Cutting the claws of a cat requires a little patience, especially the first few times, when the cat’s not yet used to it. How often you need to cut your cat’s claws depends on their lifestyle. An indoor cat needs more maintenance than an outdoor cat, as outdoor cats wear down their claws naturally when they move around in nature.
CLAW CUTTING REQUIREMENTS ARE DIFFERENT FOR OUTDOOR AND INDOOR CATS
A cat uses their claws to hunt, climb and escape, among other things. So it’s not usually recommended to cut the claws of an outdoor cat. Outdoor cats need sharper claws, and they are naturally worn down as they explore the outside world.
If, on the other hand, you have an older outdoor cat who’s not very active and doesn’t use its claws as much as a younger cat, you might want to check them regularly. Make sure that the claws do not grow into the pads or show signs of damage.
An indoor cat that doesn’t wear its claws down against tree trunks and other hard surfaces will need a scratching post or scratch pad instead. Sometimes that can be enough to keep their claws in shape, but often, you’ll need to help your cat out by cutting its claws.
Make a routine that involves checking your cat’s claws when you’re cuddling each other. You’ll probably learn how fast their claws grow and how often you need to cut them.
HELPING TO START A CAT CLAW CUTTING ROUTINE
Begin by clipping the claws when the cat is still a kitten, if you can. You don’t have to bring out the claw scissors right away. Instead, start by getting your cat used to having their paws touched. Massage the pads and feel their toes a little. Repeat as often as you can, preferably when the cat’s in a calm and affectionate mood.
When you then notice that your cat is no longer disturbed or resisting you, you can gently grab a toe and press gently so you can see its whole claw. If your cat remains calm, you can cut its claws one at a time. If it reacts negatively or starts fighting, it’s better to stop and try again later.
Don’t try to clip the claws quickly. If you do, you risk your cat thinking it’s uncomfortable and not wanting you to touch its paws at all.
- With a little training, you can get your cat used to new things – read Bozita cat expert Elin Hirsch’s best tips in Can you train a cat or kitten?
CUTTING THE CLAWS OF A RESISTANT CAT
Some cats just don’t want anyone touching their paws or claws. If your cat reacts this way, first try stroking their body so they feel calm and safe as you are touching them. Then try patting your cat’s legs and massaging their paws.
If your cat still finds the claw clipping uncomfortable despite several attempts, contact your vet, and they’ll do it for you.