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The Cat Practice
875 S. Worth
Birmingham, MI 48009

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Trimming cats' nails

Nail trims can be done easily at home!

Nail trims can be done easily at home!

Scratching is a normal feline behavior. Cats do this to ease anxiety and make themselves more comfortable in their surroundings. Cats scratch just like they rub their faces up against things. Even declawed cats go through the motions of scratching to stretch their muscles and mark territory. You cannot stop your cat from scratching, but you do have several options:

  1. Scratching posts/platforms
  2. Nail trims
  3. Declaw

     1.  Scratching Posts/Platforms

Every cat should have a scratching post or platform. We recommend those wrapped in sisal rope (has a tough, fibrous texture), sisal fabric or burlap. Place a little cat nip on the post or platform to make it more desirable to scratch. If your kitty doesn’t like one material, try another. You can make your own scratching post or platform with any type of material. Just make it tall enough and long enough so that your cat can stretch out, and stable enough that it won’t tip over during vigorous scratching.

Reinforce your cat’s use of the post or platform with verbal praise and petting. If, your cat still scratches the furniture, make an unpleasant sound such as a loud clap and sharply say his or her name. Place kitty by the scratching post or platform and drag his or her paws across it while providing positive praise. Always offer your kitty alternatives and remember to reward good behavior. Be consistent and patient. If your kitty is still scratching furniture, temporarily place double-sided tape on the corners. Your cat will hate the stickiness and will try to find somewhere else to scratch.

Me-Yow TubeStep-by-step guide to feline nail trims. Watch our video:

Scan this QR code to watch "Taking the edge off of nail cutting" video on your smartphone!Taking the edge off of nail cutting: how to make nail trims easy.

Click on the link above or scan the QR code with your smartphone to watch the video!

     2.  Nail Trimming 

Trimming your cat’s nails keeps them short with no hooked or sharp points to snag material. You can ask your veterinarian to trim them – or you can do this fairly easy at home. It also provides some good bonding time for you and your kitty. If possible, start introducing a nail trimming routine when your cat is young. If your cat is older, it may take a little more time for kitty to get used to it.

You will be surprised how much of a difference nail trimming and a scratching post make in regards to your furniture (and sanity!).

     3.  Declaw

Declawing your cat is a way of permanently removing the nails from your cat’s paws. Some families choose this option. The decision to declaw is a personal one that should be based on complete information and an understanding of the procedure. For information on cat declaw, see Declaw: No easy decision.