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How to trim your cat's nails

Updated on September 26, 2008

How to give kitty a decent manicure


As a new cat owner you may be concerned about your cat destroying your precious and expensive furniture. This concern is pretty understandable, especially when you notice your cat starts scratching your favorite living room sofa.

When the love of our feline friends clashes against the love of our furniture that is when the decision on what course of action we shall take will start clouding our minds: get rid of the furniture or get rid of the cat?

Many owners may not want to endure in any of those extreme options and therefore, may decide to take a third course of action: getting the cat declawed.

However, many owners are not aware of the fact that there are other alternatives before getting the cat's toes painfully amputated.

You may first want to consider trying to give your pet's nails a good trimming.

Many cat owners get this done at the vet's office however, you can easily do it yourself with a little bit of practice.

As a beginner, perhaps you may want to take your cat to the vet and just watch how the nail trimming is done. Many vets or vet technicians may be happy to show you step by step how it is done.

At home all you will need is a well lit room, the right tools and hopefully a cooperative cat.

The best tools are a nail trimmer which can be found at any pet store but even a human nail clipper will do.

The vital factor to keep in mind is that your cat's nails can be trimmed up to a certain point, if you cut too short you may accidentally cut an area known as the "quick" that will cause copious bleeding and pain.

In order to see well, it is best to cut the nails near a lamp so that the quick area can be easily seen. You will see a pinkish skin area up in the nail which you want to stay far away from.

In cats with dark nails this area may be difficult to see, so in this case it is best to just cut less to be safe.

In a worst case scenario, should bleeding occur, you can keep on hand a special product pet stores may carry to stop the bleeding or apply some flour as a home remedy to help the blood flow stop.

Cats usually have 5 nails in each front paw. If your cat has more than you own a polydactyl cat! So if you counted five or more then you are basically done!

A nail trim every now and then will help pet and furniture lovers find a solution without resorting to drastic, costly and many times unnecessary measures.


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