Why is it important to stay calm and patient when trimming your cat’s nails?

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While some cats will quickly become cooperative and sit still for their nail trims, many will need to be held firmly but gently while you trim their nails. What you don’t want to do, however, is turn the nail trim session into a wrestling match or battle.

Trust is an important part of your relationship with your cat, and if trimming his nails becomes a stressful event, it can erode that trust and damage your bond. Therefore, it is important to remember that a nail trim, while an essential part of your cat’s care, is not something to turn into a regular drama.

Sometimes, all you can do is trim a couple of nails while your cat is asleep. In this case, try to do the front paws first, as they are more curved and likely to overgrow, and also tend to be the most damaging to furniture. If possible, attempt to get the dewclaw or “thumb” nail before the others, since cats don’t easily wear down this claw.

Even if you can’t trim your cat’s claws initially, try petting his feet and handling them a little bit each day. This may help him get used to the contact and eventually allow you to trim them. Keep each episode as calm and relaxed as you can. If you’re getting nervous and anxious, your cat can often tell, and this will exaggerate his own stress.

Finally, it is not unusual to not be able to trim your cat’s nails by yourself. If you’re stressed out by it, or if your cat is stressed out by the process, it can become a big problem for everyone involved. You do have alternatives to a full-on wrestling match. Check with your veterinarian or groomer for suggestions and help. It may very well be worth the occasional trip to their office, or even a house call, to protect your relationship with your feline friend.

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