CAT GROOMING: WHEN AND HOW TO CUT YOUR CAT’S NAILS

Grooming your cat's nails is always easier said than done, but we believe these handy tips will help make your life a little easier should you wish to step over 'this' line :)

TOOLS AND EQUIPMENT

Not much is needed in cat grooming, basically just a nail cutter and something to stop bleeding:

  • Small Scissor: A small, sharp scissor is the easiest and most painless way to cut your cat’s nails.
  • Large Scissor: Some cats stay in contact with their inner lioness and prowl the garden and surrounding areas.  This might lead to some very overgrown and unkept nails.  Ideal for this is large scissor.  It is more heavy duty than the small scissor.  
  • Guillotine Cutter: If your cat is exceptionally lazy and basically just walks to the food bowl and the litter box, he might have some Wolverine-type claws. The guillotine cutter works wonderful for those very long nails. You basically put the nail through the opening and slide the blade upwards to cut the nail.
  • Anti-Bleeding Potions: Try as we may, but every so often we might accidentally cut into our beloved cat’s nail.  When buying supplies, get something that can quickly stop the bleeding, eg. Styptic powder, Baking soda, Bar of soap, Styptic pencils or if all else fails, use a bandage.

STEP BY STEP INSTRUCTIONS

Step 1:  Preparation

This is key in the trimming process:

  • Pet the Paws: Regularly touch your cat’s paws, front and back. Your cat will get used to your touch after a while. 
  • Hold the Paws: After a while you can start holding the paw. Your cat get to know the sensation.
  • Massage: Gently massage the paws to get the nails to extend. This can be done a few times on each paw.
  • Look at the Nail: Squeeze the paw gently to get the nail to extend. Take a good look at the nail. The pink part inside the nail is called the quick. This is where the blood vessel and nerves are. This is the area we do not want to cut. 
  • Assume the Position: The ideal position for trimming, is sitting your cat on your lap facing away from you. 

Step 2:  Trimming

  • Timing: Make sure you trim the nails at the correct time. The ideal time is usually after dinner when your cat feels sleepy.  
  • Tools: All your trimming equipment should be close by before starting. 
  • Position: Put your cat on your lap facing away from you. With one hand hold the paw and the other the scissor. Squeeze the paw to get the nail to extend.
  • Nail: Take note of where the quick is.
  • Trimming: Position the scissor so when you cut it should be from the bottom up, as this prevents nail splitting. First time round, just cut the tip of the nail.

Do the nails one by one.  Your cat might get restless, so you may have to repeat this process a few times over a period of time to get all this done.

Step 3:  Treats!

  • Treats: After the grooming session, make sure to give your cat a treat. This will enforce to your cat that this is supposed to be a pleasant experience, and he will also look forward to the next session!
  • Inspection: Regularly inspect your cat’s nails.  Trimming is usually done every two weeks or so, depending on the condition of the nails.

IN CONCLUSION

Cat’s form an integral part of our lives and it is important to take good care of them!  Enjoy the time spent grooming your cat.  It will be very rewarding.

Bio: Cindy Grant is a crazy fan of dogs, cats and other cute in-house pets. She’s also the founder of NolongerWild.com where you can read more about pet breeds, training and behavior.

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