How To Trim A Cat’s Nails By Yourself? A Handy Guide For A Pet Parent! 


If you are here hovering around looking for how to trim a cat’s nails by yourself, assuredly, you are not in a great mood! The angry pussy must have scratched you or has been creating quite a fuss around the house. Well, let’s inform you beforehand that – you are in massive trouble. Felines are not always at their best when you decide to claw their nips. Hence, unlike other pets, you have to actually calm them down and strategize their nail-nipping session. 

Here’s the guide that will assist you in ensuring you do this tough job all by yourself – without a glitch. Here’s how to proceed – 

How to trim a cat’s nails by yourself? 

trim cat nails
Image Credit: Insider

Before you get to the methods to trim your cat’s nails, you must note that – 

Cats have retractable claws, unlike dogs, and hence while trimming their nails, you must squeeze the top and bottom part of the foot to extend the claws. So, you, too, need to remember this – 

Step 1 – Find the correct position 

correct position for cutting nails
Image Credit: PetMD

Figure out a comfortable and strategic position so that your cat does not get much space to attack. Try holding your cat lengthwise along your lap. You could also use a padded board or try to put your cat in a way that it lies with its face up in the space between your stomach and hips. 

If neither of the positions works, you could also wrap your feline’s claws in a towel so that it can put one paw outside at a time. 

Step 2 – Figure out the cutting range 

nail cut cat
Image Credit: Daily Paws

The next thing, and definitely the most essential factor to note when you are learning how to trim a cat’s nails by yourself, is to figure out the cutting range. You do not need to be bothered by the sheath since it already sheds it off automatically. You must be careful of the quick part of the claw since that could lead to injury. You have to categorically concern yourself with the white part (claw area). Extend it to clip it. 

Step 3 – Trim at 45-degrees 

Image Credit: Fear Free Happy Homes

Assuming you have chosen the typical scissor-style clipper to chop off the nails, try to cut the nails at 45 degrees. This will assuredly cut the nails cleanly, and the chances of injury are reduced comparatively. 

Are you using a nail grinder? Be very careful to keep the hair out around the nails before you chip it. 

#Take a breather. 

Have you done the needful and trimmed its nails? If your cat is not too sleepy, then it will probably scowl. Take time off, and treat your cat. 

Step 4 – Repeat the process 

repeat the nail cutting
Image Credit: PetBarn

Have you followed the process once? Then take its paw and trim the nails of that paw one by one – by taking some time off in between. One paw done – rest it and continue the same after a day. 

How to set the stage for the session? 

As a cat parent, you must understand that chipping off your pet’s nails is not as easy as it may look. You need to practice quite hard before you actualize the first session. 

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This is not just to acquaint you with the snipping of the nails but also a way to ensure that your cat becomes acquainted with the noise(attach a spaghetti to its paws so that it gets familiar with the noise). 

Apart from that, here are other ways to prep the stage before knowing and implementing how to trim a cat’s nails by yourself – 

  . If you have to relax your cat, you need to relax first. Cats are high on catching up on your energy levels. Hence, resonate calmness before you prepare the snip-off session set-up. 

  . In case you are uncomfortable about your kitty resting on your lap while you chip off its nails, it is better to get a padded ironing board. 

  . You already have the cat treats beside you. So, while you make plans to chip off their nails, it is better if you continue mushing up your cat’s skin or try setting it up by gently holding the paws. Ensure that your cat completely trusts you. Only then can they calm down momentarily and give in to your nail-cutting session. 

  . Lastly, set up soft music and reduce distractions around the place where you are setting up your cat. This will soothe your kitty down, and they will, despite all their willingness will, give in.

When you follow these steps, the process will become comparatively easier. However, apart from that, you also need to pick the correct set of nail clippers for your cat. 

What type of clipper to choose? 

Though you have got a fair idea about how to trim a cat’s nails by yourself if you do not choose the correct one, these steps could go for a toss! Here are some of the types from which you need to take a pick! 

  1. Scissor style clippers 

This is the traditional nail clipper wherein divots are attached to the scissor, making it easy to cut off the nails. 

  2. Pliers style clippers 

Most cat parents prefer to use this for chopping off their kitty’s nails since they come with a spring that helps chop off the extra thick nails. 

  3. Guillotine style clippers

This simply comes with a hole through which you will have to poke the nail inside so that the blade can smoothly pass through. Though technically, this helps to clip the cat nails in the best manner, try not to use this on an agitated cat since, when things go south, chances of injury with this clipper rises. 

  4. Nail grinders 

This is a tool that you require to file your feline’s nails. Once the clipping process is over, you must ensure that the nails are filed well to prevent any untoward scratches. 

A quick set of FAQ before the session

take care of cat nail
Image Credit – Fauna Care

Before you take thEdE go on to demonstrate how to trim a cat’s nails by yourself, here are some very crucial questions that you must know the answer to –

  1. What if you accidentally trim your cat’s nails too much? 

The chances of this accident happening is extremely prominent since cats tend to become agitated during their nail-clipping process. In case you face such a mishap, the first thing that you must do is – apply a stick of silver nitrate or either cauterizing or styptic powder to the wounded area. If you have a cat at home, it is quite natural that you will have these products stacked in your medical kit. 

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If you are short of these, you could always use a pinch of baking powder or all-purpose flour to stop the bleeding. Pressing the wounded area against a disinfectant soap bar also helps. With these tricks in tow, the bleeding will mostly stop. Later, you can take your cat to the vet.

  2. How often must you trim your cat’s nails?

Technically speaking, clipping your kitty’s nails once every 10-14 days is a perfect schedule to fit into. However, you could stretch it to a maximum of twice a month if you see the nails too short to be trimmed.

  3. Which cats specifically require their nails trimmed? 

Well, outdoor cats do not need to trim their nails regularly. But if you have petted one, or if your cat is either old or arthritic, then their nails need to be clipped regularly. This is simply because, apart from the injuries that they can cause to themselves, this nail clipping is a process by which they can flex that area naturally compared to the others.

  4. Is there any other way to calm your cat while trimming? 

You must have already checked out ways to calm your little one before you go tipping its nails off. In case that’s not enough, then you can pick out catnip for calming down your cat. Either you put it into cat feed or give an oral solution. Apart from that – you can also give chamomile to your cat by mixing it into cat feed. Mixing Valerian in cat feed is another way to calm down your cat. Be cautious of the quantity since, at times; it may also induce sleep in your feline friend.

  5. Is there anything that you must specifically avoid? 

You must never try clipping your cat’s nails when it is agitated to the level of being upset. It is quite normal that your cat will try to resist when you trim its nails since it is in its inherent nature. However, if it’s way too upset or squirming too much (warning signs being: stiffening of the body, panting, twitching of the tail) – it is better not to trim the nails since that could lead to an injury. 

Also, do not try trimming all her nails at the same time. This also could lead to injury.  

Wrapping up 

It is no secret that if not clipped off on time, the cat’s nails could cause an untoward scratch, add pressure to their foot or cause issues while they are retracting their claws. However, it is not always possible to seek a vet’s help. Hence, you must know how to trim a cat’s nails by yourself at home. Assuming you have read this article well, you are better prepared to deal with the process. If you liked this content and are looking for more exciting content like this, keep checking this website.