Instructables

Step 4: Trimming when the cat is anxious or uncooperative

Picture of trimming when the cat is anxious or uncooperative
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If you find that you're having a hard time trimming your cat's claws - if they're upset and wiggling all over the place, or maybe just trying to kick you to death with their back feet, using a towel or blanket is helpful and will keep the cat from injuring themselves or you.

Wrap it around the cat firmly, leaving only their head and the paw you're trimming sticking out of the towel.

This will help keep them from fighting too much.

Make sure to reward your cat afterwards if you do it this way - chances are it stresses them out much more than you think! Give them catnip, treats or wet food and lots of pettings to help calm them down after.

 
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sharpstick10 months ago
I've been trimming the claws of our cats for ten years or so. Only a couple of them whine a bit, but they've gotten used to it. I've even done it to cats that don't know me with pretty good success.
I also use those notched claw scissors. It wasn't too clear in the pics, but they have rounded notches cut into the blades. (Occasionally available at Dollar Tree stores)
Sometimes I try to line them up so they are in line with the claw instead of across it so it's cutting against the claw flat. I also squeeze very slowly. If you do it to fast, it snaps and can freak the cat out. The most important part of my method is to hold the cat under me, on a rug, carpet or towel so their feet are firmly on a secure surface(as opposed to a slippery wood floor). I kneel over the cat so she is between my legs, with my feet together so she can't back out. She should be firmly restrained, but not too tightly. Then I pick up one claw at a time so she still feels firmly grounded, then trim. A treat afterward helps for future cooperation.
Usually I don't bother with the rear claws, but if I need to, the best method is to wait until the cat is asleep, quietly pick up the rear paw that is on top and trim before she wakes up completely. Later when she is sleeping on the other side, trim the other paw that is now on top.
For an unusually antsy cat, I trim while they are eating. They will ignore a lot of abuse if they have their face in a bowl of food! (Helps if you are ambidextrous.)
Sometimes it might take more than one session to get all the claws.