How To: Trim Cat's Claws

How To: Trim Cat's Claws

Beth Zeigler
Sep 2, 2008

090108garbo-01.jpgBeing a cat owner has few drawbacks. When choosing the responsibility of owning a dog or a cat, we'll choose a cat any day of the week. However one thing that plagues us is when our cat decides to claw the furniture. Find out how we keep it to a minimum after the jump.

You'll need a separate pair of nail clippers used only for your cat and we labeled them so they don't get mixed in with ours. There are companies that make special cat clippers but we found that regular nail clippers work fine.
This how-to works much better if you wait until your cat is most calm which is usually right as they're waking up from a nap or just after eating. You'll want to place your cat on your lap facing away from you. Take one paw in your hand and gently press one toe pad at a time to extend the claw. When you do this you'll notice that the claw is white and then turns pink higher up (the pink section is called the quick). You'll want to steer clear of cutting the quick which will cause your cat to bleed slightly. Our main goal is to clip the sharp tip of the claw. We position the clippers at a right angle cutting across the nail (which is how our vet instructed us). But we've also seen websites that promote cutting the nail from top to bottom. Continue with each claw and rest in between if you notice your cat is resistant and squirming.

This picture was taken two days after trimming our cat's claws. You don't need to be a surgeon to do this--you can see that the quick is not super close to the claw's tip. When you notice that your cats claws are sharp again, it's time to clip, which for us is about twice a month.

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