Art of nail clipping…

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Some cats disappear as soon as they see you with the nail clippers! Not any more…here’s how to make nail clipping a pleasure, not a chore.

Start young
Kittens should be introduced to nail clipping when they are young and in this way, they will become accustomed to having their nails clipped on a regular basis and not try to hide away.
Quiet atmosphere
Nail clipping should be done in a quiet and calm atmosphere and the cat should be handled gently but securely on your lap with as few distractions as possible.
Build up the rapport
It is a good idea to take one paw at a time and gently massage the paw for a very short period of time. Don’t squeeze, don’t pull or pinch. Most cats will settle down and not resist their pet parent who has always been kind to them. Always speak calmly and lovingly to your cat during the nail clipping procedure and this should help to settle her down.
Spring into action
The cat should sit on your lap and be facing away from you. Take one of her toes in your hand, massage and press the pad until the nail extends. Check how much nail needs to be clipped and where ‘The Quick’ begins. Trim only the sharp tip of the nail and continue on until all nails have been clipped. Start slowly and never rush cutting your cat’s nails so you do not make any mistakes. Once all nails have been cut, use an emery board to smooth off the rough end of the nail. Trimming nails every 10-14 days should be enough.
Word of caution
The pink part of the cat’s nail called ‘The Quick’ is where the nerves and blood vessels are. Do not cut into this very sensitive area. Snip only the white part of the claw. It is far better to be cautious and only clip a small portion of the nail rather than clipping too much and cause bleeding of the pink area of the nail. A styptic powder or stick (available from your veterinarian) is worth having on hand to stop any bleeding. If you have any problems, then have your veterinarian or groomer to do this for you.
Tips to follow
If your cat resists and becomes angry, never raise your voice or growl at her. She won’t forget that and you will always have problems. Sometimes it is easier to only trim 3-4 nails at a time and then trim the remaining nails at a later time. Provide your cat with a scratching post and she will help to keep her nails smooth in between clipping.
(Joan E Henderson is based in Australia and she has judged furry felines in many other countries including USA, Bermuda, Malaysia, South Africa, Hong Kong, Philippines and New Zealand).