The claws of cats are sharp and help them to climb and to catch their prey. On occasions however, the claws can prove to be a handicap, particularly if they become overgrown, so it is advisable that you learn how to clip cat claws to avoid further cat claw problems. There is a risk that the cat can injure itself by tearing a claw which will be very painful. So it is important to check your cat’s claws regularly, to ensure that they remain in trim. Check your cat’s claws by gripping paw so the claws extend. Avoid cutting claws too short. Your pet Cutting the claws is not a very difficult procedure, but it may be better to leave this task to your vet.
The claws are formed of tough keratin, the same material which makes up our fingernails. In the cat’s case, the blood supply to the living tissue extends a variable distance down each claw, usually being visible here as a thin pinkish streak. In the case of an overgrown claw, it is important to know where the blood supply is because if this area of the claw is cut, then it will bleed profusely.
If you have never cut a cat’s claws before, seek advice from your vet, to ensure that they really do need to be trimmed back. It is also important to have proper tools for the task. Scissors are not suitable, simply because they will tend to split the claw, rather than cutting through it cleanly. This can be damaging. Special guillotine clippers of the type sold for use with small dogs are generally the best choice for cats as well.
Try not to stress your cat more than necessary when cutting its claws. Place your pet on a table or at a similarly convenient height, in an area of a room where good lighting is available. This is important so that you can see what you are doing. The task will be easier if you have someone to assist you, by gently restraining the cat and holding out each of its paws in turn so that you can concentrate on dealing with the claws.
It should be no more distressing than cutting your own fingernails, although some cats may resent being restrained for this procedure. Only if you cut into the quick of the nail will it actually hurt your cat.
Cats which wander outdoors are far less likely to suffer from overgrown claws, because they will wear them down naturally, by walking and climbing. A scratching post will help for cats housed indoors.
To help the clotting process, apply a styptic pencil (as sold for shaving nicks) to the bleeding end of the claw, or press there for a few moments.