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Clipping your cat’s nails

3 June 2021

Clipping your cat’s nails is something you need to do regularly. However, the idea of trimming your furry friend’s claws might make you nervous and afraid you’ll hurt them. Fear not—Globalvet has some advice for you to make sure everything goes smoothly!

Before you trim your cat’s nails, get them used to having their paws touched. It’s also a good idea to create a positive association in your cat’s mind with the clippers. For information on all the basic pet care rules to follow before you start, see our blog post on the subject.


Cats have retractable claws, meaning they draw them back up into their paws when not in use. You can get a cat to extend their claws by pressing gently on the pad of their paw.

The nails are made of a hard substance similar your own nails, with a sensitive bundle of nerves inside called the quick that looks like a small pink triangle at the base of the claw. The part you need to cut is the sharp, hook-shaped tip of nail that grows past the quick.


  • Your pet’s favourite treats
  • Good quality, sharp nail clippers to make the job easier. Use scissor-style clippers, rather than guillotine clippers. You can buy these clippers in our stores.
  • For kittens, you can also use regular nail clippers sold at the pharmacy.
  • Styptic powder to stop any bleeding (e.g., Fast Klot®). You can also use corn starch to stop the bleeding quickly.


  • Trim just one nail a day to start.
  • Clip off small bits of nail until you see the quick (the pink part of the nail).
  • As your cat gets used to having their nails clipped, you can gradually start clipping more nails at a time.
  • Don’t forget to trim the dewclaw on the inside of the paw.

What to do if a claw bleeds:

  • Stay calm—it happens to everyone, even professionals!
  • Wipe the blood off with a paper towel.
  • Put some styptic powder on the end of the claw.


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