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How to Cut Cat Claws at Home

Cat claws are incredibly sharp, and if left untrimmed, they can pose danger to both you and your kitty. Lucky for you, we’ve got some expert tips and tricks on how to cut cat claws at home. With these guidelines, you’ll have your cat’s claws under control in no time! For a more in-depth guide on how to groom your cat at home, check our blog post here.

What You Need

There’s no doubt that in order to properly trim your cat’s nails you need a few tools.


The first and most important tool is a pair of sharp clippers. We emphasize sharpness because if your clippers are dull, you risk causing unnecessary pain or damage to your cat’s nails. The blunt force of a dull blade is what you want to avoid. A pair like this is what you want because it has very sharp blades and a safety guard to avoid over cutting.

A Partner

Ideally, you’d have a second person holding the cat while you cut their claws. If you try to cut your cat’s nails without holding them, there’s a high chance they’ll pull away. The key here is to make the cat feel as comfortable as possible. So, if you have someone who can hold the cat and maybe even pet them while you cut, that would be better.

A Sling

If you’re on your own with this mission, we suggest holding the cat under one arm and using the clippers with the other hand. If that doesn’t work, you can consider a cat sling, like this. With a sling, you just feed each leg in its respective hole and hang it from a door frame, and you will have full access to the paws. The cat won’t be able to run away and it provides better control.

A Nail File

Finally, the last thing you need is a nail file of some sort. It can be a traditional nail file or a Dremel with a soft tip on it to round out the sharp edges that occur after a fresh trim.

Get Your Cat Comfortable

Before any clipping happens, you want to make sure your cat is comfortable. If your cat is in a bad mood or you are expressing frustration, it will only make things worse. You need to create a soothing, calm environment for your cat so they’re as relaxed as possible.

If possible, you should try to cut your cat’s claws on a schedule so they become used to the activity and it becomes a part of their routine. When you first introduce your cat to nail trimming, it’s best to ease them into it and not try to cut all their nails at once. Try to end things on a positive note each time, and always remember to reward them.

How To Cut Cat Claws

So, you’ve got your kitty right where you want them. It’s time to get clipping! First, gently grasp the paw you want to start with and use your fingers to squeeze the joint behind the claw you want to cut. Since cats’ claws are retractable, this will make the nail extend so you can cut off the sharp tip.

When you’re cutting claws, you always want to cut the least amount possible and never close to the pink part of the nail, also known as the quick. If you get too close to the quick, you could cause your cat pain or make them bleed.

Leave It To The Pros

We get it. Cutting cat claws can be daunting. You can’t seem to get them to hold still, you can’t see the quick, and you just want to leave it to the pros. We got you. At Care First Animal Hospital, our expert pet groomers will take excellent care of your feline friend, so there’s nothing to worry about. Give us a call today!

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