Does your cat hate getting its nails cut? You’re not alone. The internet is full of angry cat claw memes and desperate pleas from owners on how to get “difficult” cats to sit for a nail trim.
While booking an appointment at your cat care centre is always an option, sometimes it’s quicker and easier to cut your cat’s nails at home.
So, why do cats dislike getting their nails trimmed so much?
There are a few reasons that may explain feline aversion to nail clipping. Firstly, your cat may have had a previous bad experience. If you have ever examined or cut your cat’s nails, you probably noticed a darker pink interior area at the top of the claw. This area houses the blood vessels and nerves that supply the nail and it’s extremely sensitive. If the quick has ever been accidentally nicked, your cat may have developed an understandable fear of getting its nails trimmed.
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Secondly, most cats simply don’t like having their paws handled. Paws are sensitive areas, so things like textures, pressure, and even temperature changes- while not painful, can be uncomfortable for cats. That’s why your cat may start fighting a nail clipping before you’ve even gotten close to their claws with the clipper.
The good news is there are ways to help make nail chipping less of a challenge for you and your pet. If your cat can’t stand getting its nails cut, here are nine nifty tricks to try.
Wrap Your Cat
Just like babies like the comfort of being swaddled in a blanket, wrapping your kitty in a blanket or small towel can help relax them. In addition, having three out of fours paws secured while you trim one set of nails at a time will help keep your face and arms safe from scratches.
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Try Out New Tools
If your cat can’t stand their kitty nail clipper, you may want to try out other types of trimming tools. Some pets simply don’t enjoy the feeling of having their nails cut, but a pet Dremel – a high-powered rotary tool equipped with sandpaper, can help you file down rather than cut their claws. Just make sure you get your cat used to the sound of the tool before you try and use it.
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Sometimes two heads – or in this case, four hands – are better than one. If you’re having trouble holding your cat while simultaneously cutting its claws, try asking someone else to help hold your cat while you trim. This is often how nail trimming is approached at a cat care centre.
Pile on The Treats
Keep some of your cat’s favourite treats on hand to reward and hopefully encourage good behaviour during a nail clipping session. No fighting and no biting calls for a treat.
Tire Your Cat Out Beforehand
Engaging in a good play session before nail clipping can help tire your kitty out so they have less energy left to fight and struggle. It will also help keep the vibe upbeat and less stressful for all involved. Pick your cat’s favourite toys and some fun before getting down to business.
Give them a Little Catnip
A little catnip can help soothe and relax anxious nerves making nail clipping less of a battle for some cats. However, make sure that you know how your kitty reacts to catnip because other cats become hyperactive or even aggressive when given the herb.
If biting is a real problem during nail clipping, you can wear long sleeves and gloves. However, if that doesn’t help or if you find the gloves challenging to work in, there are specialty inflatable doughnut-shaped kitty cones you can buy that fit around your cat’s neck and stop them from biting.
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Finally, go slow and take your time. If you can’t get all 18 claws in one shot, take a break and return to it a little later.