As a cat owner, you know that your feline friend's claws can sometimes be a bit too sharp for comfort. But how often should you trim your cat's claws? And can you even trim them yourself? Don't worry – we're here to answer all your questions about how to trim cat claws and whether you should do it at all.
Should You Trim Your Cat's Claws?
The short answer is yes, you should trim your cat's claws if they’re getting too long. If left untrimmed, your cat's claws can grow too long and start to curl under, which can be painful for your kitty. Long claws can also cause damage to furniture, carpets, and other household items. Not all cats need their claws trimmed, but most can benefit from it.
Can I Trim My Cat's Claws At Home?
Absolutely! Trimming your cat's claws at home can save you money and strengthen your bond with your cat. Just make sure you know how to do it properly or ask your vet for guidance. In fact, many cat owners choose to do so to save money on vet bills and to bond with their cats. However, it's important to make sure you know how to trim cat claws properly to avoid hurting your cat or causing damage to their claws.
How to trim cat claws:
We know your cat’s temperament can make trying to cut their nails not the easiest task to say the least, some cats will have their nails cut with no restraint but a lot of cats will need holding to make sure that both them and you don’t get hurt.
- First, make sure you have the right tools – a pair of sharp, dedicated cat nail clippers is ideal, we love the Ancol nail clippers. Making sure your clippers stay sharp is important, their claws are more likely to bleed if your clippers are blunt. Having a first aid kit is something we recommend all pet owners have on hand just in case there are any accidents, the Charlie The Vet First Aid kit is our favourite.
- Wait for your cat to be settled in a quiet room, you will want them to be relaxed before trying to clip their claws.
- Slowly introduce your cat to the clippers, let them get used to them before trying to clip their nails. This is a good part of their socialisation as a kitten.
- Start by gently hold your cat's paw and use your index finger to press gently on the pad of your cat’s paw, just behind the claw. Will a little bit of pressure this should extend their claws.
- You then need to cut just the tip of the claw, being careful not to cut the quick (the pink part inside the claw that contains blood vessels and nerves). It’s safest sticking to the white area at the tip of their claw, if you can see the quick we recommend staying 3-4mm below this when clipping their claw.
- Take your time when cutting your cat’s claws, there’s no need to do it all in one sitting. Try trimming one claw at a time and giving them a treat and fuss. If they haven’t ran off after this then you can try trimming the next nail. If they seem unhappy or are struggling, stop and try again another time
- You want claw clipping to be a positive experience for your cat so that it becomes an easy process with them. Make sure to hold them but not too tightly and don’t shout at them as this will make them fear the process even more. The All For Paws Calming Anti Anxiety Bath Duck is great for sticking on a wall and adding some wet food or treats to, this will help to distract your cat whilst you cut their claws and will hopefully make it a more positive experience for you both.
A lot of cat owners only cut their cats front paws but we recommend checking them and giving them a snip if they’re too long.
If you're nervous about trimming your cat's claws, you can always ask your vet to show you how to do it. They can also trim your cat's claws for you if you prefer.
How Often Should You Trim Your Cat's Claws?
It’s generally recommended you trim your cat’s nails once every 2 to 3 weeks but the frequency of claw trimming depends on your cat's lifestyle. If you have a young cat who is active and is frequently using their scratch post they may not need their claws trimming at all. However, if your cat has mobility problems or is older them may not be as good at maintaining their claws.
If your cat is an indoor or outdoor cat will also affect how often they need their claws cutting. If your cat spends most of their time outdoors, scratching and climbing up trees, you may only need to trim their claws once every few months. However, if your cat spends a lot of time indoors, they may need their claws trimmed more frequently.
How To Tell If Your Cat’s Claws Are Too Long
There’s a few ways to tell if your cat’s claws are too long:
- You hear their claws tap when they walk on hard floors
- They’re starting to catch on things such as blankets, carpets or on you when you’re cuddling
- If you can easily see them whilst your cat is resting
- Your cat is struggling to scratch their claws
Top Tips For Keeping Your Cat’s Claws Healthy
Scratch Post - scratching is how your cat keeps their nails in shape and scratch posts are a good outlet for them to do this. By having one or two scratch posts round your house, depending on how many cats you have and the size of your house, will encourage this behaviour in a positive way and will mean you will have to trim their nails less often
Keep them busy - keeping your cat running, playing and climbing will help to naturally wear down their claws and should mean you won't have to cut them as often
In conclusion, trimming your cat's claws is an important part of their grooming routine. By learning how to trim cat claws safely and effectively, you can keep your cat comfortable and protect your home from damage. Remember to trim your cat's claws regularly and ask your vet for help if you're unsure.