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Tips for Successful Nail Trims at Home: Feline Edition


Sarah Rae Murray is a writer, veterinary practice receptionist and an advocate for all animals.

Felines are the epitome of casual elegance, until it’s time for a nail trim. Your kitty has claws and chances are they’re not afraid to use them. Not only are overgrown claws a threat to your furniture, they can also be painful for your cat because long claws are prone to snag, tear or grow into the pad. We’ve compiled some tricks for the savvy cat owner to temper the sass, at least momentarily, and complete the important task of a perfect manicure and get your king or queen back to lounging in a sunbeam.

Here are six tips to set you up for nail trim success:

1. Embrace their natural instincts:

Not only is scratching normal cat behaviour but it’s also beneficial in shedding the dead outer layer of the claw. There are many options for redirecting your cat’s scratching away from your beloved furniture and towards approved items like scratching posts. Plastic nail covers are another alternative if scratching is becoming problematic. Regardless of your unique routine with your cat, nail trimming should be a healthy part of it.

2. Relaxation is key:

Timing really is everything when it comes to a feline nail trim. If they have the cat crazies and are darting around the house chasing invisible prey, it’s not a good time to interrupt them for unwanted grooming. Try to catch them right after a nap. They will be more relaxed and easier to handle in a slightly dreamy state.

3. Find an effective distraction tactic:

Having a secondary person in the room that your cat knows and trusts can be beneficial. They may be able to calm or distract your kitty by petting and talking to them. But beware, if your cat is a biter this may not be the best solution. If you happen to have an e-collar (or “cone”) from a previous trip to the vet, try popping it on. It may provide enough of a distraction to get through an unassisted trim.

4. Pick up a container of styptic powder:

Just like in dogs, cat claws also have quicks. Fortunately, these are often more visible in cats than dogs, but even the slightest movement can still result in a nicked quick. It’s best to be prepared and have styptic powder on hand. Accidents happen, if you remain calm your kitty is also less likely to have a panic.

5. Positive reinforcements:

After the nail trim is complete, make sure to generously reward your brave little lion. Plenty of praise and treats will go a long way in establishing a positive association with getting through the process.

6. Don't force it:

There’s a difference between giving a little bit of attitude and being in distress. Not to mention cats are as sharp as they are soft. If today isn’t the day, just try again another time. You can also call your vet clinic or groomer to set-up a nail-trimming tutorial. In the end, it’s about finding the best way to keep your kitty healthy and happy.

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Citations

https://www.aspca.org/pet-care/cat-care/cat-grooming-tips


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