Cat Nail Clipping: How and When to Cut Cat’s Nails
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Setting the Mood
A perfect world would be one in which you begin educating your cat to tolerate nail clipping while they are very young and still learning how the world works. Nail trimming should always be performed in a calm and peaceful environment, regardless of when you begin. Ideally, you should clip your cat’s nails while he or she is asleep, such as after eating. Keep your distance from windows and other pets that might cause you or them to become distracted. Take your cat somewhere where you can comfortably sit with them in your lap if that’s what you like.
Make Friends With the Paw
Some cats are more averse to having their feet played with than they are to having their nails trimmed. This extra effort to get them comfortable with having their paws stroked will pay dividends in the long term. Holding one paw between your fingers and gently rubbing it for two to three seconds is a good practice. If your cat makes a movement throughout the procedure, softly follow their movement. Then pinch the paw so that one of the nails protrudes. Release your cat as soon as possible and give him a treat.
Get Acquainted With the Clipper
Objects that are unfamiliar to your cat might be upsetting for him. Allow your cat to inspect the clippers by leaving them out in plain sight. You may even place a treat on top of them to encourage your cat to sniff them and grow acquainted with them over time. Occasionally, when clipping their nails, some cats get terrified of the sound the clipper creates. While holding your cat on your lap, insert a piece of dry spaghetti inside the clippers and close them. Gently massage one paw with the clippers while holding them close to their paws.
Give your cat a treat as soon as possible for putting up with the noise and massage.
It’s time to try trimming your cat’s nails once you’ve spent some time getting him comfortable to the notion. Place your cat on your lap so that it is looking away from you. Take one of your cat’s paws in your palm and gently press down on the pad until you can plainly see their claw. If the claw has to be trimmed, just the sharp point should be cut, and the quick should be avoided. As soon as you’ve finished trimming that nail, instantly release the paw and offer your cat a treat if they’ve caught on to what you’re up to.
Several cats will whine after you’ve clipped two or three of their toes’ nails.
Always give your cat a treat or a special toy after you’ve given him a trim. This demonstrates to your cat that trimming is not unpleasant and might even be enjoyable. It is possible that you may need to schedule multiple short appointments to get all of their nails cut.
Never Cut to the Quick
When your cat has been used to the notion, it’s time to experiment with trimming. Place your cat on your lap, with its back to you and its head turned away. Take one of your cat’s paws in your palm and gently press on the pad until you can plainly see their claw. The sharp point of the claw should be removed if the claw requires trimming; the quick should be avoided. As soon as you’ve finished trimming that nail, instantly release the paw and give your cat a treat if they’ve caught on to what you’ve been doing.
After you’ve clipped two or three nails, many cats will protest.
Never forget to give your cat a treat or a special toy once you’ve finished trimming his or her nails.
Getting all of their nails clipped may need many short sessions.
It is recommended that the majority of cats get their claws cut every week and a half to two weeks. It will be simpler to keep your cat’s nails under control if you establish a regular schedule for yourself. It is possible to get guidance from a groomer or veterinarian if you are experiencing difficulty clipping their claws. Declawing cats is strongly discouraged by the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. It can result in long-term consequences and discomfort. Instead, provide your cats with scratching posts, consult with your veterinarian about nail coverings, or cut their nails more frequently.
- Whenever your cat is agitated or when you’re in a foul mood, avoid trimming your cat’s nails. This just adds to the tension of the operation
- Never speed through a nail trim. Avoid scolding or punishing your cat if it resists. You could cut too deeply and nick the quick this way. This will simply serve to discourage them from cutting any farther. Do not attempt to cut all of your cat’s nails at the same time.
How to Trim Cat Nails: Step-by-Step Tips From a Pro Groomer
Once you have completed trimming your cat’s nails, spoil him or her with plenty of goodies, hugs, playing, or anything else that will help him or her to remember the event positively.
Trimming Cat Claws: Tips from the Pros
Consider the following suggestions to improve your chances of nail trimming success: First, put your skills to the test: Make sure your cat is in a good position before you start clipping their nails. Practice extending their nails one at a time before you start cutting. When your cat becomes accustomed to this procedure, it will be easier for them to become acclimated when it comes time for the actual nail clipping. In order to get the most out of your nail grinder, you should utilize it throughout these practice sessions.
- Maintain a calm demeanor: Your cat has mastered the art of detecting your emotional state.
- If necessary, make a ruse of it.
- Cat pheromones should be used: When it’s time to clip your cat’s nails, stress-relieving pheromones, such as aFeliway diffuser, can help him relax and calm down.
- Allow your kitten to know you have a treat to pique their curiosity, and then wait until they allow you to cut a nail before delivering the payment to keep their attention.
- Standing up can provide you with a better perspective, and it also allows you to work with a helper on one side of the cat to assist confine it while you’re cutting cat nails.
- If you lose your patience, you will lose the game and you will lose your cat’s faith in you.
- Learn to recognize the warning signs that your cat is giving you: Tail twitching, snarling, hardening of the body, and panting are all symptoms that your cat is growing dangerously enraged and is likely to attack or scratch you if you are not careful.
Even the purring of a cat might be a symptom of anxiety. If you detect any of these behaviors in your cat, take a break and give him or her time to settle down.
How Often Should You Cut Your Cat’s Nails?
In general, indoor cats require their nails to be clipped every two weeks or so. Kittens’ nails grow more quickly than those of adult cats, and they may require trimming every week, although some older cats may only require trimming once or twice each month. Outdoor cats require sharper nails for self-defense, therefore they may only require cat nail cutting a few times a year if they live in the wild.
Trimming a cat’s claws
Keeping your cat’s claws trimmed every few weeks is a crucial component of keeping your pet’s health in good condition. Getting a short trim will not only keep you, your cat, and your family safe, but it can also save your couch, drapes, and other furniture from becoming damaged. Declawing, which includes surgical amputation and can create behavioral and health difficulties, is also a rapid and effective alternative to nail-trimming. If the thought of clipping a cat’s claws makes you want to bite your nails, remember that all it takes is a little patience and a little practice to become proficient at the task.
Staying on the cutting edge
Claw trimmers come in a variety of shapes and sizes; choose the one that is most comfortable for you and your cat. A particular set of scissors customized to hold a cat’s claw in position is preferred by some, while others like human nail clippers, while still others choose clippers that are more like pliers or those that have a sliding “guillotine” blade are preferred by others. Whatever instrument you choose, make sure the blade is kept sharp at all times; harsh pressure from dull blades can cause an animal to be injured or a nail to fracture or become damaged.
