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Southlake Animal Hospital

3570 E. Lincoln Hwy
Merrillville, IN 46410

Clipping Your Kitten’s Nails

November 15 2015

Unless your cat has been declawed, she’ll need good nail trims throughout life to prevent the claws from becoming too sharp or long. It’s best to start when your feline friend is a kitten; this way, she’ll grow up accepting the process as a normal part of life! Here, your Crown Point, IN veterinarian tells you how to clip your kitten’s nails:

Gather Supplies

First things first: gather everything you’ll need. This includes a pair of feline-specific nail trimmers, a styptic pen or powder to staunch bleeding (a necessity if you clip too far into a nail), and a few cat treats. Now, sit down with your kitten in a quiet, well-lit area of the house to get started.

Massage the Paws

Before using the clippers, simply massage your kitten’s paws a bit to get her used to the sensation. Pick up one paw at a time and gently massage it with your fingers. Try extending each of your kitty’s claws by pressing on the toe and the paw pad; this will be useful when you actually clip the nail.

Perform several sessions if your kitten doesn’t seem comfortable at first. Once she’s ready, you can proceed.

Clip the Nails

Positioning your cat comfortably in your lap, extend a claw with one hand and hold the clippers in the other. Now, snip the very tip of the nail. Remember, you’re only trying to blunt the tip of each nail—you don’t have to cut off a large portion. Proceed to the rest of the nails on the paw.

If necessary, perform a nail clipping in several sessions, perhaps one per paw. This is helpful for especially rambunctious kittens who can’t sit still for very long. Once your cat’s nails have all been trimmed, offer her a treat or two as a reward for a job well done.

What to Do if You Snip Too Far

If you snip too far into a nail, you’ll hit the quick, which is a vein that runs into each claw. Bleeding will occur, which is where your styptic powder or pen comes in. These products should stop the bleeding after a short period of time. If you can’t seem to get your cat’s nail to stop bleeding, call your veterinarian to find out how to proceed.

Do you have questions about trimming your cat’s nails? Contact your Crown Point, IN pet clinic for help.

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