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How to Trim a Cat's Claws

Updated: Sep 14, 2020

Trimming a cat's claws every few weeks is an important routine of maintaining their health. Maintaining a short claw protects you, saves your sofa, and other furniture.

Step 1: Gently squeeze the toe between thumb and forefinger to expose the claw.

Most cats have light-colored claws, making it easy to see the blood vessels and nerves that supply the claw as a pink stripe at the base of the nail, which is called a quick.

Step 2: You want to cut the claw to within approximately 2 mm of the quick (The sharp part of the nail).

If you are not sure if you will cut too deep, only cut a little bit the first time.

If you cut into the quick, the claw will bleed and the cat will experience pain.

Step 3: Cut one at a time.

If you aren't able to trim all 10 nails at once, don't worry. Few cats remain patient for more than a few minutes, so take what you can get.

Step 4: Praise your pet for cooperating. Reward them for being patient with you.

Then be on the lookout for the next opportunity—may be even a catnap—if you did not get the chance to trim all their claw.

It's common to only cut the front claws, but take a look at the rear claws just in case they've gotten too long, especially if their sharp tips hurt you when your cat leaps on or off your lap. Since most cats are not patient for having their rear claws clipped, trim as you see necessary.

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