Cat Nail Clippers are available on Amazon.com.
A cat would almost certainly bite your hand off if you approach it with a sharp item in one hand while attempting to grasp one of its paws with the other. Because cats’ temperaments and dispositions vary significantly, there is no “ideal” manner to treat a cat when clipping their claws. Instead, use your best judgment. Some cats are OK with no restraint at all, but the majority of cats need to be restrained firmly but gently to ensure that no one is injured during the process. Rest the cat in the crook of one arm while grasping the cat’s paw with the other hand to see if it works better.
A very social cat may even agree to sit on your lap and cuddle up with you for the duration of the session.
How to Trim Your Cat’s Nails at Home
Keep those claws properly trimmed to protect your cat’s health as well as the health and well-being of people around him, not to mention the furniture. Cats like scratching, as anybody who has lived with them will attest. Besides marking their territory, they scratch in order to extend the range of motion of their feet and body, and to remove the dead outer layer of skin from their nails. Unfortunately, all of the scratching behavior can result in damaged furniture or curtains, as well as injury to the person doing the scratching.
It is necessary to clip your cat’s claws every 10–14 days, therefore being acquainted with at-home trims is a requirement.
While it will take some time for you and your cat to become accustomed to the technique, it is quite feasible to do claw trims at home with a little perseverance and care. Here are a few pointers on how to trim your cat’s nails without hurting him.
Prepare Your Cat for Nail Trims
In the event that you’ve adopted a kitten, it’s important to get her acquainted to the nail clipping process as soon as possible. Establishing healthy habits at a young age will make your life much easier in the future. Regardless of your cat’s age, you should start by getting her used to having her paws touched and rubbed. Massage her feet and play with her paws on a regular basis, speaking softly and rewarding her with goodies to underline how pleasurable the activity is for both of you. Additionally, you want to get her acclimated to the sight and sound of the nail clippers before you attempt to give her a manicure.
- a cat’s paw with its claws spread Massage your cat’s paw and gently press down on his toes to allow the claws to lengthen so that you may trim them.
- Photograph courtesy of Getty Images The most significant distinction between clipping the nails of a dog and trimming the nails of a cat is that cats have retractable claws.
- If she flinches or draws away, don’t engage in combat with her.
- In order to prepare for the future clipping, pros recommend pushing down on one nail each day in order to expand it.
- As a result, she’ll be prepared when the time comes to actually cut the nails.
- The sound of clipping the uncooked noodles is quite similar to the sound of a nail being clipped.
- Once again, sweets, treats, and more treats!
How to Cut Overgrown Cat Claws
When you’re ready to begin trimming, pick a posture that is both comfortable for you and safe for her. Allowing cats to rest on their sides or on the lap of their owner is really beneficial to many of them. The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) advises cat owners that the optimum time to cut their cat’s nails is after she has eaten, when she is relaxed and maybe even drowsy. You won’t have to worry about figuring out how to cut the nails of a squirmy’s cat this way.
- Because it contains all of the nerves and blood vessels, it is critical not to cut into the quick in order to prevent inflicting pain and increasing the danger of infection.
- If you do happen to mistakenly clip through the quick, don’t panic.
- With practice, you’ll be able to trim more than one nail at a time as she becomes more comfortable with the procedure.
- Allow her to leave if she becomes agitated, and arrange to continue the chore another day if necessary.
- If her claws are long enough to curve into a circle, you can cut them with a pair of scissors-type clippers.
- In a pinch, you can even use human nail clippers to trim cat nails if you’re desperate.
Providing you can make nail clipping a pleasant and stress-free experience, you should be able to follow a grooming routine of every two weeks that will keep your cat happy—and your home free of shredded furniture!
Trimming Your Cat’s Nails: An Expert Guide
Prepare your cat for having their nails clipped by getting them used to having their paws touched by you before you attempt to cut their nails. Photo:alexyo1968 Is it necessary to trim a cat’s nails? It is possible to complete the project on your own — but this is not always the case. Cats’ personalities are quite diverse, and some cats will never readily accept to having their claws stroked, manipulated, or cut by people, regardless of the circumstances. Please keep this in mind as you continue reading.
Do All Cats Need Nail Trims?
- Indoor cats should have their nails checked and trimmed on a regular basis to ensure that they are in good condition. Outdoor cats are normally responsible for their own nail clipping, and they should have natural claws for climbing and protection.
Scratching posts and “non-approved” scratching surfaces can assist to keep an indoor cat’s nails in good form, although most indoor cats have extremely sharp nails to begin with. The question is, how frequently should you cut your cat’s nails?
- However, while many people never clip their cat’s nails, those who like a duller nail without the exceedingly sharp hook at the end of the nail should cut their cat’s nails every 6–8 weeks. Cat owners with arthritic or elderly pets should get their pets checked every two months and clipped if necessary.
To get started, you’ll need the following supplies:
- Cat that is moderately cooperative
- Nail trimmers of your choosing
- A scheme for restriction
- A human aid who is calm and collected might be really beneficial.
It is recommended that you cut the nails of your indoor cat every 6–8 weeks. Photo:RJ22
How to Get Your Cat Used to Nail Trims
Cat nails should be trimmed as soon as possible and your cat should be familiarized with having their paws stroked at any age. If you have an elderly cat that has never had their nails clipped and who will never understand why you want to start now, it could really be a bit late.
- Cat nails should be trimmed as soon as possible and your cat should be made comfortable with having their paws stroked at any time. If you have an older cat that has never had their nails clipped and who will never understand why you want to start now, it could really be a little late to start now.
What Kind of Nail Trimmers Should You Use on Your Cat?
Pet nail trimmers and human nail clippers are available in a variety of styles and sizes to suit your needs. There are five possibilities listed below. Cat nails are best clipped with human nail clippers, in my opinion. Their use is less time-consuming, and they provide a clear sight of where you are cutting.
1. Scissor-Type Trimmers
These nail trimmers have the appearance of a pair of scissors that have been designed particularly for cutting the nails of tiny animals. You might find them to be simple to operate. Quality, on the other hand, is important, and the cheapest ones might be dull and fail to give you a beautiful cut.
