Cat WILL NOT let me trim nails

QFar

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Hey y'all,
I adopted a cat in October and I'm having trouble cutting her nails. Once I got them cut at the vet, but ever since then, I've been letting her do her thing since she scratches and squirms when I try to cut it. I even tried scruffing her, but she still ends up squirming. I also tried the towel method.
I was prepared to just not cut them (and have her maintain it her own way) but she scratched my roommate in the face today.
Thank yall in advance, I simply do not know what I can do.
 

tabbytom

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Trimming of nails need not to do all the nails at one go. Try cutting her nails when she's sleeping and that is when she's drowsy and you can at least cut one or two.

Continue to cut another two the next day and so on. It'll be easier if someone assist you. Cutting a squirming cat's nail alone is very difficult. If someone can assist you by holding he cat, you can cut a few first and continue the rest on other days.

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FeebysOwner

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Hi. In addition to not doing all the nails at once, you could experiment with different calming products just to see if it might relax her enough to get a few cut with less squirming. Not all calming products work on all cats, so you might have to try a few before you find one that works on her. Feliway products, as well as other brands of diffusers/sprays, & Bach Rescue Remedy (drops you rub into a cat's ear) are just for a couple of examples.

If all else fails, contact your vet's office about bringing her in for a nail trimming on a routine basis. Most of the vet techs can cut nails and at least where I am located, no appointment is required.
 

sivyaleah

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We have this problem too. Can manage Luna if both my husband and I do it together, but prefer bringing both of my cats to the vet to have it done. I try to go monthly for the younger one because her nails grow faster.

Cocoabean goes less frequently because she's a master at using her scratching items and keeping her nails in decent condition.
 

daftcat75

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Work up to it. Clip a nail when she's sleepy or asleep. If she wakes up, give her a treat and call it done. The next day, clip another nail and give her another treat. Hopefully she'll start to link the treat to the nail clipping and maybe over the course of several weeks, she'll let you clip two or three or maybe even a whole paw at a time.

If she won't even let you clip one nail, you can do a more elaborate desensitization training. You might start by touching her paw or holding her paw and giving her a treat. Call that lesson one. Do it once a day and work on it as long as you need to until she's okay with having her paw held even for a few seconds. Give her a treat, scritches, and praise afterwards.

Lesson two is bring the clippers and set them down next to her so she can see them and smell them. Then hold her paw. Release. Give her a treat. You're not doing anything with the clippers yet except letting her see and smell them. Build up familiarity. Take a week or three weeks or however long it takes for you to be able to hold her paw long enough to clip a nail (but you're not going to yet) in the presence the clippers. Make sure you're giving her a treat after you release her paw so she's associating good things with this routine.

EDIT: I would start at lesson two so that she doesn't expect a treat every time you touch her paws. Instead, she should associate the clippers with a treat.

Once she has this lesson down, the next lesson would be to get her used to the sound of the nail clippers. Bring the clippers. Let her see and smell them. Hold her paw. Clip a phantom nail a few inches away from her paw just so she hears the sound but also sees that she's clearly not in any kind of danger. Release her paw. Give her a treat. Scritch her head. Tell her she's a good girl. Work this lesson until it's old hat for her.

Finally, when she's ready for the next lesson, you should be able to let her see and smell the clippers, hold her paw, clip one nail. Release the paw and give her a treat, a scritch, praise, and love. Keep working this routine and maybe she'll let you clip two nails at a time.

You have her whole life to build up her comfort level with this. Don't rush through the individual lessons too quickly. Every now and then, for no good reason, jackpot her. Instead of one treat, give her five. Jackpots should be rare and unpredictable (e.g. once a month and not on any kind of schedule.) Like gambling, she will work harder at this routine if she believes there is a jackpot waiting for her--even and especially if she doesn't know when it's coming.

Make sure she has both sisal (rope-bound legs of a cat tree) and cardboard scratchers available as well.
 
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SkittlesMom

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I’ve played with our kittens feet since we found him. I had read that helps them let you touch their paws and trim nails and found it’s best to do our kitten when he is sleepy or sleeping and concentrate on the front paws. I try to do them quickly before he can fully wake up. It seems the back paws don’t get as sharp as the front for some reason. Our kitten doesn’t go outside and I do it for my furniture, my dogs and when he scratches me it swells up a bit cause of my allergies- so I just trim them a little bit to get rid of that scalpel edge!
 
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