How do you safely squeeze the paw pads to extend the claws for clipping?

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The easiest way to guarantee a lifetime of stress-free nail trimmings is to start when you first bring your kitten home. Handle her paws regularly and gently. Get her used to being held and gently restrained. Handle her toes individually, and unsheathe her claws by lightly pressing the top of her toe and the toe pad.

While some cats will be cooperative and lie still for their nail trim, others will need to be held firmly (but gently) while you trim their nails. If you have help, it is much easier for one person to hold the cat while the other person does the trimming. Sit your cat on a counter or table where you can hold her with ease. Tuck her under your arm, a bit like a football, and place your hand under her chest, holding her close to you. Use your free hand to hold her head or scratch her and talk to her while your partner trims her nails.

If you are trimming by yourself, tuck the cat under your arm and use that same hand to gently lift each paw and trim the nails. While holding her paw in your hand from behind, use your forefinger on the toe pad and your thumb on the top of their toe and squeeze gently to expose her claw for trimming.

Use sharp nail trimmers and take off only the sharp, curved tip of the nail, staying clear of the pink “quick” to avoid causing pain. Really squirmy cats may need to be wrapped in a towel or blanket, then one paw at a time uncovered to begin trimming. If your cat becomes stressed, frightened or aggressive, discontinue trimming her nails immediately.

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