Clipping a Cat's Claws
I shared pictures, above, of Monsieur Pierre. He is our oldest cat and the second cat that I have ever owned.
He's also an absolute couch potato...most of the time. When he hears the drawer open where we keep the kitty toenail clippers (people-sized clippers we reserve just for the cats) he turns into a demonic, crazy, fire breathing, bucking bronco cat.
All of this stems from when he was a mere 8 weeks old. His tiny little claws were so sharp that we were all getting scratched. We asked our veterinarian if we could clip Pierre's claws, and Dr. Gates said, "Sure, absolutely!" So I held Pierre and Hubby snipped the nails. Hubby had years of practice clipping cat claws from our old, dearly departed cat, Baloo. Baloo was a black cat and clipping her jet black nails was difficult but Hubby always did a fine job.
That is, until Pierre.
Then the unthinkable happened. Tiny kitten Pierre squirmed...and we clipped one tiny back toenail too short. One. Tiny. Toe. It bled. It bled a little, but we stopped the bleeding.
You would have thought we tried to amputate his entire leg.
Since then, Pierre has never, ever forgotten the moment. Eight years have passed. No matter. It could have been yesterday.
In his mind, toenails are never to be clipped. End of story.
Clipnosis and Nail Clipping
I shared the video I found of a technique called clipnosis. Clipnosis is actually using a cat's natural instinct to go limp when the mother cat grabs them in her mouth by the scruff of the kitten's neck. You simply scruff the cat, or hold them firmly by the scruff. In 9 out of 10 cats, the cat goes limp.
Pierre, by the way, is that 1 out of 10 who doesn't.
With all six of our cats, I am in charge of scruffing. We bring the cat to the bed and lay him on his side. I firmly but gently scruff him. Some of the cats, I also use my hand to hold the front shoulder forward. This immobilizes kitty and lets Hubby get to work with the nail clippers.
We extend the claws by pressing the foot pad gently under each nail. The claw is extended, and we can snip the sharp points off.
We only trim the indoor boys' nails. The outdoor cats need all the sharp little claws they can get, and even though they have plenty of time inside, they do not shred anything when they come in. Our furniture has suffered from the occasional scratch from a back claw, but it's to be expected with six cats and counting.
It's important to clip a cat's nails to keep them from growing too long. Too-long claws not only scratch you and your furniture, but can actually catch on carpet or upholstery. A ripped off toenail isn't pretty and can lead to infection.
How to Clip a Cat's Claws: Video
This blog post is part of the A to Z blogging challenge for April. C is for Clipping Claws!
Thanks for reading!