Why does a cat need a “manicure”
The cat’s hard sickle claws, growing and renewing throughout its life, are its formidable weapon, as well as a useful tool that allows you to storm trees and other heights. In their natural environment, animals have many opportunities to grind off their claws, making it easier to renew them. At home, seals have nothing else to do but be satisfied with a scratching post, wallpaper, door frames, curtains, carpets and, of course, upholstered furniture, which, in their opinion, is simply created so that sharp claws stick into it.
Tearing apart soft surfaces is more of a pleasant pastime for the cat. It does not provide either grinding of claws or their shortening, and the animal has to experience discomfort, accidentally clinging to all suitable objects with “scratches”. Sometimes the kitty cannot even free the paw on its own, and then piteously cries out for help.
It is dangerous to play with a pet armed with long, sharp curved claws. Of course, the children are the first to suffer from them. Don’t think that the main threat comes from the cat’s front legs. The claws on the hind, pushing, paws, although they grow more slowly, are stronger, more rigid. It is with these “daggers” that the played favorite can accidentally inflict the most dangerous and deep wound.
In short, regularly trimming cat claws eliminates or minimizes many problems. This procedure will require patience on the part of the owner, and also a lot of time, because you need not just cut off the bent tips of the claws. You will have to follow a certain technique, know at what angle to hold the tool, how to ensure the safety of the “operation”.
When and how to train your cat to trim its nails
It is advisable to teach a cat to claw claws in childhood. Then you can expect that, having matured, she will behave quite humbly during the procedure. But until the kitten is at least a month old, there is no special sense in such science. The baby’s “scratches” are still tiny and small, they are easy to damage, and he himself, in the first weeks of life, mostly sleeps and eats. Then you can carry out 2-3 symbolic procedures to prepare the cat for a full-fledged “manicure”. It can be done when the pet is 3 months old. By this time, the claws will noticeably harden and become sharp.
It is more difficult to accustom an adult cat to clipping. However, she will eventually get used to this manipulation, although she will not behave like a lady in a nail salon, giving her hand herself. Regardless of the age of the animal, it will have to be persuaded to trim its claws, forgetting about brutal coercion. If the pet hisses and breaks out of his hands not formally, but showing real anger or extreme fear, the procedure must be postponed.
First of all, you need to choose a suitable time for the “operation” when the cat is in a complacent, calm state. This is how he usually looks after sleep or after a substantial portion of food. The purr needs to be put on his knees, cuddled, started a conversation and gently taken by the paw. Massage it, discreetly getting close to the pads. Then lightly press down on them so that the claws come out.
If you yourself are inexperienced, take a good look at the claw to see where the border of the pulp, which contains the blood vessel and nerve, is. In no case should you touch her. Injury to the pulp will cause pain and bleeding. You can cut off only the bent transparent part of the claw, stepping back from the pulp by 2 mm. Inside the light claw, the pink pulp is clearly visible, but inside the dark claw it is almost impossible to determine the problem area. You have to shorten the claws by touch, cutting them by 1 mm 2-3 times.
Stroking the cat pads with one hand, take a nail clipper with the other. If the cat is interested in the tool, have it sniff it and make sure it’s not the enemy. You can start cutting itself if the cat favorably tolerates manipulations with its pads, allows you to bare its claws, in a word, expresses its trust in you with its appearance.
What is required to shorten the claws
A certain arsenal of tools and means must be prepared for the procedure for clipping a cat’s claws. Everything you need should be at hand so that you do not have to be distracted by the search for the item you need at the most inopportune moment. The opening “operation” is usually associated with special troubles. They relate, as a rule, to the selection of a suitable tool for cutting cat claws.
It is clear that kitchen and office scissors are not suitable for the successful implementation of a delicate procedure. As for the use of nail scissors, then it is questionable. Firstly, it is not very convenient to wield them: the blades in such tools are not designed to cut a dense, round claw, which is why they constantly slide off. Secondly, for seals who do not want to freeze during the “operation”, the sharp tips characteristic of most manicure scissors can be dangerous. For those who are absolutely confident in their skills, and at the same time their pets are distinguished by humility, it remains to be reminded of hygiene. It is impossible to cut cat’s claws with “human” manicure scissors. You should purchase your own tool for the animal.
It is most convenient to use special scissors – claws, which are offered in specialized stores for animals and on the Web. They are distinguished by a unique design with reinforced blade edges. With the help of clippers, a cat’s hard claws can be cut quickly and painlessly. It is advisable to purchase a tool with rubber pads on the handles, since the palm often slips off smooth surfaces.
There are various modifications of the clipper, so you can experiment before finally choosing the option that is most comfortable for you and your pet.
Nail clippers are presented in several basic models.
- Scissor clippers. The shape of the tool resembles ordinary scissors, but the blades are not straight, but curved at the ends. Rounding off, they form cutouts in the form of holes with a sharp edge, where the claw is inserted. When the blades are closed, it can be easily removed.
