Claw Trimming is a Nightmare!

Moka

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Salem, my 2 year old domestic long hair, is getting really bad about claw trimming. I have had her since she was 4 1/2 weeks old and this has been steadily getting worse and worse. I live alone and Salem will not let anyone else near her. So, I am on my own with this. I have to flip her onto her back and cradle her like a baby in my lap to even get a look at her claws. She is a big cat (17 lbs) and will NOT sit still. I can't figure out another way to trim them. But, as it stands, it is stressful for both Salem and I. Today, during an overdue claw trim, she bit me hard and broke the skin. Salem is my first cat with front claws. My parents declawed all of our poor cats. But, I would NEVER do that to Salem, no matter how bad this got. I was hoping for some suggestions to make this easier. I already only do a few claws at a time and give Salem treats after. She has been getting her claws trimmed since she was a kitten and has never had a bad or painful experience. She fights me when I brush and comb her too. Again, never a bad experience and she has been having it done right from the beginning. That is getting harder to do as well. She is a medium haired cat that mats easily and needs to be combed out regularly. This usually ends with Salem biting me. Any suggestions would be much appreciated.
 

kissthisangel

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Hi My cat Mojo used to allow me to trim her claws but won't anymore. She also won't accept grooming from the brush I have tried many different types. Charlie will tolerate grooming, but not trimming. I leave mine to it, they have plenty of sisal trees [and the brand new sofas D:] to use their claws on. Claw Sheathes do naturally fall off, they don't normally swallow them, Mojo sort of eases them off with her teeth. Honestly we've just accepted that the cats have claws and large furniture, the bannister and beds will be clawed to some degree. you can try the old towel roll, the pillow case etc, but I think you're just gonna stress out the cat. better to spread out treats every time they claw a cat tree to make sure they know where to scratch.
 

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I kneel on the floor and tuck Emma between my knees in order to trim her claws and brush her teeth. Otherwise she just flops over like a rag doll making it hard to do anything :rolleyes:

Have you tried different brushes and combs to see if your cat has a preference? For mats, a wide toothed comb would be best. Many cats love the Zoom Groom brush. It has rubber nubs that kind of feels like a mice massage to the cat.
 

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I have to hold Puar between my knees (on the ground, not like a baby) and put a towel over his head (not tightly obviously, just so that he can't see what's happening.) I am able to just about get his front claws that way, and I just leave his back claws. If I were faster at clipping, I'm sure it would be easier.
 
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Moka

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Hi! Can your vet, or a groomer, help with this?
I like the idea and yes, I have had the vet trim Salem's nails when she went in for her vaccines. But, because I am disabled, I have to use a low income clinic. They are not open due to the virus and I have no clue when or even if they will open up again. I have been trying not to freak out until I am sure they are closed for good. I am not sure where else I could go. A groomer may be an option. I just wonder if that would be even more stressful for Salem. She has only left our apartment for vaccines and to be spayed. She is also terrified of other people, car rides, the carrier, other animals . . . Do you think it would be too much for a cat like her to be taken to a groomer every couple of months? How often would you think she would have to go?
 
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Moka

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I kneel on the floor and tuck Emma between my knees in order to trim her claws and brush her teeth. Otherwise she just flops over like a rag doll making it hard to do anything :rolleyes:

Have you tried different brushes and combs to see if your cat has a preference? For mats, a wide toothed comb would be best. Many cats love the Zoom Groom brush. It has rubber nubs that kind of feels like a mice massage to the cat.
I have a bunch of different combs and brushes. Some work and some are in the "well, it was worth a try" pile. The zoom groom brush sounds like something Salem would tolerate. I will look into ordering one. Thanks.
 
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Moka

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Neko-chan will only let me trim her claws when she's sleepy. So a good play session then a meal helps. Once she lays down for a nap, I kneel next to her and gently clip just the tips then give her the freeze dried salmon bits she likes.
Smart! 😄 I wish I could do that. Salem is such a nervous cat that she does not sleep out in the open. Her favorite spot is under the bed, against the wall. 😕
 

Elphaba09

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Has she had some sort of trauma? Based on the fact that she sleeps under the bed and against the wall, it just sounds to me as if she has some sort of anxiety disorder or possibly PTSD. Cats can have both. Maybe you can talk to your vet.
 
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Moka

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Has she had some sort of trauma? Based on the fact that she sleeps under the bed and against the wall, it just sounds to me as if she has some sort of anxiety disorder or possibly PTSD. Cats can have both. Maybe you can talk to your vet.
That's the thing. Salem has never had anything traumatic happen to her. Unless you count being abandoned at 3 weeks old. The reality is she was just not properly socialized. I live alone in an apartment and the only people to come over are my parents, every 2 weeks for a few minutes. I did the best I could, but I had no way to regularly expose her to more people and more experiences. Salem has spent almost her entire life with just me. I really thing most of her behavioral problems are from her being a bottle baby. I have know other bottle babies that grew up with similar "quirks". I have kind of accepted that Salem is Salem. Other than being a royal pain to groom or do anything to her, she is a happy little love bug who is deeply bonded to me. She acts terrified, but as soon as whatever or whomever spooked her has left, and I mean with in a few minutes, she is back out and acting normal. She is scared easily, but she bounces back easily. If that weren't the case and she was miserable all the time, I would be more worried. But, she is a happy cat who loves to cuddle and play. As to why she won't sleep out in the open, I have no clue. It could be because she is nervous and feels vulnerable when sleeping, but I don't know. She doesn't act stressed when she is under the bed. It is her "safe place". The other day I walked by and all I saw were two little black feet sticking straight up from under the bed. She was laying on her back, under the bed totally zonked out. 🤣 When she is up against the wall, I think it is because the wall feels cooler to her.
Edit: I forgot to add that yes I have talked with our vet about Salem's behaviors. She was a little concerned until she found out that she was a bottle baby. The vet said Salem is pretty typical for an orphan - bottle baby. The vet tech helping even said that Salem reminded her of her own 2 bottle babies.
 
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ladytimedramon

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I like the idea and yes, I have had the vet trim Salem's nails when she went in for her vaccines. But, because I am disabled, I have to use a low income clinic. They are not open due to the virus and I have no clue when or even if they will open up again. I have been trying not to freak out until I am sure they are closed for good. I am not sure where else I could go. A groomer may be an option. I just wonder if that would be even more stressful for Salem. She has only left our apartment for vaccines and to be spayed. She is also terrified of other people, car rides, the carrier, other animals . . . Do you think it would be too much for a cat like her to be taken to a groomer every couple of months? How often would you think she would have to go?
Do you have a mobile groomer in your area? Before I took Delilah to a groomer I was looking at mobile groomers. The one I looked at charges $15 to come to you and do a nail trim. They come in the van to your door and do the work in their van.
 

Furballsmom

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I was thinking of a mobile groomer as well, some of these are operating now, or you could also try a mobile at-home vet...

My Poppycat just had his wellness checkup by an at-home vet... Still stressful for him but since he hates car rides, the carrier and the whole entire business, the stress was for a much shorter time period.
 
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Moka

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Do you have a mobile groomer in your area? Before I took Delilah to a groomer I was looking at mobile groomers. The one I looked at charges $15 to come to you and do a nail trim. They come in the van to your door and do the work in their van.
I am not sure if there are mobile groomers in my area. But, now I am definitely going to find out. I think that would be a great solution for Salem. Thank you!
 

ladytimedramon

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No problem. Just make sure they clip the nails first if you do caps. A couple of Delilah's caps came off her rear paws and the nails didn't look clipped (plus I got a couple of scratches on my stomach while trying to check).
 
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