How to Trim Cat Nails at Home

If you have ever attempted to handle your cat's feet, it probably wasn't the best experience in the world. Cats generally don't appreciate their feet being touched... at all. 

Remember, cats who are not accustomed to having their feet touched are likely to react negatively (in case you haven't tried this yet). They need to get use to the feeling of their foot being touched before you make any sort of stride toward cutting her nails.

To start getting your cat ready, try rubbing your hand up and down her leg just like you would when you're petting her. 

RELATED READING: Should I Groom My Cat?

Once your cat is okay with you rubbing her legs, move on to her toes. Try pressing each toe individually if you can get that far. Don't be discouraged if this doesn't happen immediately. Some cats take longer than others to tolerate this feeling. 

In most cases, within a week or two of continuing this process, your cat will be prepared to have her nails clipped.

Follow the steps below carefully to clip her nails:

  1. Apply gentle pressure to the top of her foot while simultaneously pressing on the pad underneath. You will notice her claws extend from her foot.
  2. Using sharp, high-quality nail scissors, cut off the white portion of the claw. Be certain not to go above the white.
  3. There is a vein that runs into the nail which is why you must be careful not to cut above the white portion. You should be able to see this area through the nail. If you accidentally cut into this area, you should immediately place styptic powder to prevent bleeding. 

Keep in mind, you want to make this as painless and as low-stress as possible for your cat. Otherwise, she will associate certain actions with the negative experience.

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