How To Care For A Cat’s Nails – What To Look Out For

If you want to get an animal, you should be aware of the responsibility you will have towards your new protégé in the future. Cat owners must ensure that the cats are sufficiently supplied with high-quality cat food when it comes to food, have their own undisturbed place to rest and that they continue to have everything they need.

The care of the animals is also extremely important and should therefore not be taken lightly. Cat grooming isn’t just about brushing fur, which is only necessary for some pedigree cats. In addition, you should always keep an eye on the claws of your velvet paws. This article provides you with information on how to properly care for your cat’s claws, provides you with important information, and instructions on how to trim the claws and how to prepare.

General information about the cat’s claws

A cat has a total of 18 claws. Like our fingernails, these grow continuously. For this reason, it is important to ensure that they do not exceed a certain length.

As a rule, however, the animals take care of their claw care themselves. For example, by cleaning their claws or rubbing them off on trees and unfortunately also on the furniture in your home. However, some cats have claw problems that require you, the owner, to intervene. This includes, for example, cleaning the claws or cutting the claws. You should also take some precautions when it comes to clawing care.

Help your cat with claw care

Especially if your cat cannot go outside all the time to sharpen its claws on trees and set it down, it is important that you buy special scratching furniture. A great scratching post should therefore not be missing in any cat household. Of course, there are many more and different types of scratching furniture, such as scratching boards, which help your cat to care for its claws.

Scraping the claws is a cat’s natural instinct. For this reason, cats that live indoors and do not have the opportunity to sharpen their claws on scratching furniture would use the furniture to do so. It is best if you distribute these special tools for your cat throughout the house and thus offer them the opportunity to do their own claw care in different places.

Why is cat claw care so important?

The cat’s claws play a very important role for the cats. For example, they serve as climbing and jumping aids. Furthermore, cats need their claws to grab, catch and hold their prey. In addition, cats, especially those who are outdoors, also need their claws to defend their territories against other cats. Due to the many different tasks, it is therefore important that you take care of the claw care. You should therefore make sure that the claws are always clean and that the tissue from which the claws are made can continue to grow.

When do cat claws need to be trimmed?

As already mentioned, most cats take care of their own claw care. At least if you have the opportunity. However, some cats are unable to take care of their own claw length. A clear signal that the claws are too long is, for example, the clicking noise on the floor that the cat makes on laminate or tiles.

At the latest when you hear this noise, you should urgently check your cat’s claws. In addition, you can check the length of the claws when your cat is resting or sleeping. If the claws are fully engaged at this stage, then everything is fine. However, if part of the claws protrudes, the claws are too long.

If the claws are too long, it can also happen that your cat could injure itself or the claws grow in. In addition, of course, it should be clarified why the cat’s claws have become so long.

However, you should know that once you trim the cat’s claws yourself, you may need to do this task more often in the future. For this reason, you should think carefully about whether you want to cut the cat’s claws or whether the length is not a hindrance for your cat. We, therefore, recommend that you only cut the cat’s claws in an emergency.

This is the case, for example, because your darling makes the aforementioned clicking noise when walking over laminate, tiles, or other floors. In addition, it is of course not wrong to clarify the cutting of the claws in advance with your veterinarian. Of course, he can show you directly how to cut your animal’s claws.

Good to know: Not every claw has to be too long. For example, it also happens that just one cat’s claw becomes too long and therefore only this should be trimmed back at regular intervals.

Claw trimming in cats

Clipping a cat’s nails should never be done carelessly. In any case, caution is required here, so you must not cut off too much. Because cat’s claws have pulled through at the base of Mark. This means that they are perfused with blood. So it can happen that you hurt your cat if you cut off the claws too far. In this case, your cat would even bleed and probably wouldn’t like clipping its claws so much in the future. It is also important to only use the right tool to trim the claws.

You need this to cut the cat’s claws

You should never trim your cat’s claws with typical nail clippers or nail scissors. Kitchen scissors are also taboo when cutting claws. It is therefore important to only use special tools to groom your cat’s claws. There are special claw scissors that are shaped in such a way that cutting can be done faster and easier for both you and your cat. In addition, it is important that the tool is sharp enough. Above all, so that your darling’s claws don’t splinter or even break.

