How To Clip A Cat’s Claws

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Time to become your cat’s own personal beautician and treat them to some special pampering. If your cat is very active and spends a lot of time outside then the chances are you will never have to clip their claws. This is because their claws will be naturally worn down by climbing and walking on rough surfaces.

A beautiful Scottish Straight having its nails clipped

The best time to start clipping a cat’s claws is when they are still a kitten. This is because a kitten is less likely to object to the necessary man handling of its paws.

Before you consider whipping out the clippers and snipping off claws you must get your cat used to having its paws handled. The key to success here is to take your time; you don’t want your cat to become agitated and so close up even more to having their paws touched.

Below are some steps you can take to improve the chances that your cat will allow its claws to be clipped.

  1. Only ever start the claw clipping process when your cat is relaxed and you have some treats to hand.
  • Use treats through all of the following steps to reward tolerance.

  • Start off slow by stroking down your cats legs and letting the paw run through your fingers.
  • Next begin to feel each of the cat’s toes with your fingers.
  • Feel the joint in the cat’s toe that controls claw retraction.
  • Apply pressure to the joint to expose the caw.
  • Using special cat nail clippers you can snip the very tip from the claw. Only do a couple at a time otherwise your cat may get agitated and halt any progress made.
A cat having its claws trimmed with some clippers

Important Tip

Be very careful not to clip near the quick of the claw. This usually appears as a pink area inside the claw. It would be as painful as clipping your fingernails too close to the finger.

A close up of someone clipping a cats claws using clippers

Some cats will take a couple of days, weeks, months or even years before they are happy to have their claws clipped and some will never allow it. If you feel the claws are too long but you can’t clip them yourself then you can take them to a vet to have it done.