Cat Nail Trimming – A Mani and Pedi for Your Kitty

When you plan your own spa day, make sure that you plan a regular mani and pedi for your cat, too. An essential part of keeping you and your feline healthy and happy is by making sure you are providing proper nail care. 
Cats will groom their claws on their own by taking off the outer sheaths, which is the covering around the nail.  They do this in several situations by scratching their nails on an indoor scratching post, on a tree (if they are an outdoor cat), or by chewing at their nails to expose the new claw.  Cat owners will want to trim their cat’s nails on a regular basis to protect not only their furniture but their own skin.
It is important to know the details of how to properly and carefully trim your cats nails before attempting the process.  Your veterinarian should be consulted for direction before attempting this on your own for the first time. 
You will want to avoid cutting the quick of the nail.  The quick is the pink area in the middle of the nail that contains the nerves and blood vessels.  Cutting the quick will cause bleeding and pain if snipped.  Bleeding can be stopped by using styptic powder on the nail which contains the bleeding. You will only want to cut the tip of the nail, which is the sharp white point of the nail. Be conservative in cutting in order to keep away from the quick.  Please be mindful that if your cat has dark claws, you will want a professional to complete the nail trim, as you will most likely not be able to see the quick area.
Use only nail clippers specifically designed for cats.  You will not want to use your own nail clippers as they might split the cats nail.  In pet stores, you will see that there are nail trimmers available that are actually designed to locate the quick of the nail. Now how cool is that?  
Do not upset your feline family member!  Approach your cat during a calm or sleepy state to make the experience as pleasant as possible.  You may also want to get your cat used to you touching his or her paws at times other than trimming, in order to keep from having a negative reaction.  
·         With your fingers, carefully squeeze and apply pressure to the pad of each toe.  This action will expose the nail.
·         Clip just the tip of each nail, which is the sharp white point.  Please be cautious of where the quick is.  Remember that you do not want to cut the quick that contains the nerves and the blood vessels.
·         Keep the Kwik Stop powder handy, in case you do accidently snip the quick!
For a kitten, it is recommended to trim the claws once a week.  This will help you in becoming familiar with the procedure.  For an adult cat, a trim every two to four weeks should be sufficient.
If your cat is not cooperative for the nail trimming process, you should book an appointment with a veterinarian or groomer.   Feel free to contact Morris Animal Inn to book a nail trim during your cat’s next visit with us.
Some words of advice for your kitty: Look sharp but don’t be sharp!
Have you tried cutting your cats nail and were you successful?


We are pleased to have Jeanne, as a contributing writer for If They Could Talk. Jeanne is a member of our Guest Services team and is a passionate cat owner. We look forward to sharing her contribution on interesting and educational pet topics.


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The Iams Company, a division of Meredith Corporation. (1998, 2001). Your New Cat. A Comprehensive Guide to Health, Nutrition and General Care . Meredith Integrated Marketing.