If you are a cat owner, odds are, you’ve searched for the best cat nail clippers. Sometimes, it can be a struggle because there are so many options to choose from these days. You also may be new to the knowledge that your cats need their nails clipped, which is also an overwhelming moment. Either way, I’ve got a few tips for buying that perfect pair of trimmers for your fur baby.
What Makes a Good Cat Nail Trimmer?
When it comes to the best cat nail clippers, you want to think about both you and the cat. In other words, it needs to be comfortable for you to hold and comfortable for the cat when being used. Clippers made of a strong material such as stainless steel are your best option. You don’t want flimsy, cheap nail cutters. The grip area should have a rubber coating (or similar material) to reduce any slipping. Further, you don’t want them to be so heavy that you can’t operate them, and you want them to fit your hand well.
Not all clippers are made the same and not all of them will suit every person. Each cat is unique and will have different needs and people will always have varying sizes when it comes to their hands. Due to this, it’s important to find the right pair for you and your cat.
To recap, you want to look for the following:
- Stainless Steel (strong/sturdy)
- No Slip Grip
- Not Heavy
- Comfortable in Your Hand
Nail Grinder vs Clipper
To clarify, a clipper/trimmer cuts the nail off and a grinder wears the nail down with no cutting involved. One of my favorite pairs of trimmers or clippers was Safari Nail Pro. They offered a clean cut and were easy to use. Plus our current pair has been in use for more than two years and still sharp as ever. The previous pair I don’t think made it a year before it got too dull and had to toss.
If you don’t want to go the clipper route, a highly recommended grinder is the Casifor Grinder. It’s quiet and does a seamless job. How do you know which one is best for you and your cat? Let me tell you some finer difference between the two.
Grinders take a little longer, but they’re quieter, less abrasive, and allow you to get the nail closer to the quick than trimmers. Clippers are quicker than grinders and allow you to remove more nail with one clip. However, it’s important to note that some grinders can be louder, which can upset your pet, making it a harrowing process to get the nails finished.
You must be careful when using clippers because it’s easy to get too close to the quick and make the cat bleed. The quick is the pink part of their nail, you are looking to just clip off the white part. The quick is full of blood vessels and nerves it is very painful to be clipped for kitties and should be avoided as much as possible.
If you accidentally hit the quick, you may expect your cat to react by jumping, howling, scratching, biting, etc. This depends on the cat and their demeanor, of course. However, when you make mistakes like this, it makes it harder to get your cats to trust the process. They’re smart and never forget. Also you are going to want to quickly control the bleeding, this is where a styptic powder or stick comes in really handy.
Why Cutting Your Cat’s Nails is Important
Cat’s nails, if not kept shortened by climbing, scratching, etc. can grow some much that they can grow back on themselves. This can cause the nail to push into the paw, which results in awful pain and sores.
This is the worst case scenario when it comes to keeping your cat’s nails clipped. And believe it or not it has happened to us. We have a Ragdoll mix who isn’t the best on keeping up with grooming she also HATED every time we tried to do anything with her paws. We aren’t sure what her back story is as she came to us straight off the streets of Orlando. To complicate matters her long fur really covered up her nails and I didn’t catch she had a nail curling in and growing into her paw! Cue freakout horror music!!! We caught it thankfully just as it was getting bad and with lots of chin rubs, treats, and about three sets of hands at the vet got that bad nail cleaned up.
However, the more common reasons to keep your cat’s nails trimmed is to keep them from clawing up your house. Cats scratch at things to keep their claws healthy. If you keep them trimmed, this is less likely to happen. I am happy to report our other cats who have gotten their nails trimmed since they were kittens have never had the ingrown issue that I mentioned above.
If you catch your cat clawing at your couch, curtains, tables, etc. odds are, you need to trim their nails. If you’re uncomfortable doing this task, it’s very cheap to get it done by a vet or groomer. Many groomers are not familiar with cat grooming as much as dog grooming. So be certain the groomer you choose is experienced so you can ensure your cat is safe.
How to Get your Cat Used to Having Their Nails Trimmed
The best way to get any animal used to a consistent grooming action is to make it a habit. When you get into a routine, animals eventually understand that it’s no big deal and part of the day.
In the beginning we started with just getting our cats used to touching their paws. You can gently pick up their paw and pet it. If your cat is accepting of everything so far you can gently press down on their paw pad and massage to get their nails out. You will need to do this to trim them, good practice. Now that you have made it this far give your sweet fluff a treat! I would practice like this a few times before you bring out the actually nail clippers.
If you can have a helper I find that eases the process. I have my husband hold while I carefully cut the nails as quickly as I can. Some I have less patience with being held than others. Also don’t forget those back paws! We focus on those only every other clipping, with each clipping every 10 – 14 days.
Of course, cats can be a bit of a pain because they sometimes don’t ever get used to it. If your cat gives you too much trouble and never sinks into the routine, you can take them to the vet to have it accomplished. This is usually very cheap and very quick.
How to Trim a Difficult Cat’s Nails
If you don’t have the means to get to a vet or groomer to help you with a difficult cat, there’s another method. You can try wrapping the cat in a towel so that one leg is isolated from the rest of the body. The cat’s head will be hidden, which makes them feel safer. You don’t want to suffocate the cat or hurt it’s leg. This video demonstrates a great technique for difficult cats. I have learned that it’s easier to trim a cat’s nails when you have two people, especially if the cat is difficult. This makes it safer for you and the cat, which is the goal.
Don’t be overwhelmed the next time you go shopping for cat trimmers. Use the tips above and you’ll be able to find the best cat nail clippers and make the process much smoother. If you want more grooming recommendations read our list of favorite cat grooming tools.