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Healthy Cats

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Nail Clipping and Nail Care for Cats

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Time to Clip

With your cat in your lap facing away from you, take one of her toes in your hand, massage and press the pad until the nail extends. Check to see how much of a trim her nails need and notice where the quick begins. Now trim only the sharp tip of one nail, release your cat’s toe and quickly give her a treat. If your cat didn’t notice, clip another nail, but don’t trim more than two claws in one sitting until your cat is comfortable. Be sure to reward her with a special treat afterward. Please note, you may want to do just one paw at a time for the first couple of sessions.

Clipping Schedule

A nail-trimming every ten days to two weeks is a nice routine to settle into. If your cat refuses to let you clip her claws, ask your vet or a groomer for help.

What NOT to Do

  • If your cat resists, don’t raise your voice or punish her.
  • Never attempt a clipping when your cat is agitated or you’re upset. And don’t rush-you may cut into the quick.
  • Don’t try to trim all of your cat’s claws at one time.
  • Do NOT declaw. This surgery involves amputating the end of a cat’s toes and is highly discouraged by the ASPCA. Instead, trim regularly, provide your cat with appropriate scratching posts and ask your veterinarian about soft plastic covers for your cat’s claws.

WebMD Veterinary Reference from the ASPCA

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