A quick step-by-side guide, with pictures, on how to use a towel to successfully trim your cat's nails at home.
We are here to tell you the SECRET to a successful cat nail trim at home! Cats are not really fans of nail trims but you have all the tools you need to get the job done right in your home: nail clipper, a bath towel, & corn starch!
WHAT YOU WILL NEED
The supplies for this mission are common, everyday items you have right in your home! You will need:
- one or two people
- a bath towel
- cat nail clippers (your personal nail clippers work too)
- corn starch
HOW DO YOU KNOW HOW MUCH TO TAKE OFF?
The key to trimming nails on a cat is to not take off too much nail, hitting the quick (the fleshy inside of the nail where it attaches), and causing them to bleed. Cat nails are clear, so you trim just past the pink quick on the inside (see below).
Now if you do hit the quick and see a little blood, don’t panic! It has happened to the best of us! Simply grab that corn starch and dab a little bit on the end of the nail. It will cause the blood to clot. Just give Fluffy some extra tuna!
WHAT’S THE SECRET?
The secret is……. your handy, dandy bath towel!! Don’t believe us? We are going to make a purrito with it! By wrapping your cat in a towel, similar to swaddling a baby, they feel secure and they can’t move! Sometimes even covering their head and letting them hide helps their anxiety too!
Quick tip: putting your cat sitting on top of the towel, rather than on their back like a baby, is MUCH easier.
Now I know this last picture looks a little scary, but their is a lot of animal behavioral medicine behind it. The cat feels secure because the towel releases the same endorphins as cuddling AND cats hide when they are scared because they are prey animals. By tucking the cat’s head into the crook of his arm, the cat feels like it is hiding.
So this picture actually is benefitting the cat AND the human who doesn’t want to get scratched! And remember, a second person always helps too!
WHAT IS THE TOWEL METHOD DOESN’T WORK?
Have no fear! We have a solution for this too! We have an in-house groomer and do cat nail trims all the time. The far majority of the time, we can trim your kitty cat’s nails without a problem and it only takes about 10 minutes!
Also check out this great article by Vet Street about teaching your cat to relax!