My Vet’s Guide to a PURR-fect Pawdicure

Last week we posted about clipping our dog’s nails and provided some helpful tips. This week it is time to focus on our feline friends!
Clipping our kitty’s nails can be a daunting task, so we are here to eliminate that fear and stress.

“You’ve got to be kitten me, this seems claw-ful!”

If your kitty seems overwhelmed or angry when she sees you with the nail clippers the best thing to do is take it slooooow. Take the fear out of the nail trim by easing into the process day by day.
Like our dog pals, cats also have a quick in their nail. The quick is the pink bundle of veins and blood vessels located in the nail. Most cats have light nails so this area is typically very visible to the eye. When trimming out kitty’s nail we want to make sure to only trim the white part above this area.
Getting your feline friend accustomed to having their paws touched is key to making this a smooth process. Start by snuggling with your cat when they are relaxed, like after a meal. Take your cat’s paw in your hand and gently press on his paw pads. You will see his nails extend. You want to get him used to having his paws handled. Offering a treat at this time can be a great way of building this into a positive experience for you both. If this is too much for your little tiger, just stop for the day and resume again the next.
Now we’re making Purr-gress!

When your kitty is resting comfortably this may be a good time to introduce the nail clippers. Placing the clippers by your cat to give them the opportunity to sniff them out is never a bad idea. Pressing their paw pads while they are sniffing the clippers is another way to acclimate them to pressure on the paw pad and this strange instrument. Don’t forget the treats and positive, encouraging words.

Once you feel you have gotten your cat comfortable with the touch and the tool you are ready to give the process a try! Get comfortable and get some treats ready. Start slow, and be confident. Your kitty might only tolerate a few nails being clipped at a time- this is okay! Trimming a couple of nails a day may be the best way to make this as stress free as possible for the both of you and we want stress free to be the goal we work towards. When you feel you furry princess has had enough just let her be and try again the next day. Sometimes having someone help by offering treats can make the process a little easier as they can keep focus on a positive, rewarding element to distract from the trimming.
If you happen to cut your kitty’s quick just apply styptic powder to the nail with some pressure. This should work quickly to stop the bleeding. If the bleeding doesn’t stop in 30 seconds or less you may need to apply more styptic powder until it does- if you do, do not wipe the nail before applying; this will help to clot the blood. As messy as it may be, remember to remain calm and try to move focus to a treat or catnip toy.

Attached is some litter-ature about cat nail trims to help guide you along:

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