How to Use Cat Nail Clippers

Written by kenneth coppens
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How to Use Cat Nail Clippers
Keep your cat comfortable by clipping their nails. (cat paws image by Albert Lozano from

Cat claws must be trimmed regularly to prevent paw injuries in cats. If too much time goes by without a trimming, the claw can curl around into a complete circle and grow into the paw. Many people have their cat's claws trimmed at a vet or groomer, but this is an unnecessary expense. With a set of inexpensive nail clippers and the proper nail-clipping knowledge, you can clips your cat's claws at home. Cat nail clippers are often called guillotine clippers due to their unique appearance. The clippers have a small opening for the nail and a sharp blade the slides over the opening to cut the nail.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Cat nail clippers

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  1. 1

    Hold the cat in your lap and wait for them to relax. The more relaxed the cat is, the easier the job will be.

  2. 2

    Hold the clippers in your hands so they are in a comfortable position. It is best if the straight handle is at the top of your hand by your thumb, while your other four fingers grip the hinged handle. Squeeze the hinged handle to ensure the clippers work properly.

  3. 3

    Grab either of the four paws. Squeeze one of the toes between your thumb and forefinger to expose the claw. Take note of the small triangle shaped piece of flesh inside the base of the claw. This flesh is called the quick and you must avoid clipping it.

  4. 4

    Place the exposed claw in the hole of the clippers. Position the blade of the clippers just beyond the quick so that you are clipping the white-coloured nail. Be careful not to cut or expose the quick. Squeeze the clipper handles.

  5. 5

    Repeat the process for the remaining claws.

Tips and warnings

  • Give the cat treats while you clip the claws to help them relax.
  • Replace the clippers once per year to ensure they are sharp at all times. The clippers are available at any pet supply store.
  • Do not use dull clippers or any other type of clipper that isn't intended for use on cats.

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