2. Nail Clippers for Dogs and Cats
Professional nail clippers, such as those used by your veterinarian on your dog and potentially your cat, are a worthwhile investment in your pet’s health. Take, for example, the town of Millers Forge. These heavy-duty clippers are built to last a lifetime, and they have user-friendly handles, surgical steel blades, and a safety lock to ensure your safety. Some people think they are too large for cat nails, but I think they’re great. They are available in a variety of sizes. Once again, quality is important.
3. Guillotine-Style Clippers
Despite the fact that this sort of clipper is also regarded professional quality, I do not believe the guillotine design is as user-friendly as some other devices. I believe it is simpler to injure your cat with them than with others. Perfection in the placement of the nail into the little guillotine window takes patience and skill to achieve. The guillotine must be parallel to the nail in order to be effective. Because it takes a few extra seconds to obtain the right nail placement, you may end up missing out on a good chance because you were distracted by it.
4. Human Nail Clippers
Many people believe that human nail clippers, which are a common home item, are the most convenient instrument for cutting your cat’s nails – and I agree.
Because they are tiny, you can go near to your cat’s nail and rapidly cut a nail if necessary. These work best when turned sideways to cut the cat nail, which is the polar opposite of how you would cut your own nails normally.
Keep an eye out for advertisements on all of the Dremel tools available for purchase online and in shops. They make things out to be so simple, but this is not the reality. Because of the noise and vibration created by these Dremels, it might take a long time to completely remove the nail polish. The majority of cats are not fond of being attacked by a loud, vibrating instrument. If your cat is wriggly, consider covering him or her in a bath towel while you cut their nails. Photo:stockelements
How to Restrain Your Cat for Nail Trimmings
Some cats require little or no control, but here are some suggestions for dealing with the scared, fretful, or aggressive feline.
Little or No Restraint
However, if you have a cat who is afraid, fretful, or vicious, here are some recommendations to help you manage him or her.
The Towel Method
Some cats are not necessarily mean, but they are jumpy and wriggly instead of being vicious.
- In the first instance, wrap them in a bath towel. Attempt to remove a paw to cut the nails after that.
With a little skill, you may use the towel to assist enclose three limbs while you remove one limb at a time.
The 2-Person Method
If you’ve ever observed your veterinarian and a vet tech cut your cat’s nails, you’ll know that two individuals can frequently complete this procedure with relative ease. It is best to use a table or a countertop. With a back-of-the-neck grip, one person holds or even restrains the other person while the other person cuts the nails. This is not for every couple or roommate combination, and it is also not for every cat, but it is for some. If you are not comfortable with your partner or with restriction, you may suffer consequences.
The Actual Nail Trim
Cats have four nails on their front foot, plus one dewclaw, and four nails on their back feet. (Some cats have “extra toes,” and some of them need to be trimmed to prevent them from growing into the cat’s foot. This is discussed in further detail in my article “Polydactyl Cats: Extra Toes Can Cause Extra Problems.” Cat claws can be either retractable or retractile in nature. It is necessary to carefully apply pressure to the toe between your thumb and fingertip in order to expose the claw and then trim the claw..
The pointed, sharp end of the claw is the only part of the claw that has to be trimmed.
If you cut into the cat’s quick, it will bleed profusely, which is quite painful for the animal.
Remember to keep the dewclaw on the inner side of the foot in mind.
How to Stop Bleeding
In most cases, bleeding nails that have been clipped too short will cease on their own within a few minutes. You should leave your cat alone if it has ran away from you and is hiding beneath the bed, according to my suggestion. No considerable amount of blood will be lost by them. When your cat has stopped being enraged at you and has come out on their own, you may look at the nail more closely. The product Kwik Stop, a styptic powder, and silver-nitrate-containing styptic pencils are all available for purchase to help stop bleeding.
The cat may be agitated at this stage, and the nail may be a little uncomfortable. Attempting to stop the bleeding is not always advisable. To cut a long story short, be sure you don’t cut too close to the chase. Here’s a video that walks you through the process of trimming cat nails:
Ask Your Veterinarian for Help
In most cases, bleeding nails that have been clipped excessively short cease on their own within a few minutes. It’s best to leave your cat alone if he or she has ran away from home and is hiding beneath your bed. No large amounts of blood will be lost to them. When your cat has stopped being enraged at you and has come out on their own, you may look at the nail with a flashlight. The product Kwik Stop, a styptic powder, and silver-nitrate-containing styptic pencils are available for purchase to stop bleeding.
Possibly, the cat is enraged at this stage, and the nail may be a little sore.
Make sure you don’t cut too close to the chase, to put it another way.
Dr. Debora Lichtenberg, VMD, a veterinarian, has provided this article for your consideration. The most recent inspection was performed on April 2, 2019. If you have any questions or concerns, you should consult with your veterinarian, who is the most qualified to guarantee the health and well-being of your animal companion. Please remember that this material is intended just for informative reasons and should not be used as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.
The Best Way to Trim Your Cat’s Nails
Doctor Debora Lichtenberg, VMD is the author of this article, which is a veterinary professional. Last updated on April 2, 2019 with new information. If you have any queries or concerns, you should consult with your veterinarian, who is the most qualified to ensure the health and well-being of your animal companions. Please remember that this material is intended just for informative reasons and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Detailed details may be found by clicking here.
Take it very slowly.
According to Kornreich, you should desensitize your cat to the sensation of having his paws handled before you even consider grabbing the clippers and getting to work. “As this is a highly abnormal action for them, it’s critical that they feel at ease in this posture.” Farnsworth recommends catching your cat when she’s relaxed or drowsy, such as shortly after a meal, to maximize your chances of catching her. Place her in your lap and softly push on one of her paws with the palm of your hand before moving onto the next paw and so on.
Forcefully restraining her will only exacerbate her aversion to being touched.
Use the clippers you’re comfortable with.
When the cat can comfortably remain in one place while you lift and hold a paw, you’ll know she’s ready for a nail clipping appointment. Despite the fact that there are many different types of clippers available (guillotine-style cat clippers, human clippers, scissor-shaped clippers), Kornreich and Farnsworth believe that the ideal option is the one that feels the most natural to use for you.
(Avoid dog clippers, though, as they are often much larger and clunkier in design.) Additionally, sharpness is essential; a dull set of pliers would crush the nail rather than slice through it.
