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How to Safely Trim Your Cat’s Claws at Home

If you have a cat who lives indoors, you may have experienced furniture and carpet scratchings, along with painful scratches on your skin. In order to prevent and reduce the scratches, you can trim your cat’s claws. Imagining yourself clipping your cat’s claws may be a bit anxiety inducing, but it is actually quite easy and manageable. Here are some steps to show you how to safely trim your cat’s claws.

*However, if you prefer to redirect your cat’s scratching, you can do so by placing cat scratchers in the right area or placing nail clips on your cat.

Step 1: Start early. The earlier you start to trim your cat’s claws, the more likely they will be used to it. That being said, I happened to start trimming my cat’s claws a bit late, like 6 years late. And I can safely trim her claws, which is saying a lot because she hates having her paws touched! So, I believe with some practice and confidence you will be able to safely trim your cat’s claws.

Start Trimming Early

Step 2: Get the right equipment. You will need a pair of cat nail clippers. The Magic Coat Cat Care Clippers work perfectly. They are specifically designed for cat claws and can be found at local pet shops. Also, like I said before confidence will help. You may think you are going to hurt your little, precious kitty, but you won’t as long as you follow the next directions.


Step 3: Hold your cat. But first make sure your cat is calm and is not in any hunting instincts mode, like bird watching or in the middle of playing. Next, familiarize yourself with your cat’s claws. Massage their paws to get them to release their claws, you may need to push slightly to release them.


Next look at the claws. The claws have a pink area near the bottom of the claw (closest to your cat’s paw), do not and I repeat do not, clip the pink area. This will actually hurt them and may cause bleeding. If you do cut the pink area, get a towel and put pressure on it to stop the bleeding. After the pink area comes a white area and then the clear nail area. You can clip up to the white area, just not too far down.

Step 4: Start clipping. You may also want to bring some treats beside you, to reward your cat after the clipping. This will help your cat associate the clipping positively. Now gently position one claw in your fingers and press the toe pad enough to release the claw. Look at where the pink area is, in order to avoid clipping it. You will clip just the sharp tip of the nail.


When your cat starts to become more comfortable with getting her or his nails clipped you can clip more. But never right next to the pink area. Then release your cat’s paw and give her or him a treat. If you and your cat feel comfortable, do another nail. You may need to do only a couple at a time to get all of the claws. Also, the hind claws may be a bit more tricky. So, I suggest starting out with the front claws first.

What Not To Do:

  • As mentioned before, do not clip the pink area. This is harmful and can cause bleeding.
  • Do not yell at your cat.
  • Do not punish your cat.
  • Do not rush, take your time.
  • Start off slowly, do not try to trim all claws at once.
  • Do not trim your cat’s claws when your cat is upset, excited, or agitated.

What to Do After:FelineGreeniesCatTreats

  • Play with your cat.
  • Reward your cat with treats.
  • Cuddle your cat.
  • Pretty much reward your cat with what they love to do or eat. This will help your cat enjoy the claw trimming.


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