Trimming a cats claws takes a little practice but is not difficult. Convincing your cat that nail trims are necessary might be the hardest part of the procedure!
These Internet resources, which include close-up photographs and how-to videos, will help you gain the confidence you need to make a persuasive argument.
This video offered by the Cornell Feline Health Center introduces the anatomy of a cat's paw and teaches one technique for trimming cat's claws. The video is divided into clearly labeled chapters—Introduction, Preparation, Procedure, and two "Help . . ." chapters covering common problems: cutting the quick and cats that won't hold still—that can be individually viewed. This is a useful option for cat owners who have a dial-up connection (over which the full video might be slow to download) or who want a quick review of just one or two parts of the video.
Washington State University College of Veterinary Medicine, Tigger, and photographer Henry Moore created a page that shows several excellent photographs that quickly download even over a dial-up connection. The photographs allow you to study the details of claw anatomy so that you will be confident when you practice on your own cat. This website also shows a few different claw-trimming tools and how to trim with your cat held in your lap.
Christianne Schelling, DVM (Schelling Veterinary Services, Three Rivers, California), is a member of the American Association of Feline Practitioners. Her website includes a concise description of how to trim cat claws.
Another Feline Practitioner member, Debra M. Givin, DVM (The Cat Doctor, Portland, Maine), shares her thoughts about negotiating the claw-trimming procedure with your cat and provides photos and tips for success. This page provides an overview of claw trimming. A second page explains how to position your cat for its trim.
As with any skill, becoming proficient at claw trimming will take time. Your cat might try to discourage your efforts, but if you remain calm, collected, and convinced, you will succeed and claw trimming will soon become part of your normal routine.
How often do folks trim their cats' claws?
Click here for the results of Cat Fancy's online poll.
Debra M. Givin, DVM
The Cat Doctor