Cutting Cat Nails
Before discussing the cutting cat nails, you should know that Outdoor cats usually wear down their claws scratching trees and wooden posts or by walking on paved areas. But, indoor cats need to have their claws trimmed regularly, to prevent them from growing so long they inhibit ordinary motion or pierce the paw pad.
Claws are all important elements of your cat’s body. Never look at declawing your cat simply to fix a scratching problem. Declawing involves the removal of the final joint of a cat’s toe. It’s a cruel and painful process.
Steps for cutting cat nails
1.Start by Gently Touching Her Feet
- First step for cutting cat nails is getting your cat really relaxed by cuddling or stroking her in the way you know to be her favorite (if you haven’t figured this out, it’s the way you touch her that makes her purr the most or offer you that part of her body she likes you to touch).
- Then touch her feet, very gently pressing down on each of her toes, which extends the claws—just for a second on each toe, and just long enough to get the claw to peek out. Do this every day for a week.
2.Study Her Claws
- The second step for cutting cat nails is observing your cat feet. After a week, your cat should be relaxed when you play with her feet. Now you’re going to start exposing her claws and leaving them out for a moment.
- The best way to get that claw to extend all the way out is not so much by squeezing the toe but by placing a finger underneath her paw, on the pad just beneath the claw, and pressing up. The claw will come right out.
- The claw will be transparent or whitish with a very hooked curve on the tip. That curved white bit at the very end is all that you are going to be cutting. You’ll see a pink center with a vein in it, which is called the quick.
- Be sure to avoid cutting the quick when clipping nails because it will hurt the cat and bleed quite a bit. Some cats have black nails that you cannot see through, so be sure that you clip just the curve of the tip to blunt the nail and avoid the quick.
3.Touch the Nail Clipper on the Cat’s Toes
The 3rd step for cutting cat nails is touching cat’s toes with the nail clipper. Once your cat is comfortable with having her claws exposed briefly, touch her toes with the clipper, but don’t cut anything yet. Just get her used to the feel of the clippers on her feet. Do this for 2 or 3 days.
4.Cutting Your First Nail
- The 4th step for cutting cat nails is not being nervous. There’s no reason to be worried about hurting your cat because you are only cutting off the dead nail—you aren’t going anywhere near that scary quick. You won’t risk hurting (and thereby scaring) your cat if you avoid cutting close to the quick and you’re only snipping off the very little curved bit at the tip.
- Begin by cutting a nail or two at a time so you can feel at ease and not strain your cat’s tolerance level. A few hours later, clip another nail or two and give it a rest again. Do only a few nails at a time, going slowly and getting both of you accustomed.
- Think of nail cutting as blunting the tip, just snipping off a teeny bit. Your goal is that when the cat steps down on her foot, the new flat tip that you cut will be flat on the ground.
5.If You Do Hit the Quick
- The 5th step for cutting cat nails is not being alarmed if you hit the quick. The nail does bleed quite a bit if you hit the vein.
- There are three ways to stop the bleeding: use a styptic pencil (sold for men who cut themselves shaving) that you dab onto the nail, have a box of cornstarch nearby so you can put a little in the palm of your hand and dip the bleeding nail into it or use a soft bar of soap that you can press the nail into for the same effect.
Tips For Cutting Cat Nails
1.Trimmers for human nails are satisfactory for cutting cat nails, or you may use nail trimmers designed especially for pets, such as the White’s type. Resco trimmers, usually used for dogs’ toenails, also work fine for cats.
2.For cutting cat nails, extend the claw. If you do this in good light and your cat’s claws are not darkly pigmented, you will be able to see the pink dermis (the quick).
3.Cutting cat nails place: just beyond the point where you see the dermis end. If you cut into the dermis, it is painful to the animal, and some bleeding will usually occur.
4.The bleeding stops, but the pain will make your cat reluctant to have a nail trim the next time. Pigmented nails are harder to trim, since the color obscures the quick.
5.However, with good, intense light you can often see the quick even if the nail is dark colored. If you can’t see the dermis, the easiest rule to follow is to cut the nail just beyond the point where it starts to curve downward. If you accidentally trim the nail into the quick and the bleeding doesn’t stop quickly, you can apply a styptic powder or pencil, Monsel’s solution (ferric subsulfate, available from pharmacists), cornstarch, or a black tea bag that has been moistened then squeezed out, or you can bandage the foot firmly for about an hour.
6.If you have accustomed your cat to being handled at a young age, nail trimming should be a one person job. If your cat seems particularly disagreeable, try to accustom him or her to the procedure gradually, trimming a few nails at a time and correcting bad behavior before resorting to a second person for aid.
7.Cats who are over restrained for nail trimming will become aggressive before having a chance to learn to cooperate. An alternative to nail trimming is the application of commercially available tiny wooden or shell beads or clear plastic nail covers to the cat’s claws with adhesive. These nail protectors need to be replaced every few weeks.
Declawing (onchyectomy) is a surgical procedure that can be resorted to when nail trimming and attempts to train a cat to use a scratching post have failed. It may also be necessary for cats who are not careful to keep their claws sheathed during play.
It should not, however, be a routine procedure for pet cats. It is too painful a procedure to be performed unnecessarily, and cats who have been declawed are at a disadvantage in some situations. They are unable to protect themselves well against dogs or other cats and often cannot climb as well as normal cats to escape danger.
Therefore, declawed cats should not be allowed outdoors unsupervised. When you and your veterinarian agree that declawing is necessary, the surgery is performed under general anesthesia in the veterinary hospital. The front claws are removed completely so regrowth is impossible, and the feet are usually bandaged for a day or two.
The rear claws can be removed if desired, but this is unnecessary, since they do not usually cause a problem in scratching behavior or accidental injury to the cat’s owner during play and are necessary for a cat to scratch him or herself.
Once the bandages are removed, your cat will be able to return home and within two weeks should be free from pain. An alternative surgery is one in which the tendons that extend the claws are cut. This procedure has not found general favor, as regular nail trimming to avoid growth of the toenails into the paw pads is required afterward. nail
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