Regular nail trims are a necessary part of cat ownership, but both cats and humans dread them. Too often, nail trims result in a clawed and bloodied owner and a scared cat.

So, why do cats hate getting their nails cut?

The majority of cats hate getting their nails cut because they despise the constraint required throughout the nail clipping process. The operation isn’t painful unless the nails are cut too short, but it’s a strange and unusual sensation for your cat that they don’t enjoy.

This article will talk about the reasons why cats hate getting their nails cut and what you can do about it.

Why Do Cats Hate Getting Their Nails Cut?

My Cat Cries When I Cut His Nails

The reason behind crying of your cat when you cut his nails could be: –

My Cat Cries When I Cut His Nails

1. Your Cat Isn’t Use To It

Your cat is accustomed to being lightly petted on all of its favorite spots, including the ears, back, and even a few tail strokes.

Then one day, out of nowhere, you decide that the only thing you want to do is grab their toes!

Of course, your cat is perplexed by all of this!

While it’s a poor tendency to anthropomorphize our animals, it’s not impossible to envisage how this could play out in humans.

Imagine if your roommate decided one day that they needed to examine your scalp!

Even when you politely urged them to leave you alone, they insisted on following you about and peering into your hair to examine your scalp.

What if your roommate insisted on trimming your toenails!?

That’s an admittedly stupid example, but the point is to show how different playing with your cat’s feet is from your everyday encounters. And that’s the first hurdle to clear.

You may gradually desensitize your cat to having their feet touched, which can make getting their nails clipped a lot less stressful if you’re patient.

Of course, the greatest time to begin was when your cat was a kitten, but now is a close second! Get your cat used to you merely caressing their feet for a second or two the next time you pet them. They don’t have to like it; instead, they should be less astonished by it.

This is especially effective if your cat is food-driven since you may reward them with a treat every time they stay still after you touch their feet.

You can gradually begin to hold your cat’s feet and play with their toes. Eventually, they’ll figure out that putting up with your strange paw touches earns them additional attention or rewards.

You’ll also want to make sure you’re holding the nail trimmers or that your cat doesn’t see them while you’re doing this. You should desensitize them to the procedure of having their nails clipped and the trimmer itself.

You’re setting the scene for nail trim anxiety if they only see the trimmers shortly before something they don’t enjoy happens.

The only thing left to do is trim after you’ve gotten your cat used to the feet touches (and the presence of the trimmers). But don’t stop there with the incentives and treats!

You would like to read about what to do if cat nail bleeding after cutting

2. It Was Painful Once

Nail trimming is absolutely painless when done correctly, and the only difficulty cats experience is being held for the trimming. While this may be seen to be a type of suffering, the trimming procedure should not be painful.

Even yet, when cats’ nails are clipped too short, it can be inconvenient and, in some circumstances, unpleasant. This is because every cat nail has a structure called the “quick,” which houses the nails and blood vessels.

If the nail is sliced, the cat will be hurt, and the nail will bleed. If your cat has had a quick cut in the past, that may be all it takes for them to be afraid of the nail cutting procedure.

Unfortunately, negative events are more likely to linger in our minds and the minds of our cats than pleasant experiences.

That means you’ll have to put in more effort to turn your cat’s poor experience into a positive one. You can follow the same techniques as before, but be patient because receiving a rapid cut can be a very unpleasant experience for your cat.

Now you’re probably worried that every nail clip will cut the quick. Don’t worry, though. Fortunately, most cat claws are transparent, so you can tell where the quick begins and where you should avoid them.

Even if your cat has never had the painful experience of having their nails clipped, they may have had some unpleasant nail trimming encounters.

Trimmers that are dull, outdated, or of poor quality can make the process more unpleasant since they pull on the nail more than they cut. Consider the effect of using dull scissors to cut hair or paper: instead of cutting, it only mangles and pulls whatever you’re trying to trim.

On the nails, a dull trimmer will have the same effect. As if that weren’t bad enough, they’ll even prolong the procedure by requiring you to go over the same nail numerous times in order to complete the trim.

Does this imply you’ll have to spend a small fortune on high-end cat trimmers? Absolutely not; for the price of a fancy Starbucks latte, you can get a good pair on Amazon. 

Sharp trimmers will not only make the process more comfortable for your cat, but they will also speed it up.

Also, check out what happens if you don't trim your cat's nails

Why Does My Cat Purr When I Cut His Nails?

The reason behind the purring of your cat when you cut his nails could be: –

Why Does My Cat Purr When I Cut His Nails?

1. You’re Stressed

While it may appear that each cat is its own emotional island, our feline companions are clearly getting signals from you—at least some of the time.

And if you approach the act of nail trimming with a lot of stress and anxiety, your cat will pick up on it.

