Trimming or Clipping a Cat’s/Dog’s Claws
Continuing on with things to know for new cat/dog parents, learning how to properly trim/clip claws.
This is one of the things I hate to do, I am always scared that I am going to cut the quick and make them bleed. It can happen, but don’t beat yourself up about it. Make sure to have some cornstarch handy to help stop the bleeding. From what I have been told, it will stop bleeding quickly.
A great way to start off getting your pet used to getting their nails trimmed would be to start by touching their paws and playing with them on a regular basis so that they don’t shy away from you reaching for them when you are going to clip their nails.
Once they are more comfortable with you touching their paws, start to gently rub and run the nail clippers across their feet so they get used to the clippers being near them and don’t associate them with something bad. Always give treats so that they associate the clippers and you touching their paws with something good.
Also, if you are scared to cut the nails, you can always purchase a “quick finder” nail clipper set, they are more expensive, but they let you know if it is safe to cut the claw or if you are too close to the quick. These would be very handy for pets that have dark nails like Sasha. Luckily Isis’ claws are clear and I can see the quick when her claws are extended.
If you are truly too scared to trim their claws, you can always take your pet to a groomer or vet. Prices will vary. I called around to the groomers here and the prices ranged from $5-$10. I called the vet offices and their prices ranged from $10-$30. It will probably vary in price range all over and depending on how much competition there is, the prices may be cheaper where you live.
For me to be able to trim Isis’ claws, I try to play with her for about a half hour before I am going to trim them. I also use Feliway Spray (which consists of calming pheromones that help to calm cats in stressful situations, also stops scent marking, and helps with transportation issues, meeting new animals, moving situations, etc). I spray it on my hands, on the nail clippers and on the area where I am going to be holding her to trim her claws. I let it sit for about a half hour while we are playing and then usually it is not as traumatic for her as it can be. I also talk in a soft, soothing and calm voice with her. Also, I gently tuck her under my arm facing away from me because if she faced me, she would have easier access to be able to bite or scratch me. I always give her one of her favorite treats after I have finished.
When trimming Sasha’s claws, I make sure to do it when we have just returned from a walk, and I have put her Thundershirt on her. I talk to her in a calm and soothing voice as well and use the “quick finder” nail clippers because her nails are black and there would be no way I could find the quick. I talk to her with a calm and soothing voice. I also give her treats when we are finished.
Here is a page of different types of nail clippers. You can choose which ones you would be comfortable with.
As always, I have two great articles with pictures to show you how to cut your dog or cats nails.
I hope it all goes well and remember, patience and practice. Always give praise and treats and try to relax and take it easy when clipping their nails. Good luck!