When it comes to grooming your cat, there are three main areas you need to focus on – brushing, bathing and trimming cat claws. Brushing and bathing can be easy enough to do, and considering how great cats are at self-grooming, you won’t need to worry about
either of them too often. Yet grooming a cat’s claws can often bring a struggle for many owners, who simply dread having to clip and trim their feline friend’s claws.
Cats need their claws for quite a few things, all of the very important to its general health and well-being. The most important are how their claws help them to stretch their backs and legs and to give their muscles a good stretching too. Other than that, they need them to defend themselves and do a bit of hunting, providing they are outdoor cats.
So it’s important to keep on top of trimming cat claws throughout the year, especially if they are becoming too long. Not only it’s annoying for the cat, but owners may find themselves at the mercy of horrible scratching and see a good chunk of furniture destroyed in the process.
Check out these handy tips for trimming your cats claws with minimal fuss!
Your Tool of Choice is Important
When trimming cat claws, you can usually opt for small scissors or clippers. You can find special ones designed for cats from both types of tools, but many find human clippers and small nail scissors work well-enough.
This means there is a fair amount of choice for selecting tools for the job, so you can try out a few different options and go for whatever one your cat is more open to and what you feel comfortable using.
Always go for sharp clippers and scissors, you want the claw to be cut cleanly and efficiently, as to avoid any cracking or damage to your cats claws.
Don’t Rush Things
For first time trimmings, always take the slow approach. Play around with your kitten’s paws, touching each toe individually and just getting them use to being handled around their feet. Perform this whilst stroking your cat and giving words of encouragement and positive reinforcement. Try touching her toes one at a time, slowly moving them and working towards retracting them by hand.
It can take a while to get your cat or kitten feeling comfortable enough to be handled in such a way, but over the long term it will only be beneficial. The more you can handle your cat from a young age, the easier every grooming session will be.
Do Some Research
It’s totally understandable to feel a little nervous about attempting trimming your cat’s nails – you don’t want to risk hurting your pet after all!
Those who have no experience doing so may especially feel a little unnerved about trying to groom claws for the first time, so do a little homework in advance!
This could be as simple as looking for tutorials on YouTube or asking a friend who has done it before to show themselves. It could even be a vet or professional groomer, all are always happy to pass on advice to cat owners.
Pick the Best Time
No when the optimal time for trimming is – this is usually best saved for after meals. Your cat will be nice and relaxed, which is always the best time to attempt it. This obviously means that you should avoid doing it before a meal, as your cat will only be more agitated.
Always be calm and relaxing when clipping claws, as this feeling will help to calm your cat also. If you are nervous and look uncomfortable, it will only make your cat feel the same, making the process harder for everyone.
Positive reinforcement is a great tip for making your pet easier to groom. They associate the positivity of the treat with the experience, making them more open to it in the future.
So treat your cat with whatever they like best – a snack, their favourite time, lots of love and attention etc. There is every chance this will need to be done more often in the first few attempts, but should be reduced the more comfortable the cat becomes.