Is it Necessary to trim a cat's claws?

I've haven't trimmed my kittens nails. The vet trimmed Joop's nails once, because she was scratching the vet assistant during an exam. Afterwards, she had trouble getting on the bed, climbing, and keeping herself from falling off stuff. Of course, they grew back quickly. But is it necessary that I trim their nails every so often? Or do people just do it because of scratching and clawing at people/furniture? I've never had a problem with their claws, apart from that one vet visit. I guess what I'm asking there a benefit to the cat? or just the human?

Asked by Joop on Mar 9th 2010 in Home Grooming
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Best Answer

Linus (Dreamboat #72a)

Yes, nails should be trimmed. If they aren't, they can potentially get overgrown and grow into the pad causing pain and infection. Long nails can also snag and get caught on things which could lead to an injury.

Linus (Dreamboat #72a) answered on Mar 9th.

Other Answers


Izadore (Izzie)

I do trim Izzies claws, and although it is somewhat tricky, it can be done. I started handling Izzie's feet when he was about 6 months old and would lay on my lap. After a while, he got so used to my touching his feet, he barely minded. Then I asked my vet to show me how to trim his claws and what equipment to use. I think that because of my approach, it's fairly easy to trim Izzie's claws. Having said that, I have to admit that Delilah and Lily either get their's done at the vet once a year or not at all. I've not had a problem with their claws growing into their pads, but I have "scratchy boxes" all over the house, mostly to keep Lily from using the carpet/furniture. I've also found kitty claws, once in their waterbowl and was told they do shed their claws. If you can learn how to do it yourself and your cat, like Izzie, will tolerate it, it's a definitely benefit to you,especially if they "knead" on you.

Izadore (Izzie) answered on 3/9/10. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer


yes, clipping nails are important. I trim Nellie, Alexis and Milo's nails. U can use human clipper or a cat clipper. My kittens prefer a human clipper instead of cat clipper. I usally just put the very sharp tip thats before the curve and make a quick cut with the clipper. But be careful when using clippers do not cut the quick the pink part on their nails as this will hurt and make them bleed. Also be sure to give them alot praise.

Member 969340 answered on 3/9/10. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer


Linus and Izzie give good advice. All of my cats submit to claw trimming, although they always complain about it. One poster suggested once that doing it while the cat is asleep is a good idea. But, as Izzie says, first you have to get Joop allow you to touch her feet. When I first got Harvey, he wouldn't allow his feet to be touched. Now he sleeps with his paw in my hand. However, warnings. Trimming claws does not mean that a cat won't go after the furniture, etc. Horizontal and vertical scratching areas, baited with catnip, are the key. I have been scratched so many times by cats that I've had people ask me if they were scars from suicide attempts. Scratches from trimmed claws are necessarily wider and deeper than those from untrimmed claws. Disinfect them immediately. As you've discovered, cats use their claws to maintain balance, which is why declawing is so harmful. Your main question--does it benefit the cat or the human. Linus has addressed that. Good luck.

Harvey answered on 3/9/10. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer


Trimming your cats claws will prevent them from getting caught or stuck on things and will prevent possible ripping of the claw if they manage to take it out on their own. Back when I first got Jack and Sophie their claws used to get stuck on things all the time. They would howl in pain until someone would come and help them. Ever since then I trim all of my cats claws every 2 weeks. They also had trouble climbing things at first, but eventually they learned how to climb without using their sharp claws.

The best way to trim cats claws is to do it while their calm and laying down or while they're sleeping. Gently grab their paws and clip the tip of the claw, don't go past the quick though, that's the pink part of the claw. If they fidget too much, stop and then try again later.

Hope this helps!

Jack answered on 3/10/10. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer