Grooming Your Cat: Cutting Nails
It is important to remember that each nail has a blood vessel and a nerve - the quick. If you cut into the quick, you'll hurt the cat and make the nail bleed. Exposing your cat's nails can be tricky. Place the paw in your hand and place your thumb on top of the paw, close to the nails, with your index finger on the large pad on the bottom of the paw. Press your thumb and finger together. This will expose the nail for clipping. Now cut the nail just a little above the quick. If you accidently cut the quick, apply stypic powder to the cut (available at pharmacies and pet supply stores) or apply direct pressure to the bleeding nail for five minutes.
Cat's nails are sharp and curved, and cats seem to spend a lot of time keeping them extra sharp. Outside cats generally wear down their nails in the course of normal activities, but an indoor cat's nails are usually as sharp as razor blades. If the nails become too long they can get caught in the carpet or upholstery and they frequently break off, so an indoor cat should have his claws clipped once a month - or more frequently if neccessary. Never use human clippers on the cat's nails. Special clippers are available from any pet supply store.
You may need someone to hold the cat while you clip the nails, and before you start to cut you should examine the nails to make sure you know what you're doing.
If the cat protests so much that you can't cut his nails, even without someone else to hold him, leave the job to a professional pet groomer.
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