How to Clip Your Cat’s Nails

How to Clip Your Cat’s Nails

Clip Your Cat's Nails

Cats are great at grooming themselves and, for the most part, only need your help with a few things like brushing and occasionally clipping their nails. Sometimes, especially if you’ve adopted an older cat, it’s best to let a veterinarian or professional groomer clip their nails.  They may not be used to having this done and could scratch or bite you. However, if your cat is very docile and trusting or you start this habit when they’re young, you’ll find it’s not that difficult to clip your cat’s nails.

First, you’ll need a pair of cat nail clippers like the ones shown below. You can find these at most pet supply stores like ours. You may also want to purchase a small container of stypic powder in the event of a too-close clip.  Finally, some special treats that are only given after nail clippings are a must!

How to Clip Your Cat's Nails


Pick a time when your cat is a bit drowsy.  After a long nap is a great time to do this. You’ll figure out the best way to hold your cat and may want some help. I put my cat in my lap and cross my legs over their back legs. I can hold them and see their front paws (which are the only ones that really need trimming) and they’re secure.

Speak softly to your pet and gently press on one nail to to extend it out so you can see all of it. Do NOT cut past the pink part. In fact, don’t clip near the pink part. You’ll see which nails really need to be clipped and which ones are fine for now. Often there will just be one or two claws (check their dew claws too) that need to be trimmed. You’ll know when their kneading on your lap becomes painful instead of cute!

This is a process and starting it with young kittens is the easiest way to make it part of their weekly or bi-monthly lifestyle. When nails are clipped and done congratulate your cat and provide him or her with a few delicious treats as a reward!  Need help? Contact us! 

For a more detailed overview of how to clip your cat’s nails, here’s a great video.