ExcitedCats is reader-supported. When you buy via links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission at no extra cost to you. Learn more.

Can I Cut My Cat’s Nails With Human Nail Clippers?

Some cats, especially indoor cats, need to have their claws regularly trimmed. It prevents the nail from curling around and growing in on itself and can stop injuries to the soft paw pad. It also presents a more humane and manageable alternative to having a cat declawed, which requires invasive and potentially painful surgery. You can buy special cat claw clippers that are designed for the purpose. Some people do use human nail clippers, and they shouldn’t cause injury or undue stress to your cat, but they may cause the nail to splinter which will make the ordeal worse for you both. For this reason, it is usually better to use proper cat claw clippers.

3 cat face divider

Regularity

Nail clipping will usually need to be done quite regularly, and while it may be possible to have a groomer or even your veterinarian do it for you, it is also possible to trim nails and claws at home with just a few provisions and items.

Cat Condition

Whatever trimming tool you use, your cat should be relaxed and, ideally, sleepy. You should not try to undertake this particular task when your cat has just finished playing or is feeling energetic and lively. If you can, you should start trimming nails when your cat is a kitten. This way, they will become accustomed to you holding them, pressing the toe pad, and clipping around the claw region. If you try starting the process when your cat is older, it can be more difficult.

Trimming cat's nails using human nail clipper
Image Credit: ashshkna, Shutterstock

Avoiding The Quick

Ensure that you avoid the quick. This will look like pink tissue under the claw. If you catch the quick, don’t panic. It will usually bleed for a couple of minutes before stopping. Speak softly to your cat, don’t panic or run around shouting, because this will put your cat in a panic too. If the bleeding doesn’t stop after a couple of minutes, use a styptic pencil or even some flour to stem the bleeding.

Avoiding Stress

If your cat gets restless, stop clipping, walk away, and come back to the process later, when both of you have calmed down. If your cat gets too stressed, they will remember the experience as being negative, and it will be even harder to clip their nails the next time you get the clippers out.

close up trimming cat nails
Image Credit: GaiBru-Photo, Shutterstock

Using A Groomer

If all else fails, contact a groomer or even ask your veterinarian. Not only are they experienced and know how to cut the nails without catching the quick, but they will be speedy, get the job done, and your cat won’t associate you with the experience.

Providing Treats

Do consider giving a tasty treat once the experience is over. You could give a treat that you only give to your cats after a harrowing grooming experience like this one, so that they have a positive experience at the end, and they will be more likely to remember this than the actual clipping.

cat paw divider

Clipping Cat Claws

A cat’s claws are essential to its wellbeing. They use them for balance. They use them for mobility, balance, and even for grooming. If they are attacked, they will use the claws to defend themselves, too, so they really are an essential part of a cat. Looking after your cat’s claws should be considered a vital part of the everyday care of your beloved pet. While you can use human nail clippers to trim them, it is better to opt for specialist cat claw trimmers that are designed for and shaped for the very purpose.

thematic break

Featured Image Credit: ashshkna, Shutterstock