The 10 Best Cat Nail Trimmers
This wiki has been updated 26 times since it was first published in September of 2016. Yes, your little kitty is lovely and cute — except when he or she is shredding your new sofa or chair. But before you get upset, remember that cats only claw at things to try and keep their nails in good shape. You can help them do that, and avoid having to replace your furniture, with a pair of these trimmers, which are much more affordable than regular trips to a groomer. When users buy our independently chosen editorial choices, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki.
August 27, 2019:
If you have a skittish or temperamental cat that hates having its claws trimmed, the Necoichi Purrcision can speed up the process considerably, even if your cat is less than cooperative. Its blades are sharper than many other trimmers, and they give you a clean and precise cut every time with just one quick snip.
For those who are nervous about over-trimming, the GoPets Clippers, Fur Goodness Sake Quick Sensor, and Hertzko Professional all have built-in safety guards to prevent you from going too far and cutting into the quick. The Boshel Scissors and Jofuyu Small may not have safety guards, but their angled semicircular blades keep the nail visible while you work, so you can easily see how far to cut.
It's a little pricier than many others, but the Dremel Grooming Tool is easier to use than traditional clippers and gives you more control by gently grinding away long nails. It has two speed settings and a removable battery pack that fully charges in just three hours. The only downside is that it does make a buzzing sound, so it may not be the best option for cats who are sensitive to noise.
Why It's Important To Trim Cats' Claws
When Fluffy's claws get very long and sharp, it's easy for them to get caught on the many things she claws at.
The first time you try to trim your cat's claws, she'll likely resist, which could make you wonder why you need to partake in this task at all. For starters, if you don't shorten your kitty's claws, she'll find ways to do it herself — like by scratching up that new designer leather sofa for which you shelled out thousands of dollars. Even if you give Fluffy the best scratching post, there's no guarantee she won't set her sights on your belongings. Remember that your feline is essentially a little lion, and she has some habits embedded into her DNA from her long-lost ancestors — like the need to leave her mark wherever she goes. She does that by scraping off parts of her claws. At least if you trim them, you can prevent them from being so sharp that they tear your house up.
If you're lucky enough to have one of those affectionate cats who like to knead at you, then keeping those claws short and rounded is essential. You don't want to turn away your kitty's attempts to show love — especially since they are few and far between — but you have to when they can result in you being scratched and cut up. Trimming your feline's nails means you can let her make the adorable gesture of pawing at you for attention, without risk of injury.
Your own injuries aren't the only ones to worry about. When Fluffy's claws get very long and sharp, it's easy for them to get caught on the many things she claws at. This can result in a broken nail, which is very painful for your cat. Your poor kitty can't even tell you when she has a torn nail, so if this happens, she may wind up going around in discomfort for a long time until it naturally falls off. Keeping those claws trimmed will reduce the chances of this happening.
What To Look For In A Cat Nail Trimmer
Though cats are mysterious and complex, it's no secret that yours probably won't take kindly to the action of you cutting his nails. As high-maintenance as he is, he has no interest in a manicure. That's why you need to find trimmers that make this errand quick and painless for everybody.
For everyone's safety, find trimmers with a safety lock, so the blades are only exposed when you want them to be.
Find ones with sharp, effective blades that will create a clean cut in just one motion. If you have to go back over the spot, your kitty may become impatient and try to run off. On that note, make sure your trimmers have a non-slip grip, so you have a handle on them no matter what happens. It's also important that your pair is usable by right- or left-handed individuals, so anyone in your household can help groom Cupcake. Make sure your trimmers are made from materials that resist rust and corrosion, too, since, should your cat's open claws be exposed to those, they can cause infections. For everyone's safety, find trimmers with a safety lock, so the blades are only exposed when you want them to be. Anti-pinch guards will also be something you come to appreciate for your own hands.
If trimming Fluffy's nails is part of an all-out makeover, complete with a bath and a stylish new harness, you may want a set that also has a nail file to clean things up around the edges. It can be hard as a pet owner to know how much of the animal's nail to cut. Luckily, some trimmers come with built-in safety guards to ensure you never remove too much. You'll want a good spring mechanism to enable precise cuts, and you may consider blades that are angled to improve your visibility while you work — this is especially important when manicuring young, sensitive kittens. If you feel that your cat's belongings are beginning to take over your home, you may want to look for a compact set that won't take up much space.
Tips For Trimming Your Cat's Nails
When you're ready to trim Cupcake's nails, there are a few tips that will make the process go smoothly. If possible, start your kitty young on nail trimming sessions, so she gets used to it. No matter the age, if it's your cat's first trim, just get her accustomed to the sensation of having you touch her paws. Massage them softly, and if your kitty tries to pull away, keep a firm but gentle grip on her paw and follow her movement. You want to show her that just because she pulls away, that doesn't mean you're going to release her paw.
If possible, start your kitty young on nail trimming sessions, so she gets used to it.
You'll do yourself a big favor if your pet is tired out before the manicure. Have a good play session right before, so your fluffy friend is too exhausted to protest. Select a quiet place to do the trimming. Other animals or a view of the busy street could distract your cat and make her want to run off. Wrap your kitty in a towel. This will not only keep her from squirming around, but the hugging sensation will also keep her calm. Leave only the paw you're currently working on, exposed. It could help to have a friend or family member pet your cat, and slowly feed her a favorite treat to keep her happy — just don't overdo it on the food since our felines are chubbier than we think.
Taking a small break between each paw can help make your kitty more comfortable with the process. Should you find that your four-legged buddy starts to bite you during the trimming, you may want to put an inflatable cone around her neck (the type the vet may give you after a procedure). Take your time. Even though your cat is eager to have the nail clipping over, if you rush, you could risk accidentally cutting her.