Trimming your cat’s nails regularly can help prevent injury to you, other pets and the kittens themselves, not to mention damage to your furniture! Here are our tips to get off to a good start with nail trimming at home. We’re always here for you and your cat if you need a demonstration or lesson in person, or simply don’t want to do this at home.
Make sure you have proper feline nail trimmers so your cat’s nails don’t splinter. We like these.
The frequency of nail trimming depends on your kitten’s lifestyle, but in general, shooting for twice monthly is a good timeframe. This will help your kitten get used to nail trims and also keep them from getting too long and sharp.
Starting nail trims as soon as 6-8 weeks of age is recommended to get them used to the procedure, even if you’re only able to do one paw at a time.
The Nail Trim Itself
Start slow, offer breaks, and give them a high value treat with every nail trim: think feline greenies or other treats or canned cat food. Ideally fine a treat that they will ONLY get with their nail trim.
Provide a calm environment and positive reinforcement.
Nail trims are often best done with two people- one person holding the cat and providing treats, and the other trimming the nails. Elevating the cat onto a counter or table can make it easier for everyone, as does providing a yoga mat or towel to give the kitten a surface with good traction. Alternatively, you can try holding the kitten in your lap for the procedure.
Gently squeeze the kitten’s toe between the thumb and forefinger to expose their claw. Most cats have a light-colored claw, and you can see the blood vessels and nerves that supply the nail as the pink part at the base of the nail (this is called the quick). Only clip the white part of the nail and leave a few mm between this and the start of the quick.