Vet Tutorial | How to Safely Trim a Cat’s Nails

Vet Tutorial | How to Safely Trim a Cat’s Nails

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I’m Dr. Clayton Greenway with and we’re going to show you how to trim your cat’s nails. The first thing I want you to think about is the earlier you start with this, the better accepting your cat’s going to be of iit. So the first thing you want to do is try to think of it in terms of going through it slowly. You’re going to want to try to trim one nail if your cat has never had a nail trim by you before. The first thing I want you to think about is to go slow. You’re going to want to trim just one nail, on one paw, and then reward with treats and stop for the day. Then the next day try a different nail by easing into it like this, it’s less stressful trying to do all the nails in one sitting. If your cat is not used to it, is going to frustrate it greatly and make it more difficult and potentially give it a bad experience that it’s going to remember for future nail trims. Getting to the nails is an important part of this. You don’t want to pull an arm all the way out because that tends to make animals draw their arm back in very closely. So what you want to do is you want to put them down in a bit of a hunched position and come over top of them and come in close. You want to make sure that your cat is generally accepting of this and you don’t want to take any safety risks. Keep in mind your cat may like you most of the time but once you start to do something like this with it you might be crossing some boundaries and it could bite or scratch you and you really want to make sure that your safety is protected. Speak to your veterinarian about that or have the nail trims performed by them if that’s the case. So first what I do is will lift the paw and by pushing the paw and squeezing it you’ll notice that the claws come out and if you look at each nail it gets very, very narrow and sharp at the end of it, it starts to come in towards the body and then it starts to widen. The place where you really want to trim the nail is right where it starts to transition from narrow to wide and you don’t want to hit the part that has a very pink tint inside of it because that’s the quick, and that’s where it’s going to bleed. So what I do is I bring my nail trimmers very close so that I’m not pulling the arm out to create the need for the cat to pull it back in, I’ll squeeze the toes to push the nail out and then I’ll just put my trimmers around the nail and give it a little clip. You’ll notice that Marble tried to use her back leg to get my hand away which is fine. You have to remember it’s still going to be a little bit of a struggle. Your cat may not want to do this but you have to have a firm heart and be confident with it because if your cat fights you and you give up, it means that it knows it can win and it’s going to try to fight harder the next time. So be careful and cautious but be firm so that you can accomplish it and you can accomplish it safely with a good experience. If you have a cat that’s more difficult, you can watch our video about restraining techniques to help you out. You may want to talk to your veterinarian about things you could give your cat to lessen its anxiety or even sedated if it’s absolutely necessary. Remember to always reward them at the end of it so they know that it was a pleasant experience and that in the future they’ll be more accepting of it and good luck trimming your cat’s nails.

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76 thoughts on “Vet Tutorial | How to Safely Trim a Cat’s Nails

  • Mrs H Post author

    Love this video! You explained it so clearly which I did not find in other tutorials. And I was once scared to do it, but now I am willing to try. We have 2 big cats and their claws have never been clipped before. But with your tutorial, it would be a piece of cake! Thank you!

  • Monty's Rescue's Post author

    Great info! I wish my mother saw this before she decided to trim her cat's nails! (lets just say the fur was flying!)
    I will be sure to pass this info on to her for future nail cutting.

  • Elenaroy Post author

    At last somebody who trims the correct and minimal amount of the cat's claw, instead of taking all possibility of climbing and protecting itself by trimming down to just above the pink.

  • başak burcu Post author

    what a handsome dr😊

  • TeacherTeacher Post author

    Smart advice for cats that aren't used to it yet!

  • Cheryl Post author

    Good video but my 1 yr cat wouldn't sit still like this. I've tried everything including the blanket routine. At best I get 1 or 2 nails cut. Meanwhile I am scratched and bleeding. I'd be happy to have a vet do it but I'm disabled & it's hard just to get her there for check-ups. Can't imagine trying to take her in monthly:(

  • abboodeno Post author

    If my cat is this calm I would not be watching this video

  • Backinblack Bunny Post author

    If your cat DOESN'T struggle with nail clipping there's something wrong with your cat. Try checking if it's still alive or if its actually a dog.

