How to trim your cat's claws

For most cats you do not need to worry about trimming their claws – in fact clipping them may be inappropriate as cats need their claws for defense and climbing. However as cats get older and less mobile, their claws can become overgrown, causing discomfort and even infection. If you do think your cat’s claws require trimming, it would be wise to discuss this with your vet and to ask for a demonstration.

Tips for trimming your cat’s claws

  • Choose a time when you and your cat are relaxed
  • Ensure you have good light before starting
  • Position your cat facing away from you – an ideal time is whilst your cat is relaxing on your lap. Alternatively, wrap your cat in a towel, with one leg free
  • Take your cat’s paw and gently press the top of each toe to extend the claw outward. Remember if your cat is elderly be extra gentle with your handling
  • Examine the claw carefully and using claw clippers, snip off just the transparent tip, avoiding the blood vessel (quick) that can be seen in the centre of the claw
  • If your cat becomes anxious, stop and try again another time
  • Depending on your cat, cutting claws can be tricky, so consult your vet or vet nurse for advice/demonstration


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