Your cat’s claws are an essential part of her existence.
Cats’ protractile claws are what make them outstanding hunters, exceptional climbers and experts in personal defense.
But besides for survival, cats also use their claws as social signaling tools and to leave messages to their friends where they gather.
Your cat is probably an indoor one so you may wonder why these survival mechanisms are needed in the first place.
While she will likely never have to hunt rodents, defend herself and may have no other cats in the neighborhood to leave messages for, your cat’s claws and how well they are groomed will still affect her natural behavior.
As feline’s claws grow in layers, cats often feel the need to sharpen them against coarse materials which allows them to remove the worn and ragged outer layer. Also, your pet frequently uses claws in play when she often extends them to catch various objects.
Letting you cat’s claws grow wild can be a dangerous decision when it comes to protecting your furniture and your skin. This is why trimming a cat’s claws every few weeks or so is an important part of maintaining your pet’s health.
Let’s be clear on something: your pet won’t get sick if you fail to clip his claws, but if you want your furniture to stay pretty, and you don’t want your cat to ruin your stylish sofa leaving scratches all over it, you should clip his nails.
Also, if you don’t want walk around with scratched hands, arms and legs just because you played a while with your kitty – clip his nails. It won’t hurt him, it may be uncomfortable and he might get scared, but clipping his nails won’t hurt him just as you feel nothing while clipping yours. You should be careful, though, and clip them the right way.
Moreover, it helps protect you, your family members and visitors from being scratched.
It also safeguards your sofa, curtains and much loved furniture pieces.
Unfortunately, many cat owners are hesitant to cut the nails of their feline friends, either because they are scared of hurting the cat or of getting hurt themselves.
Luckily, with a little practice and patience, you can learn to trim Fluffy’s claws without getting a single scratch. Here are eight tips to help you get started.
But before you begin, and if the idea of trimming your cat’s claws leads you to biting your own nails, please remember that it takes some patience and quite a bit of practice to hone your skills.
1. Start Slow to Develop Trust
If you’ve never cut your cat’s claws before, then it’s usually a bad idea to jump right in with the clipper in hand.
Instead, you should spend some time building trust between yourself and your cat.
Set aside a few minutes every day during which you practice handling your cat’s paws. At first, you should limit how long you hold your cat’s paws. You should always do so gently.
Most kitties aren’t too keen on having their feet touched, and it may take several sessions before your cat stops trying to pull away. In the beginning, it is wise for you to allow your cat to reclaim its paw as soon as it wants to do so.
Eventually, though, your cat will learn that you’re not trying to hurt it by holding her paws, and it will be better about staying still. At this point, you can begin holding each paw just a little bit longer.
If you get close to your cat with a sharp object in one hand while attempting to grab a paw with the other, chances are you will not achieve much. There will be plenty of time for that later on when you are ready to start trimming your pet’s claws.
Bear in mind that cats have as many temperaments and dispositions as there are cat types out there, so there is no real “right” way to handle Felix while trimming his claws. The key to a successful trimming session is to gauge your pet’s mood and act accordingly.
One of the best ways to develop your pet’s trust in you is to behave consistently. Don’t act all crazy one minute and then become calm and quiet. Your pet needs to know what to expect with each interaction if it is going to learn to trust you.