Q: Can I cut my cat’s nails with a set of human nail clippers?
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We have a cat who jumps from the counter onto our shoulders. Clipping her nails is essential! We live in the woods and have made several cat trees out of real trees, and they love climbing and scratching on them. They still get those claws stuck in our blankets, though. So we do a nail trim whenever they are sleepy, and we happen to remember, at the same time.
In our home we need to trim our cats’ claws because we have an elderly relative staying with us who has very thin skin. If they jump up on her lap they can accidentally do real damage with claws. She wants them on her lap, just not the ouchy part. Our cats also love to make biscuits on our laps, which gets very painful if their claws are needle sharp. We’ve been able to trim nails of even the most resistant cat by offering treats and getting them slowly used to it. Of course, providing good scratching surfaces is key for their health too.
How to trim your cat’s nails — and live to the the story!
Even on nails, cats have that effect.
The more your cat scratches, the sharper his claws will become. As a result, you may need to periodically trim your cat’s toenails. How often depends to a great extent on your cat. If they are getting stuck on carpeting or are ripping through fabric (or your skin), your cat’s nails likely are too long and need to be trimmed.For cats that are fearful of nail trimming, approach the routine slowly and give them time to adjust. Start by gently holding your cat’s foot, without attempting to trim the nails or otherwise manipulate the foot. Once your cat will allow you to handle her foot without fear, move on to handling the individual toes.To trim your cat’s nails, simply clip off the sharp tips. Avoid cutting hte nail too short, which may lead to pain and bleeding. If you do accidentally cut your cat’s toenail too short, gentle digital pressure on the tip of the nail for a few moments is often enough to allow clotting and stop the bleeding. You can also use styptic powder or a styptic pen. In a pinch, press the nail firmly into a bar of bath soap to staunch the bleeding.It may take several sessions to accustom your cat to having her toenails trimmed. Go slowly and do not rush. Use plenty of treats and praise during the process.Next, introduce the nail trimmer. Simply tap the trimmer against the nail without actually trimming at first. When your cat will allow you to tap her nails with the trimmer, you can move on to actually trimming. For cats with short attention spans that get impatient during nail trims, try trimming a nail or two at a time.So how do you cut a cat’s nails without an ensuing blood bath? That, my dear friends, depends on the cat. Seriously, some cats will take to it, others won’t. But most will eventually suffer through the event. Here are some step-by-step instructions to help.