trim kittens' nails, you can simply use human nail clippers. However, you will need cat nail clippers for older kittens and adult cats.
There are a few types of cat clippers available at pet supply stores. Spring-hinged or scissor-type nail clippers are preferred by many homeowners. Others prefer the type that has a guillotine-shaped blade. It may take a bit of trial and error to find out which type works best for you and your cat.
After purchasing a cat clipper, practice using it on dry spaghetti so you can feel it cutting.
Grooming your cat
Start with your cat in a relaxed state, perhaps after a meal. Invite your cat to sit on your lap and wait until the animal appears relaxed.
Next, gently lift one of your cat's paws. If it doesn't come off, offer it a small treat. Do this for a few minutes each day, gradually adding more legs.
The next step will be to lift one of the cat's paws, doing a little more each day and keeping the sessions in a few minutes at most. Over time, try gently squeezing one of the toes to spread the nail. Remember to reward your cat for calm. Take a step back if your cat becomes anxious or agitated.
You're ready to move on once you get to a point where your cat will allow you to expose most of its claws, one at a time, without making a fuss.
Start using nail clippers
Now is the time to introduce your cat to nail clippers. Do this during one of your quiet petting sessions. Let your cat sniff and explore the trimmers without moving them at first. Begin to gradually move the mowers, rewarding the calm.
After several days of sessions, try gently touching your cat's paws with the trimmers. Then try lifting one leg up and touching the leg again with the trimmers. Remember to keep receiving rewards.
The process of preparing your cat for a nail trim can take weeks to months. Remember that all cats learn at their own pace. Kittens can even be ready in a few days.
Trim your cat's nails
Once your cat is comfortable with the handling of its paws and the presence of the nail clippers, it's time to try trimming some nails.
They may only cut one nail the first time, and that's fine. Going too fast will not only make your cat feel stressed, but it can also lead to being bitten or scratched.
- Start with a towel or blanket on your lap to catch clipped nails and prevent your cat's nails from digging into your lap. Try to have styptic powder or a styptic pen on hand in case you accidentally cut the cuticle. This is used to stop bleeding and can be purchased at a pet supply store.
- Pick a time when your cat is relaxed. Choose a leg to start.
- Most cats have white nails with pink at the base. The pink part contains the cuticle, or "rapid", where the nerves and blood vessels meet. You do not want to cut this part or it may cause pain and bleeding. Find the place where the pink ends and the white begins.
- Gently squeeze the paw to expose the nail. Use the nail clipper to quickly cut the white part one to two millimeters from the pink part. Try to prevent your cat from jumping off your lap.
- Stop and praise your cat by offering him a food reward. If your cat is not anxious or agitated, go ahead and repeat the process with the next paw.
Preventing problems with your cat during trimming
If you accidentally cut too close to the pink part of the nail, your cat may experience a brief soreness and some bleeding from the nail.
Apply the styptic pen or powder to the area until the bleeding stops. If your cat seems upset, you should interrupt the nail trimming session. You can try again another day.
If your cat moves too much to handle to clip its nails, it may need help from another person. It may be easier for one person to hold your cat on a table while you focus on the nails. If you hear growling or hissing, it's best to stop so no one gets hurt.
If you continue to have trouble getting your cat to stay put to trim its nails, or if you are still not comfortable with the process, seek the help of a professional.
Consider taking your cat to the vet or to a groomer for a regular nail trim.
Enjoy The Video Tutorial about How To Trim Your Cat's Nails!
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