  • Felthemeart Post author

    what I do, is when I cut a nail, I reward her
    then I cut the other one and then I reward it. This make it think it's just a game and it will not hurt you.

  • Yvon Phillips Post author

    Very helpful video. One of the best I have viewed. Although I struggled somewhat with the distracting background music. Mute, plus closed captions to the rescue.

  • Mrs S Post author

    MY kitty squirms around, but doesn"t fuss when I cut her nails, it's just the squirming around which makes it difficult….any ideas?

  • lovin life Post author

    thank you so much for this!!! I really want to be able to do my cat's nails

  • Mary A. Post author

    marble is tired of your shenanigans

  • Jordan Chen Post author

    cool, check this out for professional cat nail clippers/trimmer set:

  • J L Post author

    Im wondering, in front of the quick, there is line, transparent like, can i cut that too without touching the quick or will that hurt the cat?

  • Lone Eagle Post author

    Thanks! Helped a lot!

  • Jasmine Post author

    Hi, I trimmed my cats claws a day ago and she hasn’t been herself. Shes usually very playful but after the trim she looks sad. Is this because she didn’t like the trim. I’ve checked her nails to see if I split it but everyone of them is fine. I’m just really worried about her.

  • Yeetyonk Post author

    My cat has gotten used to it, she sits still and doesn’t bite or anything. She just gets big eyes and keeps retracting her nail while crying and looking at me for help 🤣

  • vegasjill21 Post author

    It also helps to start early with rubbing and holding their paws while petting, stroking, cuddling them, so they are used to it. Then it's not so hard on them when you eventually come in with the clippers.
    – The Cat Lady 😸

  • Tyler Belisle-Toler Post author

    What is the door doing at 2:31 ?

  • Holy Soldier7 Post author

    My cat's name is Spazz for a reason!!! The only time he's in a position like the cat in the video is when he's about to pounce on something or someone!!!

  • bmo Post author

    Great tips! I found that giving a treat BEFORE helps.

  • Marie C Post author

    At this point I could cut both paws on the front (with one nail left on the left). Now my cat refuses to let me get his back nails cut.

    I feel so sad

  • VZ_ 342 Post author

    Pretty green eyes!

  • Alysa Post author

    This cat looks sedated

  • Donald Bullock Post author


  • Echo Smyth Post author

    I don't know if this is cruel or not, but I use a clothes pin on the back tuft of my cat's neck (like when a mother cat carries its kittens) and this "sedates" her enough for me to cut all her nails in one sitting.

  • winiver77 Post author

    No way is my cat gonna sit like this!!

  • Urdu Life Post author

    Do you cut your cat nails || How To Trim Your Cat's Nails

  • Jeffrey Anderson Post author

    This kitty in the video does not look very happy !

  • Ava Smith Post author

    Show a close up so we know how far (how much) to cut.

  • Bill Zardus Post author

    I am a new kitten owner.
    A friend says you only need to trim the front paws every 2 weeks
    to deter them from climbing and tearing up furniture .
    He says he only trims the back paws every month or 2.
    Our kitten is hard to hold still, so I am anxious to do this as quickly
    and with as little effort as possible.
    He also said to give them treats when it is done.

  • atolm1 Post author

    Dat little fur baby is cute

  • Zachary Risser Post author

    Bruh I think your cat is dead

  • bankroll1001 Post author

    My 4 month old cat was just half asleep in front of me on my bed and I started playing with his paws and squeezing his nails out. After he had no reaction i grabbed my nail clipper and slowly clipped the tip of his claws one by one. The most he would do is pull his paw away in his sleep or stretch his whole body. I managed to get both of his front paws and his back paws weren't too sharp so I left them alone.😊😊😊 Imma give him a treat when he wakes up lol.

  • hondaturbo666 Post author

    This cat is drugged anybody can trim nails on a drugged cat.

  • 7489k Post author

    The music is so distracting and unnecessary.

  • Matthew Luciano Post author

    that cat look evil asl

  • Daniel Craig Post author

    I've tried the treats, toys, $10.00 bills, then I discovered the trick. Take her to the vet…

  • Murgi Diye Bhaat Post author

    YeA , clearly a drugged cat,doc!

