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Nail Trims for Your Feline Friend

How to trim your cat's nails.

Taking good care of a cat means proving it with a good diet, veterinary care, a warm home and a kind family.

It also means giving it consistent nail trims. Cat nails can grow really long and can even cause your cat pain.

Your cat’s nails need trimming about once a month – but every two weeks is ideal. The only supplies you need are nail trimmers and cat treats.

Most retail stores sell nail trimmers for pets. And you can talk to your vet for suggestions about which ones to buy. I recommend the scissor-type trimmers that are made to fit around the cat’s nail and take the tip off.

Once you have your trimmers, wait for a time that your cat is relaxed – not jumpy and playful. Since there's no best way to hold a cat, you will have to judge your cat’s personality on how to do so. Some cats need to be held firmly while others will lay still while you take their paws into your hand.  

If you don't have a helper to hold the cat still, I suggest placing the cat on a table, resting one of your arms over the side of his or her body to hold the cat still and grabbing a paw with the same hand, and begin trimming. With your other hand, hold onto the nail trimmers. If you do have a helper, have them hold the cat in their lap while you trim.   

Keep in mind that this may be a slow process, so be patient. It may take several days to trim all 20 nails – that's OK.

Once your cat is comfortable, squeeze her paw gently to “push out” her claw. Only trim the top of the claw off to avoid the quick which is full of nerves and will bleed if you clip it. If you keep up on your nail trims, the nail should never get long enough that you risk hitting the quick.

Don't forget to reward your cat after a trim with some treats. This will train them to understand that nail trims come with goodies, and they will be more likely to withstand one later on.

 Valley Humane Society

Valley Humane Society is a no-kill, non-profit animal shelter in Pleasanton. We have over two hundred volunteers and six staff members. We pride ourselves in being a resource center for the community, providing knowledge of responsible pet ownership and humane education.

Adopting and owning a pet is a life time commitment. Here at Valley Humane Society, we assure that before we adopt out any animal, they are vaccinated, micro chipped, spayed or neutered, and tested for feline or canine illnesses, such as leukemia, AIDs, or heartworm.   

All of our adoptable animals can be found on the Valley Humane Society website at www.valleyhumane.org, or you can come meet them at 3670 Nevada St., in Pleasanton. Our phone number is 925-426-8656. 

Jane March 12, 2011 at 05:35 PM
Good info. FYI, most cats have only 18 nails. Five on each front paw and four on the hind paws.

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