How to cut your cat’s claws

First of all, we advise you not to hesitate to turn to your veterinarian if you have difficulty cutting your cat’s claws. On a daily basis, you will observe many instinctive and necessary behaviors related to these claws. These can be hunting, defending, climbing, stretching, scratching, de-stressing or marking its territory. Although this is natural for your cat, it can cause inconvenience or inconvenience to you or to your skin. Cutting its claws will keep them from growing too much and will prevent these types of damage or scratches. We show you how to do it in an easy way.

Your feline has 18 claws (one per finger): five on the front legs and four on the back legs.  
They consist of different superimposed horny layers that contain keratin and the pulp area. Inside its claws are the blood vessels and nerve endings that keep them functioning and nourished.
This area of ​​the pulp is slightly more opaque and pink (more visible on the white claws). It is essential to identify it correctly so as not to cut it. Otherwise, you could cause pain and noticeable bleeding in your four-legged friend. 

The keys to knowing when to cut your cat’s claws: 

  • If you consider it necessary, you can do it in any cat and at any age. However, it is not necessarily recommended to do this in cats that live primarily outdoors. Keep in mind that for them, claws are the main means of protection against the environment and against other animals. In addition, as soon as they have the opportunity, they will sharpen them again.  
  • Ideally, you start to get your kitten used to it as soon as it is a baby . Performing this task periodically will allow him to gradually get used to it. At this age, its claws are softer, which will make it easier for you to learn how to cut them. 
  • If your cat is an adult, familiarize her with the process. Get him used to your hands touching his paws and fingers, and finish by identifying this as a natural gesture. Do it in a quiet place and always reward good behavior. So your cat will associate it with a pleasant experience. However, if it does not tolerate the first contacts well, do not force it, try again at another time. Know that calm and patience are essential. 
  • Your cat’s lifestyle and activity determines the frequency. If it goes outside or has access to ideal areas for its claws, it will not need them or only infrequently , since it will sharpen its claws. Whereas if it is a kitten, an old cat or a sick cat, with less mobility or activity, it will need more frequent clipping (approximately every 15 days). Pay attention to the claws on its hind legs. There may be no need to cut them, as they wear out more easily on their own. 
  • It is important that you observe the growth and use of your cat’s claws. This will help you determine the frequency of the cut according to its needs.
  • There are different types of cat nail clippers. Check out your trusted store to see which option is best based on the needs of your cat and yours. 
  • Secure your cat without forcing it too much . It may be easier if someone else helps you with this task. 
  • With one hand, take each of its fingers and lightly press on the pad (you will see how its claws come out and you can cut them easily). Now proceed to cut your feline’s claws with the other hand. 
  • Try to cut only the transparent area. Avoid the pulp. At first, it is better not to cut enough than to cut too much. Otherwise, if you observe bleeding, you can stop the bleeding by passing an antiseptic and specific coagulating powders with a stick. 
  • Reward your four-legged friend for his good behavior and go for the next claw! Your companion has a series of needs that you must take care of, such as nail trimming. If you are not comfortable with how to proceed, do not hesitate to consult your veterinarian.