- Guillotine clippers. This highly demanded tool today operates on the principle of the infamous invention of Monsieur Guillotin, which was used for decapitation. The cat’s claw is inserted into a special hole, and its extra part, from the point of view of the owner, is cut off with a blade. The mechanism operates a spring-loaded lever.
- Nail clippers. The comfortable device with rubberized thick handles resembles a locksmith’s tool. The claw is inserted into a crack between its cutting edges with sharp blades and literally bites off with them when squeezing the handles. Most of these models are equipped with a special limiter, which allows you to cut the claw to a certain length.
- Clippers-grinders. This is a professional groomer tool that can be used at home if you understand how it works. The battery-powered device is equipped with an emery tip, which means it is not intended for clipping, but for grinding. Many cats dislike such devices, probably believing that their buzzing is suspicious.
In addition to a nail clipper, a cat’s “manicure” will certainly require:
- cotton wool or cotton pads;
- disinfectants (best of all – hydrogen peroxide);
- hemostatic agents (hemostatic sponge, special powder, dry potassium permanganate).
Owners of particularly fluffy cats may need a hair clipper to clean the area around their toes before clipping.
The owners of cats who perceive “manicure” as an execution and actively oppose it will be helped by fixing overalls to cope with the task. You can buy them at pet stores.
In a set of accessories for trimming nails, many owners include a nail file or emery bar designed specifically for animals.
How to trim cat claws correctly
Before embarking on an exciting procedure, you need to make sure that the cat is in good spirits. The state of mind of the owner is also important. He should exude positive, benevolence and, at the same time, inflexibility, self-confidence. In no case should you fuss.
- Install a light near the work area so that you can carefully examine the claw to determine where the pulp begins.
- Wash your hands with soap, an antiseptic, and disinfect the nail clipper of your choice.
- Gently sit the cat on your lap (with its back to you), take the paw that you will be working first in your hand, and fix it firmly. If the animal begins to actively object, swaddle it in a towel or dress in a jumpsuit. You may need to call an assistant for help.
- Press gently on the center of the pad with your fingers so that the claw extends as far as possible.
- Attach a claw cutter (scissors) to the bent part of the claw, choosing the correct angle – along the line of its growth, that is, the trimmed claw should not differ in shape from the uncut claw. Cutting direction – from bottom to top.
- Having retreated from the edge of the pulp at least 2 mm, cut off part of the claw in one motion.
- If roughness remains on the claw, you can get rid of them with a nail file, a file with a diamond cut or a bar. Just keep in mind that friction usually causes extreme irritation and anxiety in the animal. In addition, there is a risk that the claw will delaminate if the edges are worked too hard. The pressure should be light.
- Trim all the claws, and then treat the cat to a treat, even if she was not submissive.
Do not forget that the furry has 18 toes with claws (5 on the front, and 4 on the hind legs). At the end of the procedure, it is advisable to make sure that you have processed each. One forgotten sharp claw can create discomfort for the animal.
Trouble in the process of clipping the claws awaits, as a rule, rioters, dodging on the lap of the owner of the cats. In this case, both participants in the process can be injured by the cutting or grinding tool. Tragedy, for sure, will not happen, and minor bleeding wounds can be healed with antiseptic and hemostatic agents. Dangerous area – animal eyes. When the cat begins to show excessive agility, the tool, especially if it is a sharp-pointed manicure scissors, should be put aside for a while.
Traditionally, the main threat to an animal is the carelessness or inexperience of the owner, and it is associated with injury to the pulp. If you overdid it, touching the vessels with the claw, blood will inevitably appear. You should not panic when you see it. It is necessary to disinfect the injured claw with hydrogen peroxide, and then treat the wound with a hemostatic sponge or hemostatic powder. If you use dry potassium permanganate, make sure that it covers only the damaged area itself. Contact with this drug on the skin is fraught with burns.
Typically, the blood can be stopped within 5 minutes. If for some reason it was not possible to cope with the bleeding, you will have to go with the injured pet to the veterinarian. You will also need to visit a specialist if you find that the fifth claw on one of the front paws has begun to grow into the pad. This is a fairly common phenomenon. The claw, located slightly away from the other four fingers, does not experience any impact at home and does not even touch the floor, so it grows faster than anyone else.
How often to trim a cat’s nails
The frequency of the procedure depends on how quickly your cat’s “scratches” grow. This is an individual indicator, but in all fluffy claws on the front legs grow faster than on the hind legs. Whether it’s time to shorten them can be easily determined visually. The pet’s behavior will also tell you that it’s time to cut the claws: the cat will begin to sharpen its “scratches” more often and cling to everything.
Some pets get a “manicure” every 2 weeks, others – once a month. It is also worth considering that a cat accustomed to a scratching post may not need to be clipped too often. There is also no need to be zealous if the cat is preparing to move to a country house for the summer, where a freeman awaits him. The released animal cannot do without a formidable weapon!