Clipping those Claws

Most people are not fond of cutting their kitties nails, or tend to forget about doing it all together! But, clipping those claws is important and should be done approximately once a month, depending on how quickly your kitties claws grow! There are many benefits to clipping your kitties nails, such as keeping their paws happy and healthy, and saving your upholstery and carpets from scratching practice!

Clipping a cats nails will help to avoid injury to their paws. Cat claws grow in a curved shape, and if left unchecked, they can actually curve under, and pierce/grow into their toe pads!  If this happens it will become painful for your kitty to walk (you can imagine, if you’ve ever had an ingrown toe nail, or even stepped on something sharp), and the claws must carefully be clipped away from the pad. Once removed, there will be an open sore on the toe pad which may be open to infection! Regularly trimming your kitties claws will avoid this all together!

Trimming your pets nails should be a painless experience, for both of you! The process is generally only uncomfortable because you are unfamiliar with it, are out of practice, or have a less than co-operative subject! Once you get the hang of it though, cutting your kitties nails can be a smooth and easy process, taking less than five minutes all together! All you’ll need is a pair of nail clippers (a photo of the ones we use here at Cats’ Castle is below), your kitty’s favorite treats, and if possible, a partner will make the procedure much easier!

IMG_20141023_170350282If you have a partner, one of you will hold the kitty, and the other will clip away the nails. The person in charge of holding the kitty should do so in a manner that keeps the kitty comfortable, and at the same time makes the kitties paws easily accessible to the person clipping.
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IMG_20141023_170809602The person clipping will take each toe individually and press firmly on the top and bottom of the toe. This will cause the claw to extend from the toe pad, making the whole nail visible.

IMG_20141023_171108956 Slide the nail into the clippers and squeeze them closed to clip off the end of the nail. If you do not have a partner, but you do have a cooperative kitty, you can lay the kitty in your lap, with its belly upwards. This will leave all of kitty’s paws accessible to you!
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A vast majority of kitties have transparent nails. This is convenient, because it means you can easily see the pink “quick”, which is the blood vessel that runs to the nail. You want to avoid cutting the quick when you clip the claws, because this will be painful for your kitty, will cause bleeding, and may lead your cat to having a stronger aversion to having their claws clipped. To insure you do not cut the quick, you can make several short cuts to each nail, slowly getting closer to the quick. Get as close to the quick as you are comfortable with, but remember, it is better to be safe than sorry! If you are uncomfortable, and are afraid of cutting the quick, that is okay, and you can get away with cutting off only the sharp end of the nail. This just means you will need to cut the claws more frequently. You will get more comfortable and confident trimming the nails, and your kitty counterpart will become more calm with each time that you do it.

If your kitty is a little too squirmy, you may want to try gently scruffing them. This does not hurt your cat, but makes them a little less mobile. The more still they are, the less likely you are to cut their quick! The more you cut their nails, the more comfortable they will become with the process, and they will likely sit still longer to allow you to finish.

Once you are done clipping your kitty’s claws, it is always nice to reward them with a few treats! … You might want a cookie for yourself too, because hey, you’ve both earned it!

Cats Castle Cat Hotel is a cat boarding that specializes in both short term and long term cat boarding. Our cattery provides a luxurious alternative to pet sitting. Our facility is located in Oakville Ontario, just minutes off of the QEW. Our customers come from all over Toronto and the GTA, Milton, Hamilton, Mississauga, Burlington and more!