Cut across the top—and avoid going too deep.
Make a straight snip across the tip of a nail with one paw in your palm while providing minimal pressure to the nail’s extension. If there are any sharp corners left, plan on filing them later (instead of turning or angling the clippers to trim them). It’s also vital to keep an eye out for the quick, which is the pink section at the base of the nail that contains blood vessels and nerve endings, and to avoid cutting into it, since this may cause pain and bleeding, according to Kornreichen. If this occurs, do not become alarmed.
Other than that, continue snipping the tips of nails as you move from one to the next as long as your cat doesn’t struggle.
(Being patient is essential, since it may take numerous attempts for your cat to become used to this practice.) Offer loving praise and treats for anything she is able to achieve, even if it is as simple as putting one or two nails in a nail polish holder.
Cat Nail Trimming 101: How and When
Regular cat nail cutting should be implemented as soon as the furniture in your home begins to resemble a rusted out scratching post. Given the fact that cat nails (also known as claws) grow in layers, cats must scratch in order to remove old claw sheaths and reveal fresh claws. While it’s reasonable to assume that your indoor cat isn’t hunting with its claws, they nevertheless play an important part in your pet’s natural behavior and survival. It is natural for your cat to use their claws for a variety of activities including as playing, hunting, climbing, and protecting themselves.
So you can imagine how tough it would be to get through a day without having healthy nails.
Warming Up to Cat Nail Trimming
As soon as the furniture in your home begins to look like an old scratching post, it is important to implement a regular cat nail cutting regiment. The reason behind this is because cat nails (also known as claws) develop in layers, and scratching is used to peel away old claw sheaths and reveal fresh claws. It is reasonable to assume that your indoor cat does not hunt with its claws; yet, they do play an important role in your pet’s natural behavior. It is natural for your cat to utilize their claws for a variety of activities including as playing, hunting, climbing, and protecting themselves against other animals.
Consider how tough it would be to go through a day with damaged or missing fingernails. This article will explain when and how to trim cat nails to aid you in your cat’s grooming regimen.
How to Cut Cat Nails: Perfecting Your Technique
When the furniture in your home begins to resemble a rusted scratching post, it’s time to start doing regular cat nail cutting. Given the fact that cat nails (also known as claws) develop in layers, cats must scratch to remove old claw sheaths and reveal fresh claws. While it is reasonable to assume that your indoor cat does not hunt with its claws, they nonetheless play an important part in your pet’s natural behavior. Your cat’s claws are instinctively used for a variety of activities including as playing, hunting, climbing, and protecting themselves.
So you can image how terrible a day would be if you didn’t have healthy nails.
Knowing When and How Often to Trim Cat Nails
You might consider having your cat’s claws clipped if they are very long, curled, and razor sharp. Try to capture them after they’ve finished playing so that they’re weary and calm. Depending on how active your cat is and how frequently they scratch, the amount of time between cat nail trims will vary, with the usual length being 2–4 weeks. You should begin clipping your cat’s nails while they are young since convincing an older cat to accept a “pedicure” can require a great deal of patience.
Maintaining Your Cat’s Nails Between Trimmings
Providing a solid scratching post or tower for your cat is one method to encourage his or her natural tendency to paw at things. It also prevents your furnishings from becoming the next object of their affection. When you start training your cat to scratch in suitable locations at a young age, you have the best chance of preventing undesired scratching. Here are a few things to keep in mind:
Scratch post texture
Every cat has his or her own set of preferences when it comes to scratching materials. Allow your cat to experiment with different materials in order to discover out what he or she prefers. Scratching surfaces that are most commonly used and popular include cardboard, carpet, and sisal (a ropy fiber). Once you’ve determined whatever material your cat like, you can get a sturdypost that will let them to dig in and pull without the risk of toppling it over.
Scratch post location
Choose a site that is close to your cat’s favorite scratching and napping spots. Move your cat’s paws up and down the post, or scratch the post yourself, to reinforce the concept that this is a suitable area to scratch.
Protecting your furniture
Location should be close to your cat’s preferred scratching and sleeping spots. Moving your cat’s paws up and down the post, or scratching the post yourself, will help to reinforce the concept that this is a suitable scratching spot.
When to Seek Professional Nail Grooming
All cats are unique, and it’s occasionally preferable to enlist the assistance of a trained specialist. Certified stylists will know how to deal with your cat’s eccentric behavior and will know how to assist them relax throughout their appointment.
If you believe your pet may benefit from expert grooming, consider scheduling a Petco nail trim appointment. The salon also offers a la carte treatments like as nail buffing, paw balm, and even nail paint, so you can have a whole day of pampering!
- The Best Ways to Bathe and Groom a Cat
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- How to Bathe and Groom a Cat
Step-by-step Guide: How to Trim Cat Nails Safely Yourself at Home
Reading time is estimated to be 8 minutes. While the nails of an outdoor cat are likely to be filed down naturally as they explore the outdoors, the nails of indoor or elderly cats are frequently filed down. Cats with excessively long nails can cause harm to themselves and to their owners, as well as to themselves, via scratching themselves raw on furniture or other surfaces. For further information on how to trim cat nails safely at home, as well as how to clip cat nails without pain or stress, please see our tips and tricks section below.
Overview: How to trim cat nails
- The majority of cats despise having their nails clipped
- Begin while your cat is young so that he or she becomes accustomed to the trimming procedure. Some cats are simple to handle when it comes to getting their nails cut, while others may require gentle restraint. Nail-trimming for cats should be done with their paws close to their bodies, in a position that seems natural to them. If you draw their paw out too far, their instinct will be to pull it back in
- If you pull their paw out too far, their instinct will be to pull it back in. Trim the tip of your cat’s nail with cat nail clippers or normal nail clippers – do not cut the quick (which is the pink area of the nail)
- And Don’t try to do it all at once
- Instead, try to clip one nail every day until all of your nails are trimmed. After you’ve finished clipping your cat’s nails, use positive reinforcement (also known as treats) to reward him.
Do all cats need their nails trimmed?
Having their nails clipped is something that most cats despise. Get your cat acquainted to the trimming process by starting when he or she is young. When it comes to nail trimming, some cats are simple to work with, while others may require gentle restraint. Nail-trimming for cats should be done with their paws close to their bodies and in a posture that seems natural to them. If you draw their paw out too far, their instinct will be to pull it back in; if you pull their paw out too far, their instinct will be to pull it back in; Trim your cat’s nail at the tip with cat nail clippers or normal nail clippers – do not cut the quick (which is the pink area of the nail); and Keep it simple by trimming one nail every day until all of your nails are clipped; don’t do it all at once.
