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General care

How Often Should I Trim My Cat’s Nails?

How to trim cat nails

Trimming your cat’s nails probably sounds about as appealing as giving your cat a bath and yet…such is a necessary component of being a cat parent. Cats need help getting their nails trimmed even if they have a scratching post. Keeping your cat’s claws trimmed is actually important not just for your cat’s health (overly-long cat nails can curve in and grow into your cat’s paws) but also for your furniture—cats will scratch whatever they can when their nails give them issues. If you’re curious to know how often to trim your cat’s nails and how to actually do it, read on.

Why Trim Your Cat’s Nails

While your furniture and curtains being the target of your cat’s scratching is a definite concern, there are bigger reasons for trimming your cat’s nails at regular intervals.

One reason is to dull the sharp points your cat’s nails hone into. This makes it harder for your cats to actually cause damage to the furnishings or your skin when and if they do scratch. This also makes it less painful when your cat lovingly kneads you before settling down for a nap.

Other reasons are that broken nails can be very painful for kitties. Sharp nails more easily get caught in things like carpet, furniture, or scratching posts and thus break. These jagged broken tips are no fun!

Equally painful and as noted before is when a cat’s nails grow into their paw pads. This usually only happens in older cats that are more inactive and less-inclined to groom and maintain their nails. Such injuries may require surgery and can lead to infection. Regular nail-trimming prevents these things.

How Often to Trim Your Cat’s Nails

When it comes to how often to trim cat nails, you should aim for every couple of weeks. Make it a practice of trimming your cat’s nails twice a month, especially if they’re an indoor cat.

Outdoor cats or outdoor / indoor cats might need less frequent nail trims. You can always gauge your cat’s need for a nail trim based on the sharpness of their nails. Their front nails will be the biggest indicator of the need for a trim. Back nails only need to be trimmed as-needed.

How to Keep Your Cat Calm While You Trim Their Nails

Every cat is different about having their nails trimmed. It’s important that your cat feels calm, comfortable, and trusting during a nail trim to prevent injury to both of you. Here’s how to keep your cat calm during a nail trim:

  • Trim in a quiet, comfortable environment (ex: end of the day while you’re cuddled on the couch)
  • Trim when your cat is groggy and relaxed (such as after eating or around nap time)
  • Make sure your cat is used to you touching her paws; practice playing with your cat’s paws before attempting a nail trim
  • Let your cat get comfortable around the clippers; practice cutting dry spaghetti to get your cat used to the sound of the clippers clipping before you trim your cat’s nails

How to Trim a Cat’s Nails

When it’s time to trim your cat’s nails, you want to be patient. Speak sweetly and softly to your cat during the trim.

  • With your cat sitting comfortably in your lap and facing away from you, pick up the paw you’re going to clip.
  • Lightly squeeze the toe pad of the nail you’re going to trim so the nail protrudes
  • Clip the nail at the cutting line. If you look closely at your cat’s nails, you’ll see a pink or dark area. This is called the quick and has blood vessels and nerves. Clipping the quick or too close to the quick will hurt your cat. Trim only the white part of the nails.
  • If your cat is comfortable and does not panic when you trim the first nail, try another. It’s advised to not cut more than two nails in a session when you’re first starting out. You’ll be able to build up to both paws the more comfortable your cat gets with having their nails trimmed but start slow.
  • Give your cat a treat after a nail trimming session to indicate a job well-done

You should never trim your cat’s nails when they’re in a bad mood, are agitated, or when there’s a lot of noise that could startle your cat regardless of how much you think your cat nails to be trimmed. You should trim your cat’s nails when your cat is in the mood for it. If you choose the right time and keep your cat’s nails trimmed regularly, you and your cat will be grateful.

Even though cats are impeccable groomers and take great care of themselves, they need help. One way is with regular nail trimming; another way is with a healthy, natural cat food packed with vitamins, minerals, and aminos essential for your cat’s nail, hair, and skin growth. Wellness Pet Food is a long-standing reputable pet food company that makes delicious cat food and cat treats, perfect for your cat’s health and happiness!

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