You won't have to worry about nail-trimming if your cat spends a lot of time outdoors, as rough surfaces tend to act as a natural file. Indoor and elderly cats, however, may need to have their nails trimmed every few weeks. This prevents the claws growing inwards into their pads, causing pain and infection.
How to trim your cat's nails:
- Get your cat used to the idea of nail-trimming from an early age. Pretend to trim by applying slight pressure to your cat's toes and then offer a treat.
- Use a file on the soft toenails of a kitten. This is less likely to cause pain or bleeding.
- Check your cat's nails once a week. When your cat is resting, her nails should retract and tuck underneath her, however, if you can see the nails then they need a trim. Usually, it is the back paw nails that need it most.
- For adult cats, use specially designed cat-claw clippers. Keep them sharp and well-maintained.
- Press your cat's paw between your finger and thumb to unsheathe the claw. Snip off just the transparent tip of the claw.
- If you are inexperienced you can hurt your cat if you get it wrong and cut them too short. Ask your vet or groomer to show you how to trim nails properly if you are unsure.
- Have silver nitrate sticks and cotton wool balls nearby in case you do accidentally cut too short. If the nail begins to bleed, don’t panic. Calmly apply the silver nitrate and press with a cotton wool ball for a moment.
- Silver nitrate may sting, so you might want to enlist some help to hold your cat if the need arises.
- Check with your vet if the bleeding doesn’t stop.
- Also check the paw pads for any cuts or foreign bodies. Check between the toes for any signs of soreness. Contact your vet if you find anything unusual.
Another vital part of cat grooming and maintenance is bathing your cat.
About the Purina PetCare Advice Centre
The Purina PetCare Advice Centre brings together a team with in-depth knowledge, experience and special interests with the skills to advise about health and nutrition, behaviour, training, socialisation, as well as basic first aid for your cat or dog. Our team of dedicated pet lovers can also provide information about Purina products and services to help you give your pet the best possible care. If you've got a question about any aspect of pet care, then ask the Purina PetCare Advice team.