In order to save your beloved furniture or even yourself from damage, it is important to clip your cat's claws on a regular basis; aim for at least once a month without your pet has been surgically de-clawed by a vet.
Although cats who spend a lot of time outdoors will naturally 'strop' their nails against posts and trees, indoor cats will need greater attention.
One must take great care when trimming a cat's claws in order not to unduly harm the poor animal. It is strongly advisable to get your vet to show you how to best clip your pet's claws before you yourself attempt it at home.
Although most pet stores sell purpose made claw clippers, ordinary human nail clippers are probably just as effective and cheaper. However, some people insist that only special pet clippers should be selected so use your own discretion on this.
Follow these steps when clipping:
(1) Hold the cat firmly, without hurting it, or even get a friend to assist in this.
(2) As cats' claws are retractable, you need to push each individual pad, on top ot the toe, to reveal the unsheathed claw, one at a time.
(3) Take note of the two different colors of the claw, a pink middle section next to a whitish covering that extends to the pointed end of the claw.
(4) ONLY cut the clear, white section, where the dead cells are and never the pink section, or quick; this is where the blood vessels and nerves are; if you draw blood, keep free from any germs. If your cat has black claws only remove the section that curls under.
If the procedure is started at the kitten stage, your pet will soon become used to having its claws trimmed.
If easier, only cut a couple of nails at a time or wait until your cat is napping before clipping. Remain calm and collected as your cat will likely sense any anxiety in you and become restless.
Occasionally, some cats are born with more than five nails on each foot, (and four on each back foot); This condition is called 'Polydactyl' and great care must be taken to keep nails trimmed in order to prevent ingrown toenails.
Keep your cat's claws regularly trimmed and you'll save on furniture and clothing repair bills; a scratch post kept indoors may also help with claw maintenance, and help keep your home in ship-shape.