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Trimming your cat’s nails

Trimming your cat’s nails

Cats naturally scratch objects or chew to maintain their claws. If the nails are not properly maintained, they can grow into the pad of the cat’s paw, causing severe pain or infection. Ingrown nails are most often a problem in inactive older cats or cats who do not maintain their nails well enough. To combat ingrown nails, many cat owners trim their cats’ nails regularly. For other cat lovers, grooming is also a means of protecting home furniture.

To trim your cat’s nails, you’ll first need nail trimmers, hemostatic powder, and some cat treats. The best time to groom is when your cat is sleepy and relaxed. So gather your cat in your lap and snuggle for a few minutes.

Grasp your cat’s paw between your thumb and forefinger, then press gently to expose your cat’s nail. Pay special attention to the pink base of the nail. This is known as “fast” and you should avoid trimming in this area. Ideally, you should pinch midway between the end of the quick and the tip of the nail. Work quickly and remember to cut the dewclaw located on the inside of each front paw.

If you happen to get into the rush, don’t panic. Although potentially painful, it will not cause serious harm. Any bleeding will usually stop within a few minutes. If bleeding continues, dip the bleeding nail in hemostatic powder. If you don’t have bleeding powder, you can also use baking powder, flour, or a bar of soap to stop the bleeding.

If your cat doesn’t want to sit still long enough to finish all the paws, just hammer in a few claws at a time. Focus on the front paws, as they tend to grow out of control more often than the hind paws. After a successful session, be sure to reward your cat with special attention or a treat.

If your pet is not very cooperative, you can always get his nails trimmed at a vet or groomer.

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