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Diary of a Cat Care B&B: Kitty Pedicures

One of the services we offer at the cats only boarding facility is a toenail trim. Since I had never done one before (I’ve only done dog pedicures so far), my coworkers showed me how it’s done.

It seems to work very easily with two people — one person holds and distracts the cat and the other does the snipping. If you are the person who is holding the cat, you want to be sure that he’s not able to wiggle away; pulling a paw away at the wrong time could mean that the nail gets caught in the scissors. One trick mentioned was gently rocking the cat’s head. This seems to distract them reasonably well.

If you are the person who is doing the cutting, you need a combination of dexterity, a firm grim, and a good aim. Basically, you take each toe and squeeze it gently to make the claw come out. Then you maneuver the scissors into place and snip. You don’t want to cut the quick — this will make the toenail start to bleed. (That’s a situation I’m familiar with from trimming dog toenails.)

Don’t forget to trim the dewclaw, either — that’s the little claw that is on the leg just above the foot. That one is a little trickier to get at, but it grows just as quickly and gets just as sharp as the other claws do.

After my disaster with cat bathing the other day, I wanted to be sure I had some help on hand for toenail trimming. We had two cats scheduled for a trim, so I took a turn holding one and trimming the other. I also attempted to do a solo pedicure! My plan was to tuck the cat underneath my arm to hold him, grab the paw with that same hand, and hold the scissors in the other hand.

Let’s just say that it worked a lot better in my imagination than it did in real life and leave it at that.