Following your cat’s grooming session, use positive reinforcement (also known as treats) to reward him.
What happens if you don’t trim your cat’s nails?
The majority of cats despise getting their nails clipped; Start while your cat is young so that he or she becomes accustomed to the trimming process. Some cats are cooperative when it comes to having their nails cut, while others may require gentle restraint. Nail-trimming for cats should be done with their paws close to their body and in a posture that feels natural to them. If you draw their paw out too far, their impulse will be to bring it back in; if you drag their paw out too far, they will pull it back in.
Don’t try to do it all at once; instead, attempt to clip one nail every day until all of your nails are trimmed.
How often to trim cats nails?
Keep an eye out for indications of wounds, swelling, infection, damage, or splinters on your cat’s paws and nails on an ongoing basis. You should clip your cat’s nails once every 10-14 days, or even more frequently if you observe that they are still reasonably short.2 Nail cutting is necessary if you can hear your tiny buddy’s nails tap-tap-tap on the floor as they totter past.
How to trim cat nails: Step-by-step instructions
When possible, begin clipping your cat’s nails when they are still a kitten to ensure that they become accustomed to the procedure. Over time, this will make things a lot simpler. Once you’re ready to begin, choose a quiet area where you may cut your cat’s nails that is free of loud noises or other distractions (such as other animals, or birds outside the window).
Make sure to trim your cat’s nails while he or she is tired or after they have had a satisfying meal to keep your cat in the best possible mood. Allow your cat to sit on your lap, be nice with them, and keep some goodies on hand for when they need them.
Step 2: Define the cutting range
Lift one of your cat’s paws softly, being cautious not to disturb your little companion too much. Once your cat is comfortable and sitting on your lap, gently lift one of its paws. Press a toe pad between your index and middle fingers to reveal the nails, as shown in the illustration below: It is beneficial to take a deeper look at claw anatomy in order to ensure that you understand how to properly trim a cat’s nails. Essentially, you’ll want to be able to distinguish between three major components:
- Thesheath is the outer covering of the cat’s coat that is regularly lost by scratching. Quickly, the inner “pink” portion of the brain, which is densely packed with neurons and blood arteries
- That jagged portion we’re all familiar with is called theclaw.
This illustration may assist you in visualizing things more clearly: WARNING: Do not cut into the quick, which is the pink portion of the skin that contains nerves and blood vessels. It is possible to see where it is safe to clip your cat’s nails in the figure below – towards the bottom of the nail, and closer to the tip of the nail. Avoid cutting into the pink area at all costs, as this may expose your cat to bleeding and infection. It’s preferable to trim them just a little bit rather than risk cutting them too quickly.
Step 3: Trim cat nails
Simply trim the tip of one nail, release your cat’s paw, and give them a treat to show your appreciation. Continue trimming the nails if your cat doesn’t appear upset by the procedure. When it comes to certain cats, cutting only one nail every day may be the most you can manage. You should avoid clipping your cat’s nails if he or she is irritated or distressed. Similarly, if your cat is not participating, do not get upset or reprimand them – simply try again another time, or get expert assistance.
After you have clipped your cat’s nails, you can file the nail down to prevent it from catching on something.
Step 4: Reward your cat
Be sure to give your cat with a treat, their favorite cat food, or plenty of caressing and kind words once you’ve finished clipping their nails. In this way, your cat may be able to withstand the nail-cutting procedure a little better. As for hope they’ll come to appreciate it, that’s a another story. Certainly, best of luck with that
Step 5: Repeat
Most cats do not love having their nails clipped, therefore it is possible that you may need to repeat these procedures each day until you have trimmed all of the nails on your cat. Keep in mind to be patient, to reward your cat for excellent behavior, and to make the procedure as comfortable as possible for both of you.
Cat nail bleeding: What to do if you accidentally cut too short?
In the event that you accidentally cut your cat’s nail too short and it begins to bleed, remain cool. Applying styptic powder, silver nitrate stick, or cauterizing powder to the wound will halt the bleeding. Are you unsure of what they are? There’s nothing to worry about. Someone at a pet store or pharmacy will be able to lead you in the correct route. No, you don’t have any of those at your house. If you’re in a hurry, baking powder, flour, or a bar of soap can be used to staunch the bleeding.
How to trim a squirmy cat’s nails
Is your cat squirming away just as you’re about to begin trimming?
Your cat can be restrained if you place them on your lap with their tummy looking downwards and their head pointing to the side. You can use your forearms to support their neck and back while clipping their cat nails with your dominant hand4.
My cat won’t let me trim nails – what should I do?
Is it normal for your cat to wiggle away just as you’re about to begin cutting? Your cat can be restrained if you place them on your lap with their tummy facing down and their head looking to the side. Rest your forearms softly but firmly on their neck and back, allowing you to keep them calm while clipping their cat nails with your dominant hand.
More cat care guides
Is there anything you can’t accomplish now that you’ve mastered the art of cat nail trimming? If you want to learn more about cat care, read the following articles:
- What causes cats to consume grass and what effect does it have on them are both investigated. Cat dementia: symptoms and treatment prospects
- What causes cats to sleep so much? Obesity in Cats: How to assist your overweight cat in losing weight
- How to locate a misplaced cat — and prevent them from going missing in the future
Check out the video instruction below to see what the cat nail clipping procedure looks like in action. Spread the kitty love by forwarding this article to a friend!
Kitty Claw Control: How and When to Cut Your Cat’s Nails
The 7th of June in the year 2021 It’s possible that trimming your cat’s nails isn’t high on your list of favorite activities. You should be aware, however, that investing the time necessary to train your pet and exercising some patience on your part will pay off and allow for successful, if not joyful, nail trimming sessions! Here’s all you need to know about exercising feline claw control, including when and how!
Prepare, Prepare, Prepare
Don’t wait until your furniture begins to resemble scratching poles before doing action. Starting at an early age, include nail clipping into your kitten’s daily routine. Even if your cat is older, it is still feasible for him to become accustomed to paw handling. Begin by grasping your pet’s paws and gently stroking them together while chatting to him or her. Make a squeezing motion with your fingers and toes, allowing the nails to expand and then release them quickly. Don’t forget to offer your cat a treat to promote the behavior you want to see from him.
