How to Trim Your Cat’s Claws

  • Small commercially produced cat claw clippers (from your local pet store) or human fingernail clippers work well for trimming feline claws.
  • To familiarize your kitten or cat with having its claws trimmed, begin by gently touching or stroking its paws without clipping.
  • Always try to trim a cat’s claws when they are very relaxed or sleepy.
  • To trim, hold the paw and gently press the toe pad to extend the claw. Trim the clear pointed hook end of the claw. Be careful not to cut into the pink area or ‘the quick’ found in the upper half of the claw as this will cause pain and bleeding.
  • If the cat becomes impatient or restless, take a break. Sometimes you can only trim one or two claws per day, but the job will get done.
  • Reward your cat with a treat to encourage his cooperation.
  • If your cat does not cooperate, seek assistance from your veterinarian or an experienced cat groomer.
  • Claws can be trimmed approximately every 4 to 6 weeks.

Don’t Declaw


As an animal rescue society and proponent of animal welfare, MEOW believes that declaw and tendonectomy surgeries are harmful, without benefit to cats and inhumane. All species are equal in their right to be treated with respect and compassion. It is also important for cat owners to understand the facts and health risks of declawing.

  • A cat’s claw is NOT like a human fingernail. A claw is part of the last bone of the cat’s foot. To remove the claw, the bone, nerve, joint capsule, collateral ligaments and the extensor and flexor tendons are removed. Put simply, a declaw is an amputation. Declaw surgery is 10 amputations.
  • A good comparison to a declaw would be cutting off a human finger at the last joint.
  • Declaw and tendonechtomy surgeries can have many serious complications such as damage to the radial nerve, hemorrhage,  infection, excruciating phantom pain for life, chronic back, shoulder and joint pain (as previously used muscles weaken) and possible behavioural changes such as biting, social anxiety and litter box problems.
  • Elective declaw surgeries are illegal in numerous regions of the world, including the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Denmark, Finland, Estonia, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Germany, Switzerland, Brazil, Israel, France, Northern Ireland, Portugal and Belgium.

Other Unwanted Behaviour


Many cat owners may feel dismayed by a cat’s behaviour whether natural or just unwanted within the context of the home. These behaviours may range from jumping on counters to scratching furniture to inappropriate marking or aggression. To correct such behaviours, immediacy is the key. Discipline must be done at the moment of the unwanted behaviour or not at all. Spray water bottles, loud noises, firm ‘NOs’ or removing your cat from the situation are effective deterrents.

Pet owners should also be proactive in preventing problems. Cat proof your home and get to know your cat’s natural or normal patterns and behaviours within your home so you can better predict and avoid possible unwanted behaviours.

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