  • terry j f Post author

    this is an unneccasary cruel act for a cat who needs them to climb to safety. If they can't be kept from scratching your furniture then buy a dog

  • Mat Supnad Post author

    Who's here because you're a little terrified to be bitten by your lovely cat?

  • LIA MINELLI Post author

    That cat is sooo cute. But my baby is not that calm.

  • oLeechJar Post author

    0:36 First look at that cat’s face and I’m laughing already. Poor thing doesn’t look like they’re enjoying themselves.

  • Živa Grahek Post author

    0:38 the cat looks so mad jesus christ the inner demon has awaken

  • Salman Noman Post author

    Cat dath

  • Beautiful Lady Post author

    She looks already angry

  • depressed cat Post author

    I am getting a kitten soon so thanks for ur help 😀

  • Moises Ruiz Post author

    Where is the video for restraining techniques? I don't see a card on the video nor a link in the description.

  • Johnathan Bancroft Post author

    Great video. Is that cat dead?

  • Johny Myers Post author

    Any reason why you clip the nails of a cat

  • God Chungha Post author

    Pls clean your left hand middle finger nail

  • Narcoleptic Sparkle Buns Post author

    So great! My cat loves getting nails trimmed now! Great video!

  • Spitfire Last Post author

    Is blood suppose to come out? It's bleeding a lot.

  • Jean Cimler Post author

    Good luck is right!

  • Dee Post author

    why did I watch and enjoy this?! I don't have a cat 😭

  • I like Music Post author

    My buddy just was very good and let me cut one of his paws without much fuss. He got a lot of treats. For some reason he’s ok with his right paw getting trimmed but not his left

  • Aysia Thomas Post author

    Im just going to pay $20 and get the vet to deal with it. My cat runs at the sight of the trimmer.

  • Carina is still here Post author

    My car has a few black claws. I'm very scared of hurting him on those since I can't really see where I should be cutting… Any tips for that?

  • Possibly Me Post author

    My 8 week old kitten has scratched me 5/6 times accidentally while playing because his nails are so sharp

  • John Brownbill Post author

    That cat ain’t happy

  • Alexander Karp Post author

    Fact that you got that cat to sit still for that long is utterly amazing my cat would not sit still for three seconds and will fight the entire process

  • Jane Daly Post author

    Step one: sedate your cat

  • urbex2007 Post author

    Turn the radio off when making videos as that awful loud noise means we can not hear you.

  • Joseph B Cotton Post author

    Dr. Greenway – thanks so much for the good advice – to take it slow, calmly, pet the cat, reward the cat, stop if the cat (or you) are agitated or angry. Our first try was amazing. We kept "Simba" quiet, offered a treat before we started, cliped the hind feet first, then the front. Right afterf, more treats!

  • Aaron Johnson Post author

    That "Good luck trimming your cat's nails" at the end is definitely what we all need.

  • James Bradley Post author

    Said "it" too many times. Not an object.

  • sexysekel Post author

    I've always taken my cat in to the vet's to get them done. Now that we're all in quarantine, I have to learn this quick

  • Valérie Dru Post author

    Hi, do we trim the front and back paws, or just the fri=ont ones?

  • Facepalmer Chaos Post author

    My cat won’t let me clip her back nails. Any advice?

  • TimeIdle Post author

    Is it necessary to trim their nails? What if you don't?

  • Christian Mikhael Post author

    Thanks for the tips! Never thought to start with one nail per day.

  • Faith Lee Post author

    Is it okay to do this while they are sleeping and at what age should you start trimming your cats nails?

  • Erela Refael Post author

    thank you doc.

  • forgoodluck40 Post author

    Thanks for the video. My kitten is 6weeks olld and she scratching me and kids to much. Is ok if i trim her nails.

  • Jane Clermont Post author

    My simase it does pretty good because I show her what I'm doing then I showed her the clippers let her sniff it give her a treat and then I trimmed the nail she had no problem because she knew what I was already doing I made it where I showed her with mine and then kept her come by talking nice to her and putting her and then just trimming the nail she stayed come watching me because she knew I was doing so I just trimmed it and she watched me and then sniffed her Paw

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