It’s a pesky job, but someone’s got to do it. Here’s how to make trimming your cat’s nails as easy as possible.

Cutting your cat's nails

You may love nothing more than a Saturday morning mani-pedi, but cats generally aren’t fans of having their nails done. However, cutting your cat’s nails regularly from when they are kittens is important for a number of reasons.

Cats’ claws grow in layers, and they frequently need to scratch them against coarse surfaces to remove the worn outer layer. Frisky felines also naturally use their claws in play, and soft human skin tends to come off second best. Trimming cat claws means less damage to furnishings and limbs.

How to cut your cat’s nails

Most cats will need to be convinced that having their paws handled is a good thing. With treats on hand, gently massage your feline friend’s paws regularly over the course of a few days.

Once you both are relaxed and have your cat in your lap, gently press your cat’s toe pad to extend the claw. You should notice a pink part, that is called the quick, it is very sensitive, as this contains your cat’s nerves and blood vessels.

Use dedicated cat nail clippers to trim your cat’s nails, and be careful of how much of the nail you cut off. Below we explain the best way to cut different cat nail lengths and what a well-maintained nail will look like.

Cutting a long cat nail

Cut only the tip of the nail to avoid damaging the quick and causing bleeding. The quick will gradually recede.

Cutting a long cat nail

Cutting or filing your cat’s nails

Cutting or filing your cat’s nails a little bit every few days will cause the quick to gradually recede.

Cutting or filing your cat's nails

Cutting a short nail

Cutting only the tip and trimming  regularly will help you avoid cutting the quick

Cutting a short cat nail

A well-maintained nail

Regular trimming will make the process easier!

A well maintained cat nail

Is it bad to not cut your cat’s nails?

Maintaining your cat’s nails is an important part of your weekly grooming ritual with them. Most cats like getting their claws trimmed, as you might see your own cat chewing them or claiming your poor furniture to try wear the tips down when they get too long.

If not maintained, your cat’s nails can curl back towards their toe pad. This can cause discomfort when they walk or threaten to puncture their toe pad. Cats can sometimes even hook their nails on their lip while grooming their paws if they are too long.

Examining your cats claws periodically is a good thing. By following our tips above, more and more your cat can feel relaxed in this process.

Is it dangerous to cut your cat’s nails?

Cutting your cats nails does not have to be a dangerous part of their grooming. There is the risk of hurting your cat if their nails are cut or filed too short.

Of course, if clipping your cat’s nails seems like a task too far for you, take your pet into your local Greencross Vets clinic where the professionals will be happy to do this for you.