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How to Clip a Cat's Back Toenails

This forum is for discussing all topics related to the challenges (and joys!) of keeping your house clean while living with cats. Here you can share tips, recommendations for products and techniques, and more!

  
Trina

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Purred: Sun Nov 28, '10 4:22pm PST 
Trina's back claws are getting quite long and have snagged by carpet more than a few times. I'm just worried that I could cut a blood vessel or pinch a nerve. She hates having her claws trimmed, so I'm sure I will have to do only a few at a time, but I've never trimmed back toenails. Are there special clippers I need? I have just the standard small nail clippers for cats. Am I going to need something sharper? I'm pretty comfortable with the clippers I'm using, but I don't know if they are designed for the back toenails or not. How do I clip Trina's back toenails?
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Church

I'm a model!
 
 
Purred: Sun Nov 28, '10 4:43pm PST 
The back nails are identical to the front. I use human fingernail clippers for all, and I clip the back nails the same was as I clip the front nails.
Just watch for the pink part of the nail to avoid getting the blood vessel or nerves.

If your cat struggles when you clip nails, some people recommend wrapping them in a towel.
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Trina

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Purred: Sun Nov 28, '10 4:49pm PST 
Thank Church! That makes me feel a lot better. Can I use the same cat nail clippers that I use on the front ones? How much toenail should I leave before the pink part. I don't want to hurt Trina.
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Church

I'm a model!
 
 
Purred: Sun Nov 28, '10 4:59pm PST 
Yeah cat nail clippers should be fine. Personally I find the human ones easier to use so I just use those for all the cats nails. When you have 7 cats to clip like me, anything to make it easier is good! That is 130 nails (Roxy is polydactyl.) silenced

There are two options for trimming. You can either just take off the sharp, pointy tip, or you can take them a little shorter. If you want to cut shorter, what I usually do is position the clipper on the nail so that there is still 'white' visible below the clipper. This way I can be sure I am not getting into the quick or close enough that it might splinter up to where the quick is.
Usually when I start to press down I can tell if I'm too close to the quick because the cat will complain or pull their paw back, but if your cat generally struggles for nails trims anyway you may not be able to tell as easily.

Here is a picture that might help:
http://i.acdn.us/image/A1547/154739/300_154739.jpg
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KuJu Ku

Bobtails Rule!
 
 
Purred: Mon Nov 29, '10 12:27pm PST 
always make sure you clip in good light, even with the light on we pull up a chair by the closest window for more light.
We also purchased the human nail clipper in the drug store with the attached light and magnifying glass to make sure mom dont get the quick.
check it out
http://www.amazon.com/Led-Lighted-Nail-Clipper-Magnifier/dp/B00196 YDG6
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Lowell

Regional Winner!
 
 
Purred: Mon Nov 29, '10 2:31pm PST 
I have Maine Coons, and some of the boys have REALLY big back toenails. I use the same kitty nail clipper (scissors type) that I've been using for all my cats. I've also seen a kitty rotor-type nail file, which might be a good idea if your cat will tolerate it, as nails can snag on things like fabric and skin even if they've been clipped.
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AnnaBelle

Supervisor cat - is not amused.
 
 
Purred: Thu Dec 2, '10 4:47am PST 
Mommy finds that if she can get us to lay on our side while she does the back nails it helps her to see and position the nail. She uses the human style toe nail clippers also. Back toe nails are sometimes a little thicker than your front ones, but they clip the same. Its always a good idea to have some quick-stop on hand just in case whenever you are getting your nails clipped- but especially so the first few times you get your back ones done as for some reason its easier to kick your toe right when mommies are clipping! Dont worry though its a pretty quick process if you will hold still for your mommy party
My mommy somtimes gets us "nipped out" with catnip so we are all super relaxed then does it, MOL.
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