For many domestic cats, nail trimming is a must. Growing nails make animals uncomfortable. If they are not trimmed in time, inflammation can occur. However, you should prepare for the cat “manicure” and study the technique of its performance. Then the procedure will be carried out with minimal stress and will not cause the cat pain.
Does the cat need to have its nails trimmed?
Domestic cats often have claws that grow longer than necessary. In addition, such pets walk on soft surfaces most of the time. Of course, you can buy a scratching post, but this measure is not always enough.
Many owners shorten the claws so that the cat will not scratch and spoil the furniture less. Also, clipping is desirable if several pets live in the house. During games or fights, they can injure each other.
What pets are not recommended for the procedure
Trimming the claws of a cat that walks freely in the street is not necessary. Instead, it needs feet to climb trees, hunt, and defend itself from other four-legged animals.
Also, the procedure is not performed on kittens under 1 month of age. This is because their claws are not yet formed. In addition, early clipping negatively affects the structure of the nail plate and leads to delamination.
What tools can be used
There are special cat nail clippers for clipping. A great option, you can buy it here. Manicure scissors are not recommended for use. They are designed for thin and flat nail plates of people. Such clipper tools lead to delamination.
You can also buy an electric trimmer, which allows you to trim the nails quickly. However, not all cats react calmly to it – the buzzing device frightens animals.
How often are the nails trimmed?
The frequency of nail trimming depends on the individual characteristics of the cat. For some, once a month is enough. For others – every 2-3 weeks.
Light-colored nails grow faster. And in cats that prefer active play, partial grinding occurs naturally. To determine the exact timing, you need to observe the pet.
Preparing for the first treatment
How to trim cat nails? To cut the cat’s claws with a minimum of stress, the animal is first accustomed to this procedure. It is better to start doing it at an early age. Kittens are more easily adapted to any changes than adults.
The preparation for the haircut begins at a time when the cat is not doing anything (not playing, licking, eating, or sleeping). It is taken in its arms and stroked softly.
Then carefully move on to paws – try touching, lightly massaging, and imitating a haircut. At the same time, they talk to the kitten and try to divert its attention to something interesting so that it won’t tear itself away.
Kittens do not like touching their paws, so that they will be annoyed the first 2-3 times and run away. But if you repeat this exercise regularly, the baby will get used to the manipulation. Then, to reinforce the positive associations, in the end, it is given a treat.
When the kitten begins to relate to touching calmly, begin to “rehearse” the haircut itself:
- sit the kitten in the correct position;
- take each paw in turn;
- inspect the nails, and press on the pads.
Then the pet is familiarized with the claw trimmer. It is essential to show that the tool does not pose any danger. After the animal becomes comfortable with it, you can cut the kitten’s claws for real.
A cat’s nails consist of a keratinized layer with a pulp – a cluster of nerve endings and blood vessels – inside. During clipping, it is important not to touch the sensitive area. Otherwise, the pet will be in great pain, and the wound will bleed.
The pulp is visible in cats with light-colored claws – it looks like a pink crescent-shaped area. You can direct your paw to bright light or use a flashlight – the picture will be more precise.
It’s more challenging to clip cats’ claws with dark pigmentation – you will have to act blindly. In this case, carefully cut 1-2 mm until the color inside is a little lighter – this is the beginning of the pulp.
The claws are cut when the cat is calm, relaxed, and ready to communicate. By this time, the owner should disinfect the hands and the claw blade and prepare cotton disks and antiseptic in case of injury.
Step-by-step instructions on how to trim a cat’s nails at home:
- The owner takes a comfortable pose, puts the cat on his knees with his back to him, or puts him on his back. Particularly mobile pets can be wrapped in a terry towel;
- He takes the paw in his hand and pressed on the pad to expose the claw;
- Bringing the claw blade to the paw. If the cat shows no anxiety, flicks it. In case of fear, he strokes and calms the cat and then repeats the manipulation;
- Now quickly and confidently set the claw cutter 1-2 mm up to the pulp and cut off the claw so that the edge remains sharpened. If you cut the platinum at the wrong angle, there is an increased chance of hitting the pulp;
- Ultimately, he rounds off the cuts with a file, giving a natural shape. You can trim the claws less frequently in the future if you sharpen the nails regularly;
- If the claws are trimmed properly, the cat will not experience discomfort. Unfortunately, many animals break out and hiss not because of pain but because they are afraid.
What to do if the claw bleeds
If you hit the pulp during shearing, it will bleed. In this case:
- the wound is treated with an antiseptic (hydrogen peroxide, weak solution of manganese) or use a hemostatic sponge;
- apply hemostatic powder or dry manganese solution.
The cat is taken to the veterinarian if the bleeding does not stop.
What happens if the claw is not trimmed in time
Growing claws begin to break, which makes the cat uncomfortable. The animal clings to sofas, carpets, and other soft surfaces. In neglected cases, inflammation may develop.
Too long nails grow into the pads. The cat begins to limp because the pain prevents it from fully stepping on the damaged limb. The cat becomes less active, licks the paw more often, and tries to bite off the interfering claw.