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Does your cat run at the sight of nail trimmers?

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Does your cat run at the sight of nail trimmers?

Cats are notorious for their deep-down hatred of nail trims.  Either your cat tolerates having their nails clipped, or your cat books it down the hall at the sight of trimmers.  How can you make this process less stressful for both you and your cat?

Similar to the process with dogs, it's helpful to desensitize your cat’s reaction to nail trims in very slow steps.  It can be more challenging to earn a cat’s trust than the trust of a dog, but it can still be done with patience, persistence, and of course, treats!

To begin, make sure to stock up on some of your cat’s favorite treats.  We carry fan-favorites like Cat Sushi Bonito Flakes, and Orijen Freeze-Dried Lamb Cat Treats!  You’ll also need some nail clippers; we carry JW Grip Soft Nail Trimmers for Cats!

To begin, the first week will most likely not have any actual nail trimming occurring.  This time-frame will be dedicated to teaching your cat to be excited at the sight of nail trimmers!

Shake your treat bag or call your cat over to you, and show them you have treats by letting them smell the bag or your hand.  Once they sit or lay down next to you, touch one of their paws with your finger and instantly reward them.  This will get your cat more accustomed to having their paws touched.  Practice this over a few days, or until your cat stops flinching when you touch their paws.

Next, practice this same thing, but with the nail clippers!  Simply touch the clippers to your cat’s paw and instantly treat it.  If your cat runs away at the sight of nail clippers, have the clippers next to you, but continue to give treats to your cat if he comes closer to you.  Once he's close to the nail clippers, try touching the clippers to his paws again.  Practice this until your cat stops flinching at having the clippers touch their paws.

The next step would be to pick up your cat’s paw, touch it with the clippers, and give him a treat.  Don’t try clipping yet!  This gets your cat used to having their paw picked up.  Taking this process slow will make your lives a lot easier.  Once your cat is fine with this motion, finally move onto trying to clip the nails.

Gently (gently!) squeeze your cat’s paw to reveal their claw.  Take note of where their quick is, and gently snip avoiding the quick.  Don’t try to do all 10 claws at once!  Make this as peaceful as possible by spreading out nail trimming sessions, and attempting trims when your cat is already fatigued after play and/or sleeping.

You got this!

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