Set the Mood
Keep your furnishings from becoming scratching posts by waiting too long. Beginning at an early age, incorporate nail clipping into your kitten’s routine. Although your cat may be older, it is still feasible for him or her to become more comfortable with paw handling. While chatting to your pet, begin by grasping his or her feet and caressing them softly. Make a squeezing motion with your fingers and toes, allowing the nails to expand, and then release them. Don’t forget to offer your cat a reward to promote the behavior you want him to exhibit.
Kitty Claw Control: Best Practices
As soon as your feline partner is comfortable with being handled by his or her paws, it’s time to begin cat claw cutting. Cut one or two claws at a time to begin with, then gradually increase the number of nails you cut in a single session. Don’t forget to give out goodies to help children form positive connections with food. Make certain that you use high-quality nail clippers. When you want to prolong a nail, pinch a finger or toe gently. Clipper the nail at the place where it begins to bend downward with the blade perpendicular to the nail bed.
Continue until the tiny curled tip of the quick if you are unable to see it. Provide an incentive to foster collaboration if you want it to succeed.
When Is It Time for aCat Nail Trim?
You may now on to kitten claw trimming now that your furry pet has become accustomed to paw handling. Cut one or two claws at a time to begin with, then gradually increase the amount of nails you cut in a single sitting. Do not forget to provide snacks to encourage the formation of good feelings in children. When choosing nail clippers, make sure they are of high quality. If you want to lengthen a nail, gently compress the nail with your finger or toe. Clipper the nail at the place where it begins to bend downward with the blade perpendicular to the nail surface.
Continue until the tiny curled tip of the quick if you are unable to see the quick.
Need More Feline Nail-Trimming Tips?
Consult with your experienced team at All About Cats Veterinary Hospital in Kirkland for guidance or a demonstration if you’ve never clipped your cat’s nails before and are feeling intimidated by the task. We would be pleased to assist you through the process of nail cutting to ensure that you are comfortable with the procedure. All of the members of our cat-friendly staff are here to assist you and your feline companion at every step of the process!
Trimming your cat’s claws
The majority of cats do not require claw cutting — in fact, clipping their claws may be improper because cats use their claws for protection as well as climbing and exploration. Cats’ claws can become overgrown as they grow older and become less flexible, causing discomfort and even infection in the process. If you believe your cat’s claws need to be trimmed, it is best to discuss this with your veterinarian and to request a demonstration of the procedure. In addition, we have two videos:
Helping your cat accept having its paws checked and its claws clipped
- Select a moment when both you and your cat are at their most calm. Before you begin, make sure you have enough of light. Placing your cat in a position where it is looking away from you is best – for example, while your cat is lounging on your lap. Another option is to cover your cat in a towel, leaving one leg unwrapped. To stretch the claw outward, gently touch the top of each toe on the cat’s paw to extend the claw outward. Keep in mind that if your cat is senior, you should be especially careful when handling him. Take a close look at the claw and, using claw clippers, snip off only the translucent tip of the claw, avoiding the blood vessel (quick) that can be seen in its center, to prevent infection. Immediately stop and try again another time if your cat feels nervous
- Cutting claws might be difficult depending on your cat’s temperament, so ask your veterinarian or vet nurse for assistance or a demonstration.
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How to Trim Your Cat’s Nails
Documentation Download Documentation Download Documentation A cat’s nails may need to be trimmed to prevent them from splitting or breaking, and you may find it beneficial to cut off the sharp tips of your cat’s nails if your cat is prone to kneading, scratching, or other inappropriate behavior. Once you’ve gotten your cat used to the idea of having his nails trimmed, it’s very simple. Continue reading for step-by-step instructions.
- 1 Pet the pads of your cat’s paws. Most cats are naturally apprehensive about having their paws handled, so start by gradually accustoming your cat to the process of being handled.
- Wait until your cat is comfortable and reclining before attempting to pet him. Be gentle with its paws while also caressing the cat in its favorite locations (the back of the neck, under the chin, where its back meets its tail and so on)
- Then repeat the process with the other paws. This should be repeated for each paw you intend to cut. Depending on the situation, the cat may withdraw its paws away or even get up and walk away. Please do not coerce it into doing anything
- Instead, continue to softly touch its paws whenever the chance presents itself. Treats and praise should be given to your cat whenever you handle its paws in order to help it develop pleasant associations.
2 Take your cat’s paws in your hands.
Once your cat feels comfortable enough to allow you to rest your hand on its paws without jerking away, begin to gently grasp its paws in your open palm while keeping your fingers open.
- Make a fist and place your hand over the cat’s paw, then turn your hand around so that the bottom of the cat’s paw rests on the palm of your hand. Continually praise and reward the cat with affection and snacks. Introducing a new, special treat for the cat that will only be linked with the act of trimming its claws
3 Massage the paws of your cat. As soon as your cat becomes accustomed to you touching its paws, you may begin holding the paws and rubbing them with your fingertips to soothe them.
- Massage the paws of your cat Begin holding your cat’s paws and massaging them with your fingertips once it has become accustomed to you handling its paws.
4 Pay great attention to your cat’s nails. Finally, you should be able to gently squeeze the paws (with the majority of the pressure applied to the pad of the paw) to gently push individual claws out without causing your cat any distress.
- During an extension of a cat’s claws, you’ll be able to view the thick section of the nail and, as you approach the cat’s toe, the pinkish region inside the nail known as the quick
- Because the quick is the live section of the nail and contains blood vessels and nerves, cutting a cat’s nail to the quick can be quite painful for the feline victim. You should never trim a cat’s nail so near to or so flush with the toe that you miss the sharp tip
- Instead, clip off the sharp point. Consider the location and size of each quick-through a transparent nail, it will appear as a little pink triangle, so pay close attention to this detail. Each of your cat’s nails will be similar in appearance, so even if your cat has black nails, seek for one clear nail that may serve as a reference point for the others
Prepare your cat for the “nail-trimming posture” by putting him in it. If your cat is already accustomed to sitting in the proper posture for having its nails clipped, it will put up less of a struggle when the time comes to actually trim the nails.
