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C2003-01

Dear Christopher Cat

How do I clip my cat’s claws?

Christopher Responds

I’ll share with you the technique my mom uses to clip my claws.  Experiment a bit to find what works best for you and your cat.

First, it’s a good idea to practice before you actually clip, to get your cat (and yourself!) accustomed to the process.  When your cat is sleepy and you are relaxed, hold your cat on your lap.

If you are right-handed, wrap your left arm around your cat.  With your left thumb above and your left forefinger below the toe, gently press on the toe until the claw appears. 

Look closely at the claw and you’ll see the pink quick at its center.  The quick contains blood vessels and nerves, so you won’t want to clip there.

Repeat this practice step with all ten toes (or more, if your cat has extra toes) on the front feet.  Some people also clip the back claws, so examine them too. 

Pet and praise your cat while you are examining the claws.
Once you and your cat have practiced toe handling several times, you are ready to clip.  Use human toenail trimmers or cat claw trimmers from the pet supply store.

Clip the tip of the claw off, carefully avoiding the quick. 

Pet and praise your cat after you trim each claw.

You might only get one foot, or even one claw, finished at the first sitting.  Just stay relaxed, and in time you’ll both enjoy the process!

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