Nail care for cats is important. One, properly-trimmed nails cause less damage to furniture and human skin. Two, properly-trimmed nails cut the risk of ingrown toenails. However, trimming a cat’s nails is not always a fun task. Below are some tips for making the process smoother.

  • Ideally, introduce nail clipping to cats when they are young: This makes it easier for them to accept the habit of getting their nails clipped.
  • Get them used to you messing with their paws: Gently take one of your cat’s paws, massage for three seconds, and let go. After the cat is settled again, give the pad a little press so the nail extends out. Release the paw and provide a treat. Do this every other day on a different paw until they are used to you messing with retracting and extending their claws.
  • Get them used to the sight and sound of the nail clipper: Imitate the sound of the clipper clipping through a toenail by clipping a piece of dried pasta.
  • Once they are used to the sound of the clipper and having their feet messed with, begin clipping their nails. When doing this, be sure not to cut to the quick. The quick is the pink stripe in the middle of the toenail.

Do not try to clip any cat’s nails when they are upset. Only try it when they are calm. Also, do not try to clip all their claws at the same time. You might have to clip just one or two per session. If you continue to have trouble, ask a vet or a pet groomer for help.

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