- The cat will need to sit on its back on your lap with its back to you, facing away from you, while you hold its paw with one hand (and ultimately the clippers with the other) as you cut the cat’s nails. Make a habit of having your cat sit in this position and holding each of its paws. Gently push on each nail to allow it to grow longer. Treats and praise should be given to the cat once more. As long as you have someone to assist you, they can keep the cat facing you or cradle it while you hold the paw with one hand (and clip with the other as necessary). Experiment with having your helper hold your cat while you grip each of its paws and softly push each claw until your cat appears to be comfortable with the situation. Reward it with sweets and words of encouragement
- If you’re going to be clipping your cat’s nails by yourself, the cat will need to sit on its back on your lap, facing away from you, while you hold its paw with one hand (and, ultimately, the clippers with the other)
- Put your cat in this position and hold each of its paws for a couple of minutes. Each nail should be gently pressed in order for it to grow. Treats and positive reinforcement should be given to the cat again. In the case that you have a helping hand, they can either keep the cat facing you or cradle it while you hold the paw with one hand (and, eventually, clip it with the other)
- Experiment with having your helper hold your cat while you grip each of its paws and softly push each claw until your cat appears to be happy with the arrangement. Offer goodies and positive reinforcement to it.
- Another appropriate time to trim your cat’s nails is after he or she has eaten and is feeling tired and satisfied. Please avoid trimming your cat’s nails immediately after playtime, when it is hungry, when it is restless and running around, or in any other violent state. The cat will be extremely resistant to you clipping its nails
- You may see that your cat has a damaged or splitting nail and will be tempted to cut it right away, but resist the temptation to do so. Make a note of it and wait for your cat to get more comfortable before attempting to cut it
- Otherwise, you may make the situation worse.
2 Make use of the appropriate tools. As a precaution, make certain that you have the proper tools before beginning to clip your cat’s nails. For nail trimming, you’ll need a pair of cat-specific nail clippers and a styptic pencil, both of which are available at pet stores.
- Nail clippers are available in a variety of shapes and sizes, all of which perform essentially the same functions. The most essential thing to remember is that the clippers must be extremely sharp in order to cut right through the claw. You may end up compressing the quick, which may be uncomfortable for the cat if you use dull clippers. Generally speaking, there are two types of clippers: scissor clippers and guillotine cutters. Scissor clippers are used to clip a cat’s nails in a scissor motion, and they are available in both small and big sizes. The little “nippers” are usually preferable for individuals who are new to nail trimming or who only need to cut the tips of their nails. Larger scissor clippers are more suited for trimming older, more difficult to cut nails. Guillotine clippers are equipped with a sliding blade that cuts the nail when the handles are squeezed together. The claw is designed to fit into a slot, and the blade is designed to move across the nail to clip it. If the clippers are sharp, the cat will not be bothered by the quick clip. These are powerful clippers that are suitable for cutting long, thick nails (but not overgrown nails, which require larger clippers). If you believe that the blades of your clippers have become dull, destroy them (or send them in for sharpening) immediately. When this occurs, you may find yourself needing to use a lot of pressure to trim your nails, or your clippers may “chewed” your nail rather than creating a clean cut. Also keep a styptic pencil on available in case you accidentally cut the cat’s quick (which is less likely to happen with a cat than it is with a dog because the cat’s quick is considerably shorter than the dog’s quick). Prescription styptic pencils are easily obtained from pharmacies (typically in the shaving section). When they come into contact with the nail, they cauterize blood vessels and aid in the prevention of bleeding. Alternatively, if you cut the quick, you may apply pressure with a styptic pencil to the claw for 1 – 2 minutes, which should stop the bleeding.
Gather your cat and place it in the “nail-trimming posture,” with its back against your lap and its front towards you.
- Gather your cat and place it in the “nail-trimming posture,” with its back against your lap and its tail towards you.
4 Locate the point at which the nail splits from the quick of the nail. Before you attempt to cut the nail, make sure you are aware of the location of the quick, which will appear as a little, reddish triangle within the nail.
- Initially, just the tips of the nails should be trimmed, and as you become more comfortable, you can cut closer to the quick
- Nevertheless, you should never cut all the way to the quick, because you will injure your cat and cause its nails to bleed.
5 Use the nail trimmers to cut the nails. Holding the cat in the manner indicated previously, clip the nails one by one. Placing the trimmers midway between the end of the quick and the claw will give you the best results.
- Make an effort to position the clippers so that when the nail is clipped, the blade cuts from the bottom to the top of the nail. This will aid in the prevention of splitting. Make an effort not to become frustrated. Your cat may complain, meow, and attempt to scratch you
- However, do not shout at your cat or speed through the process, otherwise you risk injuring it and frightening it away from having its nails clipped in the future. At first, you may only be able to trim one or two nails at a time
- However, this will improve over practice.
6 Offer your kitty a tasty treat. After putting up with you cutting its nails for so long, it deserves to be rewarded for his patience and understanding.
- Make the treat extra special by doing the following: Salmon or chicken that has been vacuum-packed Some cats also enjoy sour cream or butter
- By using a particular reward, you may ensure that your cat comes to link getting its nails cut with receiving the food in question. So, even if your cat doesn’t enjoy the nail-trimming process, it will enjoy the goodie that follows, and it will be less resistive in the future.
7 Make sure to check your cat’s nails on a frequent basis. Even though each cat’s nails develop at a different rate, it’s a good rule of thumb to trim your cat’s nails anywhere between every two weeks and once a month to prevent your cat’s nails from becoming too long, splitting, or breaking.
- You should still keep an eye on your cat’s nails, even though they will be sharpening and maintaining them in excellent form on their own. A broken nail on the paw of your cat may be causing it to limp around, and you may help by cutting it back into shape. The nails of older cats are larger and can press into the pads of their feet, injuring them. They require extra treatment because of this. Check your elder cat’s nails once a week and cut the tips if required to prevent infection. This is significantly less difficult than allowing the nails to become overgrown, which can cause them to impale the pads of the feet. As a result, the cat will require the services of an animal clinic in order to receive antibiotics if this occurs.
- You should still keep an eye on your cat’s nails, even though they will be sharpening and maintaining them in excellent condition on their own. A broken nail on the paw of your cat may be causing it to limp around, and you may help by cutting it back to form. Because their nails are stronger and can press around into the pads, older cats require extra care because their pads are more vulnerable to injury. Once a week, check your senior cat’s nails for fraying and cut the tips if needed. The alternative is to allow the nails to become too long, which might cause them to crash into the pads. This is considerably easier to do. This will necessitate the cat’s consultation with a veterinarian, since antibiotics may be required.