Even if your cat acts as though they’re being abducted, it’s critical to approach the nail trim calmly.

No, it won’t make your cat suddenly relax and accept the nail trim, but it can certainly assist.

While not clipping your cat’s nails for an extended length of time can cause difficulties, it usually doesn’t have to happen right now.

With that in mind, one of the most effective ways to maintain calm is to simply take your time.

Instead of becoming obsessed with getting every nail cut, try sneaking in and getting just one claw trimmed during a petting session and calling it a success.

We adore our cats, so seeing them stressed out can be quite upsetting, especially if we believe we are the source of the problem! But keep in mind that even if a cat despises having its nails clipped, you won’t harm them if you do it correctly.

Destressing your cat is sometimes the best way to de-stress yourself. It’s easier said than done, but you should consider integrating caressing, treats, or even playing in addition to incredibly brief nail clipping sessions. Basically, whatever your cat enjoys.

2. Clumsiness

There’s a chance your overall strategy is a little…off. That’s perfectly OK! Trimming a cat’s nails swiftly and properly requires practice, and things are even more difficult if your feline pal is an expert at avoiding the nail trimmers.

It takes years to master the art of restraining cats and other animals for treatments like nail clipping.

Cats are more likely to squirm and struggle if you aren’t efficient with your restraint since they know they can get out and aren’t as comfortable with the method you’re holding them.

Veterinary workers and groomers employ the kitty wrap as a classic restraint technique. It’s exactly what it sounds like: you wrap your cat in a nice little burrito made out of a towel, limiting how much they can run around.

Experts strongly advise you to do this with a companion, with one person managing the burrito and the other trimming it.

A burrito wrap does more than just keep your cat from wiggling; scientific evidence reveals that swaddling animals in a tight wrap can also relieve stress.

While some of the more recent research has focused on dogs, it’s logical to assume that cats will be affected in the same way.

Do Cats Feel Pain If You Cut Their Nails?

No, cats don’t feel pain if you cut their nails if the technique you used was proper.

When done correctly, nail clipping is completely painless, and the only issue cats have is being held while it is done. While it may appear that this is a form of agony, the trimming operation should be painless.

Claws should be trimmed every week and a half to two weeks for most cats. It will be easier to keep your cat’s nails under control if you establish a regimen.

You can seek advice from a groomer or veterinarian if you’re having problems clipping their claws.

Alternative To Clipping Cats Nails

Alternative to clipping cat is declawing.

Alternative To Clipping Cats Nails

Declawing (onychectomy) has been widely practiced on domestic cats for decades, but it is a surgical treatment that necessitates anesthesia and involves the removal of the third phalanx bone.

As a result, it is frequently compared to a human being who has each fingertip removed.

The procedure is followed by a time of agony and healing for the animal, as with any surgery.

Scratching is a common occurrence in cats. It isn’t done to get even or to damage a cherished chair.

Cats use scratching to remove dead husks from their claws, mark territory, and stretch their muscles.

Cats normally start scratching at the age of eight weeks. It’s the best time to teach kittens to use a scratching post and to let them have their nails trimmed.

Declawing a pet as a preventative measure for unwanted scratching should not be considered. Declawing can actually cause a whole new set of behavioral issues that are potentially worse than shredding the couch.

Also, the operation isn’t always successful since some cats develop claw regrowth or other issues afterward. As a result, not all cat owners are comfortable with the thought of declawing and would rather go for a non-surgical option.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do cats get sad when you cut their nails?

No, cats usually don’t get sad when you cut their nails. Cutting your cat’s nails can be a traumatic experience for both you and your cat, but it doesn’t have to be. According to cat behaviorists, any cat can be trained to tolerate and even love having its nails trimmed. Both you and your cat will be able to relax during their regular manicure treatments if you follow the proper procedure.

Should I Hire A Nail Trimming Professional?

If your cat becomes agitated when it’s time for a nail trim, it’s a good idea to seek expert help. Someone with a lot of experience clipping cat claws can complete the task in under 30 seconds—and that is not an exaggeration! In most circumstances, a groomer’s nail trim will cost between $10 and $25. The issue here is that many cats will find the trip to the groomer to be more distressing than the actual clipping.

What is a cat claw made of?

A superposition of horny layers creates the keratinized component of the cat’s claw, and the nail pulp in the center contains the nerves and blood vessels. Each of the cat’s hind legs has four toes, while the front legs have five. The fifth toe, which corresponds to our thumb, is known as a dewclaw. The cat can climb thanks to these dewclaws.

Final Words

It’s not surprising that our cats despise having their nails cut. It’s a strange encounter that takes them well beyond their regular interactions with us. However, if we address the precise reasons why our cats despise claw cutting and make an effort to fix them, we’ll be that much closer to a good trimming session.

If you have any unanswered questions, ask us in the comments section.


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