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Video:How to Trim Cat Nails

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Trimming a cat's nails is a task that takes a bit of education and some patience. Watch this About.com video to see how it is most easily accomplished.See Transcript

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Transcript:How to Trim Cat Nails

HI, I’m Dr. Jeffrey Levy, house call vet NYC and I’m here for about.com to show you how to trim your cat’s nails.  I’m here with my assistant, Mr. Asti Spumante who’s going to demonstrate how we’re going to trim his nails. 

Trimmers for Cutting a Cat's Nails

There are various types of nail trimmers on the market.  There are dog or larger animal trimmers.  I suggest the easiest, the most accurate is to use a white as in the color white nail trimmers.

Techniques for Trimming a Cat's Nails


There are 2 important techniques in successfully trimming your cat’s nails.  One is to remember to extend the arm through the elbow, the second is to press on the paw head to extend the nail.  When you trim the rear nails, it helps to hold them on your lap as if they were small child.  You’ll have greater access to trimming the back nails.


Notice when we push the nail, there’s 2 sections.  There’s the white or translucent section that’s where you want to trim but notice closer to the foot is the quick which is darker that contains the blood supply.  Your trimmer should cut only through the translucent section.  What we demonstrated is trimming a cat’s nails as opposed to declawing which is a surgical procedure to remove parts of the pet’s digit.

Tips for Accomplishing the Task of Trimming a Cat's Nails

Having your cat wrapped in a towel helps to relieve your pet’s stress and anxiety and also protects you for being scratched.  I suggest you trim your cat’s nails every other week.  Make it part of a regular grooming session including brushing their coat and perhaps, brushing their teeth.  For more information, visit about.com.

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