Trimming your cats nails can be easy and a part of a regular routine and bonding moment with your cat.  Starting your cat’s nail trimming very young, when they are kittens, is best.  However, this does not mean that you cannot work with an adult cat to be able to successfully trim their nails.

As Dr. Margie Scherk indicates in this video, making the process part of a rewarding training activity is key.

Initially when learning to trim cat nails, try to trim only 1 or 2 nails at each sitting.  It isn’t the law that all toe nails have to get trimmed in one sitting.  In fact, if your cat is struggling, and you try to push on with the process, it quickly becomes a negative experience.  Find a food treat that your cat likes, or maybe your cat prefers physical rewards in the form of petting and cuddling, and use these to reward your cat for allowing you to trim the nails.

With your thumb along the back of one digit, and your forefinger on the digit pad, apply gentle pressure.  This will push the nail out ward, unsheathing it and allowing you to visualize it for safe and correct trimming.  Identify the sharp, pointy, clear, white portion of the nail.  This is the portion of the nail that you want to trim.   Closer to the cat’s paw, the nail becomes wider.  This section contains the nerves and blood vessels.  It is this area of the claw that you do not want to cut.

As always, asking your veterinary office for assistance with learning this process is an excellent idea.  Most clinics will offer free training or charge a nominal fee for trimming nails.  Your cat’s nails should be trimmed every 4-6 weeks.  If you are doing only 1-2 toes at a time, make it a daily event for 1 week out of every 4.  Once again, this can be a bonding time for you and your cat and should never be a negative experience for either of you.  If you are having trouble, seek out assistance as soon as possible, before the situation worsens.