Clipping Your Cat's Claws

by Kurt (Admin)

I just wanted to mention a tip I had about clipping my cat's claws that your readers might find handy.

I started this when she was young, so older cats might take a while before they get used to it.

I noticed very early that my cat was very food motivated. She loves treats, being fed, and food in general. I've had cats before that were a huge pain to trim their claws. I've had to do things like wrap them in blankets even so they couldn't claw me while trying to get away.

So I decided to train my current cat to actually enjoy having her claws clipped, and it's worked quite nicely. I started by taking my cat, flipping her on her back on my lap, and feeding her treats while praising her. I did this once or twice a day for a little while to get her used to it.

After she started to associate getting put on her back with treats, I started pulling out the clippers and touching her paws. I didn't actually clip her claws much at first, I just wanted her to get used to the clippers and her paws being touched. If I only got one claw nipped a little, I was happy, even if
the claw didn't need really clipping.

After she got more comfortable with the claw clipping, I started rewarding her after each successful claw was clipped. So one treat per claw. Again I wasn't too worried about actually getting the claws clipped at this point... claws don't need to be clipped every day anyways.

Once I felt she was calm enough, I started giving her treats for a couple claws, then eventually we worked down to one treat for flipping her on her back, and one treat per paw. That's our current routine, and the one I'm going to stick with.

This is how I gradually introduced my cat to clipping her claws, and she now enjoys it. I find that with her flipped on her back in my lap (head towards me), I have a much easier time accessing and clipping her claws than with any other cat I've tried to clip.

This might not work well with cats who don't like their treats very much, or with cats that have difficulty eating food on their back (older, infirm cats?).

This tip on clipping your cat's claws was submitted by Brent and I'm posting it here on his behalf. Thanks Brent!

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