It is important to keep your cat’s nails trimmed monthly to maintain a healthy length. Cats use their nails for so many things, scratching, protection, climbing, etc. Although they are great for your cat, they aren’t so great for your furniture and skin. Keeping them well kept will help protect you and your home.
Although animals do not typically enjoy having their nails trimmed, with some determination, patience, and treats, you will be able to achieve a routine that your cat will actually learn to enjoy. The younger you begin with them, the easier it will be. But you can use these tips for a cat of any age.
How To Motivate Your Cat
Offering special treats, think tuna, small bites of lunch meat, or other irresistible treats that they ONLY get during trims, to your cat after each successful trim, and a bonus treat for when you actually complete the trim. By doing this, they will associate the tasty treats with having their paws touched and handled. Once they are comfortable with being trimmed, only give them a treat when you actually cut the nail.
Some cats will require a slower process, which is fine. Each cat has it’s own unique temperament and will require specific training. For the more reluctant, try giving a treat each time you touch their paw. Don’t even try to trim yet, just get them comfortable with being touched. Once they become comfortable with their paws being touched, try pressing the pad to extend out the claws, giving a reward for each successful try. You may only get one or two claws trimmed during your first session or two, and that is fine. Before you know it, they will be more than happy to get their pedicure.
Encouraging Older Cats
For older cats begin with gently petting the tops of their feet then giving a treat. Second, massage each pad followed by another reward. Third, gently press to push the claws out and offer another treat. Lastly, try cutting a few claws if they are comfortable with it, offering treats after each successful trim. Keeping the sessions short is important when first starting out. Work your way up to trimming all the nails at once. Always end each session with a jackpot snack for your feline friend.
We hope these tips help but if you have tried everything and your cat still does not want to comply, give us a call at (410) 465-6218 and bring them into your Ellicott City, MD veterinarian for a feline nail trim. We are always here to help.