How to Trim Your Cat’s Nails

Many cats don’t like having their nails trimmed, and the resulting grooming can become a chore. Our tips can help make it a little easier.

  • Start Early, Trim Often: If possible, start trimming your nails while your cat is still a kitten. The more often you repeat the task, the easier it will become. Remember to pet your cat’s paws while petting, as this will also make it easier for you to hold their paw while trimming nails.
  • Be in the Right Mood: As with general grooming, never trim your cat’s nails if you’re in a bad mood, and don’t force your cat if it seems scared or gets anxious. Trimming your cat’s nails while you’re both relaxed and happy (or sleepy, in your cat’s case) will improve the experience.
  • How It’s Done: Hold your cat gently but firmly in your lap. Hold a paw in one hand and gently press on the toe pad. The nails will extend and you will easily be able to cut them. Holding nail clippers vertically will help to avoid nail breakage. Avoid cutting the quick, pink tissue inside the nail, by simply cutting the sharp point.
  • Be Careful: Accidents happen, and you may end up cutting the quick. If so, don’t panic. Hold your cat gently, speak softly and stroke him or her. In most cases, the bleeding won’t last long. If bleeding lasts more than a minute, use a styptic pencil or powder.
  • Reward Your Cat: Rewarding your cat will not only let them know they’ve done a good job, but help them look forward to the next nail trimming session.


If your cat really refuses to let you trim its nails, you may want to consider having your cat’s nails trimmed at the vet or the groomer. Most charge a nominal fee for the service, and preserving your relationship with your cat might just be worth it!