Up next in Cat Care & Grooming (25 videos)
Learn how to take care of a cat or kitten in this cat care and grooming video series from Howcast.
You Will Need
- A comfortable chair
- A pair of cat nail clippers
- Styptic powder or cornstarch
- A towel
- A helper
Sit with cat facing you
Sit in a comfortable chair with the cat in your lap facing you.
Take front paw in hand
Gently take one of the cat’s front paws in your hand.
To reveal each nail, gently press the pad of the cat’s paw with your thumb. At the same time, press on the top of the paw—below the claw—with your index finger. The nail will protrude and remain extended until you release your hold.
Avoid the quick
Hold the claw still and clip the tip. Be careful to avoid the quick—the darker area that you can see inside most cats’ nails—that consists of blood vessels and nerves. Pain and bleeding for your cat, after all, will probably translate to immediate pain and bleeding for you.
If quick starts to bleed ...
If your cat’s quick does start to bleed, you can usually stop it by dipping the paw in styptic powder or cornstarch—assuming you can still get anywhere near your cat. If the bleeding continues for more than 10 minutes, call your vet.
Don't worry about back claws
Clipping the nails on the cat’s back feet is not as important as clipping the front claws, since your cat will most likely use its front paws scratch both you and your furniture. If your cat is too stressed out, leave the back claws for another time.
Be slow & consistent
Alright, so your cat’s pedicure is no day at the spa—for either of you. But the more you handle his feet, the less stressed he’ll be, so be slow but consistent, clipping even just one nail per day until they’re all done. He’ll be a calmer customer within a few months.