Izadore (Izzie)

My kitten is clawing me to shreds! How do I trim his claws?

My 6 mo old Maine Coon mix (male) is clawing me to shreds! I have itchy scratches all over my hands and legs. I know he's just playing and will probably outgrow this. I won't get him declawed because he's faster than I am and I'm afraid he'll get outside. How can I overcome my awful fear of trimming his nails? I am SO AFRAID I will hurt him. What is the best equipment to use? How do I hold him? How far down do I trim? How often do I trim them?

Thanks for your help!

Asked by Izadore (Izzie) on Nov 11th 2007 Tagged trimmingkittensclaws, fearoftrimmingclaws, howtotrimkittensclaws in Other Grooming
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Best Answer



Holding me down and trimming quickly does not work for all cats. Mom found out the hard way. So here's how she gets my claws:
1. She curls up on the bed or couch and pretend to want to take a nap. I feel safer having her touch me while we're both level.
2. She Wait for me to be cuddly and sleepy, and has a pair of claw trim scissors nearby (they're better than regular scissors, because all it takes is one snip).
3. Next she massages my paws - I trust her with them now, but it took a few weeks to build that trust.
4. She presses on the pad of the paw really gently, just enough to make the claws extend.
5. She determines where the quick is, and trims at least 1/8 of an in away from that (if you're not sure from looking at the paws, you can just make very small trims around the tip to make the claw blunt rather than sharp).
5. She trims the nails one at a time, so that if I stir while she's working, she can just rub my chin to get me to go back to sleep.

Hope this helps!

Boris answered on Nov 11th.

Other Answers



Well, when I was little, I got my claws trimmed sometimes. Mommy would wrap me in a towel and have someone else hold me while I got trimmed. Okay, so how far to trim? Well, on the claw, at the top there is a clear area, that's just like fingernail, that part doesn't hurt. Further down you get to an area that's pinkish, don't trim there. Just trim off the sharp tips, but not too much of the nail. And there will always be trimmers at Petsmart and Petco.

Calli answered on 11/11/07. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 1 Report this answer

Bubba Jack

I always trimmed my 16 year old kitty. The earlier you start the better. I wrapped her in a towel (like a mummy) held her tight and with one leg out. After I trimmed the one I would put it in the wrap and get out another leg. I just use regular nail clippers. Hold each claw slightly behind the exposed nail and with your thumb and first finger force the nail to protrude, you will see a red vain in the nail and then towards the end of the nail it's clear. Just clip the tips, which is well away from the red vain. Do it every 2-3 weeks. I have a new kitty now (Bubba Jack) and he's in nail trimming training. LOL

Bubba Jack answered on 11/11/07. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 2 Report this answer


Just another idea. You could always get him soft paws. They sell them at a PetCo or your local animal shelter. They are about 17.00 for a pack that will last you a while if you just put them on the front paws. They are great and use them on two of my cats. They come in pink or blue and go on super easy.

Member 525960 answered on 11/11/07. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 1 Report this answer


mommy waits till i am passed out asleep and she gets her special kitty nail clippers presses on my toes till the claw sticks out then she clips just the tip part off staying a good bit away from the pinkish quick a good guide is halfway from the tip staying about a 1/4 of the way away from the quick because if you cut into that area it will cause me to bleed and can be painful also when i use my scratching post the nail will not shred to the quick she clips me about every 2-3 weeks ps.my mommy says you can get the clippers just about any where they sell pet supplies walmart,petstores places like that and for a difficult case you could always consult a groomer to do it and show you how

milo answered on 11/11/07. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 1 Report this answer


(1) It is normal for your kitten to play-scratch but he may not outgrow it unless you teach him. If your kitty starts to claw, tell him "no," grab him by his scruff and hold him in place until he calms down - it's like giving him a timeout. Do not hurt your kitty & do not encourage him by continuing to play after he misbehaves. Consistency is important.
(2) I started trimming my kitty's nails when she was 2-1/2. I would flip her on her back in my lap, press paw to expose nails, trim with a clipper (get 1 for cats from pet store), & then reward her with a treat immediately after. I repeated this process consistently & after a couple months had NO trouble trimming ALL 4 paws. I trim as needed - roughly 2x a week when she was under 1 and now 1x every 2 weeks. Take baby steps - you might only get 1 nail done when you start but be patient & don't make it a bad experience. Be conservative about trimming only the white part so as not to clip a vein!

Moxie answered on 11/13/07. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer