Trimming your cat’s nails


how to trim a cat's nailsCat’s nails grow in layers and build up over time. Your cat naturally peels off these layers by using a scratching post. We call this sharpening the nails. It is not unusual for a cat to chew at the back nails to help keep them sharp too. Sharp nails are useful for the hunting, climbing and fighting cats, but for our indoor pets, they can pose a hazard. Trimming your indoor cat’s nails is a useful skill for the following reasons:

  • Short nails do less scratching damage to both yourself and the furniture
  • Very long, sharp nails tend to get caught in fabric or rugs, and can break or twist your pet’s toes.
  • Senior, arthritic cats can’t keep their nails sharp. The layers will build up causing thick, painful nails that can become ingrown very easily easily.
Holding cat for a trim

Holding cat for a trim

triming nails by yourself

Trimming nails by yourself

It’s great to have a second pair of hands

Having another person to help is a bonus. You should have the cat held on its left side (if you are right handed) and use a work surface. You do not need to do all the paws at once. Indeed, one paw a session will be easier. Ideally you want to let go of your cat BEFORE they start to squirm.

cat nail trimmers

Cat nail trimmers

Restraining cat on a work surface

Restraining cat on a work surface

positioning the nail in the trimmers

Positioning the nail in the trimmers

Our clinic can help

Have some flour or cornstarch handy to use on a bleeding nail if you cut too close. If you cannot trim your pet’s nails, our veterinary clinic will be able to provide the service for you when you register with our practice. We include a free nail trim with all our examinations, or you can just bring your pet in for a pedicure when needed. We have discounts available for patients who come in on a regular basis.