- Although it may seem like a good idea to get your cat acclimated to having its nails clipped, the fact is that many cats will still protest every time, and you may need to enlist some additional assistance to complete the task.
2 Ask your assistant to hold the cat in position for you. You may try standing on opposite sides of an elevated surface, such as a counter, to see how it feels.
- Both of you should speak to the cat in a calm and soothing manner
- Allow your assistant to touch the cat and attempt to keep it in position by holding on to its body without harming or scaring it too much. As long as your cat loves being brushed, having someone else brush it will help distract it from the fact that it’s having its nails clipped at the same time as you are. Request that your assistive person brush the cat’s head, beneath its neck, or in any other areas where it appreciates being rubbed.
3 Take one of your cat’s paws in your palm and rub it together. While still gripping the paw, press down on the pad to cause the claws to lengthen.
- In the event that your cat is acting out of character, wait for it to calm down before isolating the paw.
4 Trim your cat’s nails as you would normally do to keep them healthy. While you are trimming the cat’s claws, your assistant will continue to distract the cat.
- Simply follow the instructions in the preceding section to ensure that you provide your cat with a smooth and painless nail trim
- When you’re finished, give your cat a tasty treat to show your appreciation.
5 Check your cat’s nails on a regular basis to ensure they are in good condition. Every cat’s nails develop at a different rate, but it’s a good idea to trim your cat’s nails on a regular basis, ideally every two weeks to once a month, to ensure that its nails don’t become too long, split, or break.
- Despite the fact that your cat will most likely sharpen its claws and keep them in good condition on their own, keep a watch on its nails just in case. A broken nail on the paw of your cat may be causing it to limp around, and you may help by cutting it back into shape. Especially important for older cats is the fact that their nails are larger and can occasionally rub around in the pads, cutting them. Check your elder cat’s nails once a week and cut the tips if required to prevent infection. This is significantly less difficult than allowing the nails to become overgrown, which can cause them to impale the pads of the feet. If this occurs, the cat will need to be examined by a veterinarian since antibiotics may be required.
Create a new question
- Question My cat’s nail is peeling, and paper thin parts are falling away with it. There is no blood, no discomfort, and no swelling in the area. Is this a usual occurrence? A veterinarian with over 30 years of expertise in veterinary surgery and companion animal practice, Dr. Elliott, BVMS, MRCVS, is a member of the British Veterinary Medical Association. Veterinary medicine and surgery were among the subjects she studied when she graduated with honors from the University of Glasgow in 1987. She has been employed at the same animal clinic in her hometown for more than two decades now. An Answer from a Veterinarian Unlocking this expert answer will help to support wikiHow. Yes, this is quite normal. Cat claws vary from human fingernails and dog claws in that the nail grows in layers, much like the peels of an onion. This allows the cat to grasp objects more effectively. As a result, it’s usual for the outer layer to peel away, especially if it’s been somewhat injured by scratching throughout the process. This is an adaptation that provides the cat with a permanently sharp pair of nails that may be used for climbing and fighting. Question Do you need to cut the claws on the cat’s hind paws? A veterinarian with over 30 years of expertise in veterinary surgery and companion animal practice, Dr. Elliott, BVMS, MRCVS, is a member of the British Veterinary Medical Association. Veterinary medicine and surgery were among the subjects she studied when she graduated with honors from the University of Glasgow in 1987. She has been employed at the same animal clinic in her hometown for more than two decades now. Answer from a veterinarian expert
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- Begin with the claws on the back of your hand. Many cats may attempt to escape using their hind legs, but if you have already severed them, you will not be scratched as readily. When cats are napping adjacent to their human friends, they are more susceptible to being trimmed. As long as you remember to have the clippers close by, you should be able to do this really vital piece of cat care without interfering with the cat’s essential resting period. It may be beneficial for some cats to cover their eyes or obstruct their view of the trimming procedure while it is being done. Obtain a demonstration from someone if you are unclear about where to cut exactly. The majority of veterinarians, animal shelters, and groomers are pleased to offer a free demonstration
- However, some may charge a fee. In order to trim your cat’s nails while it is fighting you, you can wrap the cat in a towel or blanket and extend one arm or leg at a time from the towel or blanket. In the event that you are forced to do so, it is most likely due to a lack of preparation time on your part, and it will be more difficult to do so in the future if the cat links nail clipping with harm. Cats with long hair benefit from having their paws moist
- You may condition your cat from the time it is a kitten, even if he or she is only a month old. Because the claws are so short at that age, small fingernail clippers are ideal for trimming them. Simply snip the ends of the strands. Then make sure to provide a tasty goodie. The sooner they learn to link nail trimming with food, the better
- The earlier they learn the better. It is preferable to trim less of the nail more regularly rather than risking the possibility of cutting too deeply into the nail. If you cut your nails too deeply, it will be more difficult to trim them later on
- Don’t forget about the dew claws! The majority of cats have two dewclaws, one on each of their front legs. These are shaped like a little thumb and are found on the side of the front legs, right below the wrist, much like a small thumb. In healthy young cats, because these claws are not utilized frequently, they tend to overgrow and should be examined at least once a month.
- Do not use nail clippers or scissors that are intended for use on people. It causes the cat’s nails to split
- Be extremely careful not to cut too far back and damage the quick of the cat’s nail. Declawing a cat is extremely painful for the cat, and the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals highly opposes it since it can cause nerve damage as well as mental suffering in the animal. Trim a cat’s nails every few weeks, and give scratching posts or surfaces to keep them entertained.
About This Article
Summary of the ArticleXTo trim your cat’s nails, first place the cat on its back in your lap, facing away from you, then take up one of its paws with your other hand. Massage the paw, then gently press down to reveal the claws. (Optional) Squeeze the trimmers to cut the nail off halfway between the quick and the claw, and then repeat the process. Working on one nail at a time, then moving on to the next paw, is recommended. Never forget to reward your cat with a sweet treat once you’ve finished cutting his claws!
Follow the instructions below to learn how to cut your cat’s nails when you have a helper with you! Did you find this overview to be helpful? The writers of this page have together authored a page that has been read 1,110,786 times.