How to Teach Your Cat to Have His Nails Clipped

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Cats can cause a great deal of damage with their sharp claws, not only to furniture, also to the humans in their household. If you have this trouble, you might want to consider having your cat’s claws clipped. This is especially important if you have small children in your home. 

Cat clippers are available at most pet shops. Don’t use the same clippers on your cat that you may use for yourself. These are not right for an animal and will pinch his claws painfully. It’s a good idea to get your kitty used to having his claws handled right from when he is tiny. Wait until he is feeling sleepy – on your lap is a good place to have him. Handle his paws and claws frequently by gently holding them squeezing them, picking them up and generally playing gently with them. In this way, he will see that you mean him no harm when touching his feet. Remember that cats’ feet are very sensitive and tender.

You will be able to make kitty unsheathe his claws if you gently squeeze his paws. Run your fingers gently over the claws several times, but if he tries to scratch you, simply stop and wait until he becomes sleepy again. It may take several days for kitty to begin to accept having his claws and paws touched. It is wise to do it often, even when his claws don’t need clipping, because then he will be so used to it he won’t mind.

Once you think he is happy to have you play with his claws and he doesn’t try to scratch you, you can introduce the clippers. Again, wait until he is in a sleepy mood before you start to clip. It may be a good thing for you to just hold him, while another person does the clipping, that way you’ll be able to prevent any sudden movements on kitty’s part that could result in injury to him or you.

When you are playing with kitty’s claws, take a good look and you’ll see the pinkish cloudy part near where the nail comes out of its sheath. That is the equivalent to the quick of a humans nail. Be sure to never clip into this part or you will cause a great deal of pain to kitty and his claws will bleed. If kitty truly doesn’t like to get his nails clipped and yet they must be done, he can be wrapped up in a towel to help hold him and protect you from scratches.

Some people have their cat’s front claws removed. It can be a painful process, but if you have a cat that you just are not able to train not scratch your antique furniture this can be an option. This process should only be done by a veterinarian and if you follow his, or her, instructions the initial discomfort is short lived.


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