In any case, find a suitable time to clip the claws. So it is ideal to choose the phase when your cat is tired or wants to cuddle. First, pet your cat and calm it down a bit. Place your pet on your lap, but make sure her head is turned away. It is important to leave the cat alone as soon as it panics while clipping its claws. Otherwise, claw care may become more difficult in the future. For this reason, it is advisable to carry out the claw care in several individual steps and not to cut all the claws at once.

It is also helpful if you repeatedly reward the cat. This makes clipping claws a positive experience for your cat. So nothing stands in the way of future and problem-free manicures.

The preparations for cutting the cat’s claws

  1. As already mentioned, timing is very important. Trim your cat’s claws when your pet is nice and quiet. This is the case, for example, when your cat wants to be cuddled or is tired.
  2. Stroke your cat’s paw. It is best to do this on all paws where the claws are to be cut. It is now important not to force the cat to do anything. If your cat wants to stand up, let her. Gently stroke her paw again when you have another chance. You should then reward your cat with a small treat afterward.
  3. Gently hold your cat’s paw. Get them used to having to hold their paws while clipping their claws. Here again the treat as a reward.
  4. Massage your cat’s paws after they get used to you holding their paws. This allows you to gently massage the top and bottom of each paw lightly and then reward them again.
  5. Now you’ve come to the point where you can gently squeeze your cat’s paw. It is best to distribute the pressure on the pads of the paws so that you can easily push out each claw without hurting your cat.
  6. In addition, you should accustom your cat to a sitting position that is easiest to clip its claws. This gives you the opportunity to fixate on your cat properly.

Step by step to shorter claws

Now it’s time to cut the claws. You can find out how to do this in the following step-by-step instructions:

  1. For best claw clipping, you should place your cat in the sitting position mentioned above and restrain it properly.
  2. Now you have to find the spot where the claw no longer has a pith. The pith has the appearance of a pink triangle. It is important to only clip the tips of the claws at the beginning so that you get practice and then get closer and closer to the marrow. Please be careful never to cut the marrow as this would hurt the cat a lot.
  3. The claws can then be trimmed with the claw clippers. Make sure you use the clippers so that the blade cuts from the bottom up. This will prevent your cat’s claws from splitting. Don’t be discouraged if your cat doesn’t necessarily like this procedure. Some cats will even meow or try to scratch their owners. It’s important to stay calm to calm your cat’s anxiety.
  4. After clipping the claws, you should always reward your cat. Special treats, which really only exist then, are ideal for this. This is the only way that the velvet paws will remember the cutting of the claws very well and above all positively. This may make the next manicure easier for you and your loved one.

More helpful tips

  • If you are not sure where exactly to clip your cat’s nails, ask your veterinarian and have them show you how to clip them first.
  • It is best to start with the rear paws. This is because the cats will try to free themselves with their hind legs.
  • For cat breeds that have particularly long hair, it helps if you slightly moisten the paws.
  • Please don’t forget the dewclaw. The cats have exactly two of these dewclaws on their front legs. These are smaller than the thumb and are located on one side of the front leg below the joint. These especially tend to get too long as they are rarely used. For this reason, it is advisable to check these claws at least once a month from the start.
  • It is better to just cut off a bit of the claw at a time than too much at once.
  • Get your cat used to it from the start. It is best to start caring for the claws of small kittens or to examine and massage them regularly.
  • For some animals, it may be helpful to cover their eyes or ensure that their field of vision is limited.

It is important to note that:

  • urgently use a special claw clipper;
  • please always clip the claws far enough in front and not too close to the marrow;
  • pulling claws is strictly forbidden in Germany. For this reason, it is important to only slightly trim or shape the claws.


Please pay attention to the care of the cat’s claws from the beginning. Get your cat used to having her paws petted or massaged. Don’t be overly cautious, however, and only cut your animals’ claws in extreme emergencies. To be on the safe side, always consult a veterinarian for advice.

Mary Allen

Written by Mary Allen

Hello, I'm Mary! I've cared for many pet species including dogs, cats, guinea pigs, fish, and bearded dragons. I also have ten pets of my own currently. I've written many topics in this space including how-tos, informational articles, care guides, breed guides, and more.

Leave a Reply


Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *