Cats are well-armed creatures that can strike with force beyond their weight. They have sharp teeth and fast reflexes. They are flexible and agile. Cats' claws can wreak havoc on smaller animals, potential predators (e.g. us when we want to catch them), carpets, curtains and sofas. So how do you defend yourself against scratches? Let's talk about how to cut your cat's nails and why you should do it.
First, let's talk about cat nail clipping vs. cat nail trimming.
In the old days, the solution for cats that wreaked havoc at home or hurt a human being in play was terrible: They were completely removed their claws. Today, most veterinarians and cat lovers see this practice as an absolute last resort - and many veterinarians refuse to perform this treatment on cats even in the last resort. Potential complications such as pain, behavioural changes and an increased likelihood of biting are considered by most to outweigh the benefits (for owner-cat owners, they do not benefit) of the procedure. Old veterinarians who still believe in claw removal are fortunately retiring, so people need to adapt to the reality of a world where this procedure will be avocable
This means that most of the cat's claws need to be trimmed. Unlike removal of nails, cutting nails has many benefits, not only for people and things, but also for cats.
Why cut the cat's claws?
It's obvious that sharp cat claws do more damage than when cut. Your sofa, carpet and curtains will notice significant benefits. As a reminder, 'sharpening' your cat's claws is a normal expression of cat behaviour and cannot (and shouldn't) be suppressed in any way. Therefore all cat owners should have scratches.
It is known, however, that a cat's trimmed claws cause less injury to human skin than their sharper counterparts. Scratches on a cat are not only painful. Scratches can be infected (remember that the cat is kicking in the tray with the same fingernails). Flea-infected cats can spread Bartonella henselae, also known as cat's claw disease (although in my opinion it should be called flea faeces disease because it is spread by fleas - cats only introduce bacteria into the bloodstream when they scratch people with their nails that have flea faeces on them).
Cats benefit directly from human nail clipping. Cats' nails grow in shell-like layers. When cats "sharpen" their claws, they remove older shells to reveal sharper new ones. But often cats don't remove this layer. This can lead to ingrown nails which can become extremely painful and can lead to unpleasant infections. Regular trimming will prevent the nails from growing into the nail. What's more, a cat with trimmed nails is likely to enjoy a better relationship with her family as she won't be thrown out of her knees if she scratches her owner too much in play.
The good news is: a qualified team of people working with a tolerant cat can get their nails cut in 20 seconds without any problems . Unfortunately, there is also bad news: many cats do not tolerate trimming and many people are not trained in it. Below are some tips how to cut cat's nails, which I hope will help cat owners:
1. Learn about the structure of the cat's claws
Most cats have 18 nails (five on each front foot and four on each back foot). However, a condition called polydactylation, in which cats have excess claws, is quite common. Get to know your cat's feet and find out where her nails are and how many. And remember that cats' claws naturally hide at rest. You can extend them out for trimming by applying gentle pressure to the top and bottom of each finger at the same time. Practice this and get good results.
Finally, get to know the core. The core contains blood and nerves that nourish and deliver a feeling to the nails. If you cut or press the claw too aggressively, you will find out quickly. This will cause pain and bleeding. The core can be recognized by its pink or red shade (caused by blood flowing through it) at the base of the nail. The core generally does not cover the entire nail.
2. Get your cat used to lying down peacefully while you touch her legs.
Cats very rarely refuse to cut their nails. However, many cats don't like to be touched near their fingertips and therefore run away. I recommend that cat owners touch their cat's feet every day. If your cat is used to touching in this area, work will be much easier. Kittens are particularly susceptible to this habit but adult cats can also be taught this. You can practice ejecting fingernails while touching their feet.
3. Try to make the trimming of the nail pleasant and not jerk with the cat.
Tasty treats, caresses and a gentle tone of voice helps. If your cat gets nervous, stop the procedure. Cats have an extremely good memory and if you're struggling to cut your fingernails I can assure you that the whole thing will be even more difficult later.
4. Teamwork pays off.
It's the vet's ace up his sleeve. He almost always works with another person when he's doing a claw cut. Keeping a cat is a harder job because it requires a lot of finesse - the aim is to keep the cat from running away without frightening her. This should be done gently and lovingly but a good grip will not allow your cat to get up and go (unless she gets nervous).
5. Don't waste time.
Very few cats tolerate 10-minute nail trimming. Know what you are doing, respect your cat's patience and don't drag on. If you're good at it, it will take less time than your cat will realise.
6. Use the right equipment and good technique.
Use special tools to cut off your cat's nails. The most recommended and proven tools are Pet Nail Scissors. One person should gently hold and calm the cat down. The other person should quickly pull out each nail and use a suitable nail cutter to remove the tip of each nail. Move smoothly through the nails of each foot. If in doubt it is better to remove too little nail than too much. The sharpest part of the nail is at the very end, so only a little has to be removed anyway. If you accidentally cut too much, use an appropriate measure to stop the bleeding.
Put the cat claw in the guillotine. Just squeeze the device to cut it off. It is better to cut the claw gradually, a few millimetres each, to prevent bleeding. Remember to use only sharp tools. These blunt instruments can crush the plate.
They are perfect for small breeds such as yorkshire terriers and chihuahua, but they are also suitable for cats. They have a comfortable handle, which is usually coated with non-slip material. This allows you to grip the tool firmly and securely in your hand.
Claw grinders and files
These are automatic or manual tools. They shape the claws and smooth the sharp ends after cutting them off. By grinding the claws with a grinder their ends are pleasant to the touch, do not cause scratches and do not stick to pillows or carpets.
Rotary grinders have additional safety features that protect your cat's hair or coat from being pulled into the machine, making them safe to use.
Bleeding control powder
It'll come in handy if you cut your claws too short and bleed. Just put a small amount of it on the bleeding claw with an applicator or an ordinary ear stick. The powder will immediately stop the bleeding.
Take care of the sharpness.
Of the tool Before using pliers or scissors, make sure the blade is sharp enough. You will now find quality tools in shops with precision stainless steel blades that remain sharp for a long time. You can also grind the tool if necessary.
Remember that by trimming your nails, as with many things in life, practice makes a big difference. If you decide to treat and trim your cat's nails regularly, you're likely to get great results.