Trimming a cat's nails: step by step how to do it

Cortarles las uñas a un gato: paso a paso de cómo hacerlo

Cats also need a good nail trim, did you know that?

In this article, Waggys has developed the key points you need to know to carry out feline nail trimming yourself. Stay reading and discover its importance, the tools you need, the step by step and the benefits that this practice guarantees for the health and well-being of your pet. Are you ready?

Can cats' nails be cut?

Of course. Trimming your pet's nails is necessary for the cat's well-being and to avoid damage to the house and injuries to people. This practice is done to keep them at a safe and comfortable length.

When do you cut a cat's nails?

This response is variable because we can recommend cutting them approximately every two or three weeks depending on the activity and routines they carry out. However, it will also depend on the rate of growth of the cat's nails and its activity level. It is generally advisable to check your cat's nails regularly and trim them when necessary. Some signs that your cat needs a nail trim may include:

  • The nails are long and pointed.
  • The cat catches on objects or its own skin with its nails.
  • The nails are causing damage to furniture or other objects in the house.
  • The cat is scratching excessively.

How to cut a cat's nails?

To cut a cat's nails, it is important to use tools designed specifically for this purpose and that they are clean and in good condition to avoid injuries or damage to the cat's nails. The best options are:

Cat nail clippers

Cat nail clippers are small tools with sharp blades that are designed to safely trim a cat's nails. They come in various shapes, including guillotine and scissor models. Make sure they are sharp to make clean cuts.

Cat nail scissors

These scissors are specially shaped to cut a cat's nails precisely and safely.

Cat nail files

After trimming the nails, you can use a nail file specially designed for cats to smooth out the rough edges and prevent the cat from snagging on surfaces.

Tips for cutting cat nails

  • If you are afraid of hurting the cat, you can choose to use a cardboard nail file or a cat pumice stone instead of cutting.
  • If you don't feel confident trimming the nails yourself, consider asking a veterinarian or a specialized cat groomer for help.
  • If the cat becomes very stressed or shows signs of discomfort, it is best to stop the process and try another time.
  • If the cat becomes nervous or restless, don't rush it. You can cut nails in several sessions to avoid stress in cats .
  • Have products on hand to stop bleeding in case you accidentally cut the cuticle, such as a hemostatic powder or a piece of cotton. If bleeding occurs, press gently to stop it.
  • Use quality nail clippers or scissors designed for cats. Make sure they are sharp to make clean cuts.

Step by step to cut a cat's nails


Find a quiet place where you can carry out the process without distractions or noise. If this is your first time trimming the cat's nails, you may want to ask another person to help hold the cat.

Accustom the cat

Before trimming the nails, pet and play with the cat to relax it. Afterwards, show the scissors or nail clippers so that they become familiar with them.

Examine nails

Examine the cat's nails to identify the clear part and the pink part (the cuticle). You should only cut the transparent part, since the pink part contains blood vessels and nerves.

Hold it correctly

Hold the cat carefully but firmly in your lap or on a safe surface. You can wrap it in a towel to avoid sudden movements.

Cut the nails

Grab one of the cat's paws with one hand and gently press the pad of the paw to extend the claws. Carefully trim the tips of your nails, making sure not to touch the cuticle. Make small, precise cuts.

Positive reinforcement

After trimming each nail, reward the cat with a treat or petting. This will help you associate the process with something positive.

Repeat with the other legs

Repeat the process with all of the cat's paws. It is not necessary to cut all the nails at once. You can do it in several sessions if the cat gets nervous.

What should I do if my cat won't let his nails be cut?

If your feline refuses to let you trim its nails, don't do it. Let their nails grow until we see them ready to cut them. In no case will we force our cat and much less will we retain it in place because, not only can we hurt ourselves, but we can also hurt him.

We also recommend that you help yourself with some of our previous tips on how to interact with the tools beforehand so that they get used to them and lose their fear or resort to prizes or treats to distract them.

Benefits of declawing cats

Trimming your feline's nails will prevent it from causing damage to furniture, carpets and other objects in the house. This helps maintain a cleaner and tidier home environment.

  • Short nails reduce the chance of accidental scratches to humans during play or interaction with the cat.
  • Long nails can catch on objects or the cat's own skin, which can cause pain or injury. You will notice some of these discomforts through the cat's meow and if you pay more attention, you will also notice some change in the cat's language.
  • Although it is a natural behavior for cats, excessive or destructive scratching can be a sign of stress or anxiety. Keeping nails short promotes more controlled and healthy scratching.
  • Long nails can accumulate dirt and bacteria, increasing the risk of infections. By cutting your nails, you reduce this risk.
  • Short nails make it easier to trim nails and other grooming activities, such as brushing, bathing, and checking paws.
  • Many cats do not enjoy having their nails trimmed, but if done properly and gradually, they can get used to it and, in the long run, feel less stressed by the procedure.

If you manage to cut your cat's nails because he lets you do it, do not hesitate to reward him with CBD treats for cats from Waggy's . Find out the administration doses by reading the article: CBD in Cats


In conclusion, in this article we seek to develop and establish that cutting a cat's nails is an important task in caring for its health and well-being. Benefits include preventing injuries, promoting paw health, reducing damage to objects in the home, and improving hygiene. However, care should be taken when performing this task, making sure to use the proper tools and learn the correct technique to avoid injury to the cat. If you feel unsafe or the cat shows resistance, it is advisable to seek the help of a professional. Your cat's well-being should be the primary concern when performing nail trimming.

Continue reading: dental cleaning in cats

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