Cutting Your Cat’s Nails

Your cat will keep it’s nails short naturally. Sadly this often involves your sofa. It’s a natural instinct for cats to scratch and claw but sometimes they may need extra help to keep their nails short, especially if their claws are hurting you, a child or your sofa.

Many cats freak out if you try to cut their nails. If you are really struggling, then it is better to take the cat to a vet.

To avoid a full blown hissing fit, take it very slowly and calmly and provide your cat with lots of breaks and tasty treats as a reward for tolerant behaviour.

Choose a Clipper

There are two main options in nail trimmers, so try them out and choose the one that you find easy to use.

  1. Guillotine –There is a small hole to place the nail through and then squeezing the handles brings the blade across the hole and through the nail.
  2. Scissors – working just like a pair of scissors but with a rounded blade to more accurately cut the nail.


Start your trimming session when your cat is in a relaxed and happy mood. Begin by getting them used to having their feet touched and reward them with some small treats to encourage them to cooperate. It is easier if you have one person to hold the cat and another to concentrate on trimming the nails.

Gently press your finger and thumb on either side of the pad and paw, to extend the claw. Gently trim with the clipper, but watch for the quick – a pale pink blood vessel running through the centre. If you accidentally cut too high up, it will hurt and bleed profusely, so leave lots of room between the quick and the trimmers.

Cats have five claws, so make sure you trim them all. If it is easier for your cat, do one paw at a time and let them have a break to cool off and regain their dignity, as necessary.