Friday, February 3, 2017

Clipping Cat Nails

Clipping your cat's toenails can be an easy task and is an excellent alternative to de-clawing (which surgically amputates each of your cat's toes at a joint - OUCH!)

You should start regular nail clippings with your kitten. This is going to protect not only your furniture but your hands and arms from those frisky kitten moments, too! But what if your cat is an adult? Don't worry, you can still start this grooming routine!

Maggie is in deep relaxation mode!
Start with a sleepy cat. The objective is to set yourself, and your cat, up for success and a sleepy cat is much easier to manage. Hold your cat as you would hold a baby when rocking it to sleep and quietly pet her as she relaxes. If she is not used to this you'll want to leave it at this and repeat this step several times over the course of a week or two or until she comes to willingly accept it. During this time gently touch her legs and feet as you are quietly petting her to get her used to having those areas touched while she is relaxing. She may even fall asleep! Avoid struggling! If she resists at any point, let her go and try again the next time she is sleepy. 

Once you've gotten her used to this handling begin gently pressing her toes to expose her toenails so she gets used to this. The front feet are the best starting place. When she is relaxed while her feet are being handled you can clip the tip of one toenail. This may cause her to stir, don't restrain her. Gently pet her until she relaxes again. Continue clipping toenails for as long as she remains relaxed.  Be very careful to avoid cutting into the quick - luckily cats have clear nails and you will see this blood vessel.

This process may take several days to clip all of the toenails, particularly on her back feet. With regular sessions you will be able to get the job done in just a few minutes each time! My cat, Maggie, takes it all in stride and she will usually fall asleep either while I'm clipping her nails or after I finish. I have leather furniture and it remains unscathed even though she has her mad-dash moments when she bounces off of the sofa, walls, chairs, etc.