Monday, February 23, 2015

Nail Trim, Feline Edition, The Stress-Free Way

Here is the biggest and most valuable secret that you will ever get on cats. 

Never, ever be audacious enough to think that you are in charge. 
You aren't. You never were, and you never will be. 
If you can willingly surrender this notion everything will fall into place.

The beauty of the most precious relationships in life is the quiet moments you share just being a peace with who you each are. My cats, well, they rule the roost. They rule the dogs, the people, and the kingdom they call our home. I love them for their independence, their cunning intellect, and their kind purrs in my ear when the day draws to an end.

I would like to think of myself as their parent. A lofty hope with little reward to convince me that I have any influence on their day to day outlook, but a clear resolve to be responsible and insure that they receive the needed care of a living, thinking, soulful creature.

Of all of the needed care that our pets need one of the most challenging is nail trimming. It has become such an ordeal in so many homes that clients wait all year for the Annual Physical Exam day to arrive and then ask the veterinary staff to jump in and bail them out of the task they abandoned long ago.

Nail trimming should be done monthly. It should also be performed in a calm, direct, stress free manner. I know it sounds much easier said than done. But it can be easy and stress free.

Here's how;

  1. Start touching your pets feet at any and every chance.
  2. Start teaching your pet to surrender and relax in your arms. This can be done without actually doing anything. Just hold them past the point of struggling. Hold them a few seconds longer than they want to be held, and reassure them that they are OK. 
  3. Start keeping the nail trimmers around more often. A foreign object is more frightening then one they are used to. This also applies to cat carriers. If your cat is used to it as a piece of furniture they won't respond in fear when it magically appears out of nowhere. 
  4. Start with small simple motions and do one nail at a time. You don't have to do all of the nails at once and you don't want to push your cat to the point of  fear. It will only make the next attempt to trim them more difficult the next time.
  5. Also, pick your trim time wisely. An anxious, playful, rambunctious cat will not make a good patient. But a tired, content, resting cat might.
Here is my cat Wren. She is so gentle and so trusting that I can trim her nails on my lap with ease. It has taken time and practice, but she loves the quiet time alone with me and I get to safely and carefully trim all of her nails. We also get time for belly rubs and snuggles!

As your cat ages their nails will need more care and monitoring. I always recommend that you check them monthly, front and back feet. 

For related blogs and more information on nail trimming please visit;

How To Trim Nails.

Overgrown Nails in an Adult Cat.

Wren enjoys sleeping on my lap, as Magpie takes the coffee table.
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