Trimming your cat’s nails is a necessary chore for any pet parent. Here are the three ways you can get it done.
As luck would have it, none of my cats like having their nails trimmed. It’s almost a Herculean feat to get the job done, but done it must be.
Method #1 – Doing It Yourself
This is by far the trickiest method. You need to know what you’re doing before trimming your cat’s nails yourself. You’ll also need these grooming supplies:
- A cat-specific nail trimmer (we recommend this one from Safari)
- Towel, for collecting the nail trimmings
- Styptic powder, in case you cut the nail too short (it will stop bleeding)
- Your cat
The last one is going to be hard to get, but your unwilling participant must be caught. Those of you fortunate enough to have a cat that likes (or simply tolerates) nail trimming should count your blessings.
Familiarize yourself with this instructional video and do your best:
Method #2 – Taking Your Cat To A Groomer
Most people live within driving distance of a grooming salon. If your cat puts up a major fight or you don’t feel comfortable trimming their nails yourself, a professional groomer is an option.
Chain stores like PetSmart offer grooming services, but I prefer private or small chain groomers myself. I’ve heard too many horror stories about Petco.
The average cost of trimming your cat’s nails at a grooming salon is around $10-15, but some areas may be more expensive.
Method #3 – Get Your Veterinarian To Do It
I didn’t even know this was an option until I mentioned to my vet that my cat hated having her nails trimmed. I suppose it makes sense; they do, after all, trim your cat’s nails whenever there’s a surgical procedure.
The cost was surprisingly cheap at $17. Loki the Therapy Cat makes a trip every other week to get his nails trimmed, but Misha and Tippy get too stressed. It’s much less stressful for me to just do it at home. My mother or sister assist me, holding whichever one while I trim their nails.
Which Method Is The Best For Trimming Your Cat’s Nails?
That’s a tough question. As far as getting it done right, I would say that the veterinarian’s office is your best bet. As long as your pet doesn’t get stressed out by the experience, that is. Dr. Khuly made a good point in this article from Vetstreet:
“Let’s be honest: Any pet who gets a nail trim only when it’s time to see the vet is receiving a dubiously beneficial service that often only serves to make him more afraid of the vet’s office… Go anywhere except the place where stress should be minimized at all costs, so a good attitude can be preserved for when injury and illness happen.”
I have the misfortune to live in an area where the local grooming businesses are somewhat shady. The pet store in the next town over has a horrible reputation, and I feel much safer taking Loki to the vet. That being said, the least stressful place to trim your cat’s nails is at home. There, they will be in an environment that they are familiar with, which will help keep them calm.
Wouldn’t It Be Easier To Just Get My Cat Declawed?
The Meow Place is STRONGLY AGAINST declawing. Despite what your veterinarian may tell you, declawing is their big money-maker. They don’t promote it because it’s healthy for your cat – it’s all about profit.
Declawing is more than just removing the nail. Veterinarians amputate everything at and below the first knuckle. It’s like a human having the tips of their fingers chopped off. Remember in the movie Roots when Kunta Kinte had his toes chopped off so that he couldn’t run away? That’s what declawing does to your cat.
This can cause numerous health problems for your cat. Having their nails trimmed won’t save your furniture, but there are a variety of alternatives that help with this problem. Here is a quick list of just a few of them:
Paws need claws! For more information on declawing, visit The Paw Project.
Have you ever tried trimming your cat’s nails yourself? What advice can you give to other pet owners to make the job easier and less stressful for you and your cat? Leave a comment below.