Nail Care & Declawing

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Filed in Cats, Grooming

Your cat's nail consists of two parts called the quick and hard cuticle. Trimming the nail too far back and cutting into the quick will cause pain and bleeding. So, if you have any doubts about how to how to trim your cat's nails, let someone experienced in nail trimming show you how. Your veterinarian is an excellent teacher.

Types of Nail Trimmers

Cat nail trimmers come in two styles, the scissor type which operates just like a pair of scissors, and the guillotine type which has uses a sliding blade. You may want to try each type to find the one that you feel most comfortable with. As with brushing their teeth, nail trimming is best started at an early age so the cat accepts it as a part of its routine. This will make it less traumatic for your cat, and may save you a few scars.

To trim your cat's nails:

  • Place your cat securely in your lap (or have someone else hold the cat firmly).
  • Apply gentle pressure on the paw pad to extend the nail.
  • When the nail is extended you will see the quick (closest to the paw and a pinkish color) and the hard cuticle (the white end of the nail).
  • Position the clipper blade about half way between the tip of the nail and the quick, and apply smooth, even pressure to the clipper to remove the nail.
Declawing

With the possible exception of surgically altering a dog's vocal cords to prevent barking, no procedure comes under criticism more than declawing a cat. Some countries, such as England for example, have gone as far as making declawing -- except when medically necessary -- illegal.

Your cat's claws are its primary means of defense and escape from predators. Before deciding to have your cat declawed consider all aspects of the cat's life and environment, and consult with your vet.

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