How do you wrap a cat in a bath towel and expose one paw at a time to trim his nails?

For cats who are anxious, fearful or aggressive during nail trims, wrapping them in a bath towel may help calm the situation.

It is important to allow a nervous cat to get used to the idea of a towel rather than just tossing one on him and wrapping him up immediately. Just like with anything new, give your cat a chance to have a positive experience with it. Start by spreading the towel out on a flat surface and offering him some canned food on the towel. Then, drape the towel over him while he eats, and then let him walk away when he’s done.

Once your cat has a positive association with the towel, you can begin to use it to help restrain and calm him while you trim his nails. There are a few different ways you can wrap him, and it usually depends on your preference and how cooperative your cat is.

For trimming just the front nails, you can make your cat into a little “burrito” by placing him near one long side of the towel, and folding it from his back end toward his head like a blanket. Take one side of the towel and pull it around in front of him and under his neck, like a scarf, then take the other side and fold it over the top of him, wrapping it snugly. This leaves his face free, and keeps him from backing up or scooting forward.

You should then be able reach under the “scarf” portion of the wrap to pull one front paw out at a time for trimming. By eliminating the first fold that blocks his back end, you can wrap him, but leave his back end free to trim the nails on his hind legs.

As always, be calm and patient with your pet, and if he becomes too stressed out, let him go and try again later. If you don’t feel confident trying it on your own, you can also ask someone at your vet’s office to show you how to use the towel before you attempt this method at home.

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