Caring for your cat's claws
March 04, 2019
Your kitten's sharp little claws are amazing. They help them balance on smooth and slippery surfaces, and give them a good, strong grip when they’re climbing and holding onto things. It’s important that your kitten’s claws stay in good condition.
Your kitten's sharp little claws are amazing. They help them balance on smooth and slippery surfaces, and give them a good, strong grip when they’re climbing and holding onto things.
It’s important that your kitten’s claws stay in good condition.
Because your kitten’s claws are protected by special sheaths, they rarely get damaged. However, it's a good idea to check them regularly to make sure they haven't grown too long. Outdoor kittens usually keep their claws trim by scratching on trees or fences, but if your kitten lives indoors you may want to check their claws more frequently.
When it comes to caring for your cat’s claws, their scratching post will act as a nail file. However, your cat is likely to need a nail clip when they get older. To help get your cat used to that idea, start handling their paws early on so that they'll be more accepting of a trim when the time comes.
Remember that a scratching post is a great outlet for your cat’s natural scratching behaviour, and it's better for your furniture as well!
Ask your vet
The first time you notice that your kitten’s claws have grown long, you might prefer to take them to the vet. That way, you can watch how the expert does it, and decide whether you want to carry on trimming your cat’s claws yourself.
How to trim your cat’s claws
If you decide claw trimming is for you, it helps to be well organised. Make sure you work in good light and find a comfortable place where your cat can be gently restrained. Use a pet claw trimmer and trim each claw back a little at a time until you get close to the quick, the pink part where the blood supply is. You can see where this is on white claws, but you’ll need to use your judgement on dark coloured claws.
Be sure to pair this exercise with food treats to ensure a positive association with claw trimming.