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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-20-2013, 11:29 PM Thread Starter
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Shelter cat sharp claws

I volunteer socializing cats at a local shelter. Most of them hate having their claws clipped. One person will scruff and hold them and another clip. One cat cannot be safely scruffed and clipped and her claws are so sharp they hurt when she sits on your lap. She will bite easily or scratch sometimes, but the more she gets to know you the less she will do it. Her bite is quick and does not break the skin. But it is not a love bite. She is going on 3 years old and has been at the shelter since she was a kitten. Does anyone know of a method to clip her claws without getting bit or scratched? I've tried searching for some kind of bunting, but cannot find one and not sure if she would let me put it on if I did. There is no room in the shelter without other animals and the bathroom is in the dog room, so no calm place to try either.
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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-20-2013, 11:35 PM
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Have you tried just wrapping her in a towel or blanket with one limb out at a time, and turning her so her face is away from you and she has nothing to sink her teeth into?

Maisie is really bad about having his claws done, and this works for me.


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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-20-2013, 11:43 PM Thread Starter
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She would not be easy to wrap and then try to get a paw out. She is used to sitting on your lap and being pet, but not restrained or pushed around. The woman that clips the nails said she could still bite if her head is out, but we do not want to stress her out either.
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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-20-2013, 11:46 PM
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Do you think the woman who does the claw clipping would be able to do it without waking her up?

Sometimes I just clip my cats' claws when they're asleep to save some hassle.


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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-21-2013, 12:06 AM Thread Starter
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She's also a volunteer, and we go during the day. There is so much going on I don't think I've ever seen this cat asleep. This shelter keeps them in pens with 8-12 cats per pen. It's just such a bad set-up for working with her. I could wear heavy gloves, but I'm so worried about stressing her out. And the woman is really hesitant to do it. I don't think a vet could even do it without sedating her, which would be terrible too. I'm thinking maybe heavy gloves and trying to wrap her in a towel like you suggested. I don't know if it's a bad thing to let her bite the gloves as much as she wants during this though.
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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-21-2013, 08:23 AM
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I'm kinda nervouse I'm getting Pipin's done by the shelter people next week cause they only charge like $10 and do house visits. I'm hoping he sleeps through the morning so he's nice and subdued for him. He was one of their fav cats there so I'm looking forward to showing them how good he looks now
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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-21-2013, 01:28 PM
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I saw a video on YouTube of a person who wrapped their cat in a blanket to cut the claws. Frankly, it looked horrible and super traumatic for the cat. No wonder he hates it! Can you put on those claw "caps"?
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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-21-2013, 02:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MyBabiesDaddy View Post
I saw a video on YouTube of a person who wrapped their cat in a blanket to cut the claws. Frankly, it looked horrible and super traumatic for the cat. No wonder he hates it!
I'm sure it depends on the cat. Maisie is actually much calmer when he's wrapped than when I try to just coerce him into cooperating.

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Can you put on those claw "caps"?
Not to be argumentative, but I don't really see the advantage of this. Many adult cats who wear caps also need trimming, and the glue doesn't adhere instantly so the cat has to stay still longer.

Soft Paws Instructions

I think caps are a marvelous invention, but I don't see how they would work better for a cat who can't tolerate routine trimming I'm afraid.


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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-21-2013, 02:25 PM
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How about not full scale sedation but a "tranquiliser" - herbal or chemical - to help her chill before-hand?
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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-21-2013, 06:04 PM
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Quote:
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She's also a volunteer, and we go during the day. There is so much going on I don't think I've ever seen this cat asleep. This shelter keeps them in pens with 8-12 cats per pen. It's just such a bad set-up for working with her. I could wear heavy gloves, but I'm so worried about stressing her out. And the woman is really hesitant to do it. I don't think a vet could even do it without sedating her, which would be terrible too. I'm thinking maybe heavy gloves and trying to wrap her in a towel like you suggested. I don't know if it's a bad thing to let her bite the gloves as much as she wants during this though.
Oook. Do NOT try to wrap this kitty! Sometimes you can do it...with a cat who is used to being restrained, and having their claws trimmed.

With this girl you'll quickly end up with a screaming ball of extremely angry cat...and likely a few bites.

Speaking from experience working with a cat similar to what you're describing, the best way to do this is to go very slowly.

1. Start by just petting and touching her paws. If you can bring treats in touch her paw and then give her a treat. have any and all volunteers do this, ideally it would happen a few times a day, every day.

Do this until you can pick up and gently hold one paw at a time...I'd suggest focusing on her front paws only and not worrying about the back paws for now.

When she has no problem with her paws being held move to step 2.

2. Hold her paw and practice extending the nails by gently pushing on her paw pad. I find the best way to manage this is with kitty on a table/counter, and me standing next to them and leaning over them to hold the paw on the front paw farthest from me with the hand closets to them. So if we're facing to the right I'd use my left hand to hold their left paw. (To do the other paw I turn the cat the other way, and use my right hand to hold their right paw)

When you can extend two-three claws in a row without having a mad kitty - using treats to help the process along - move to the next step.

3. Put a few yummy treats down right under kitties nose, then work quickly. Hold the clippers in your opposite hand (right hand to clip the left paw, ect), push out one nail and trim just the very tip. STOP.

The NEXT DAY, do the next claw on the same paw.

Every day do one more claw, when you've done them all start over from the beginning. Only trim the very pointy tip, one slip and you're starting from 5 steps behind where you were to begin with! Go slow, and if kitty isn't ready for the next step don't hurry them.

With kittens you can use the 'suck it up' method, of just restraining them gently and 'getting it done'...with adult cats who haven't been taught from kittenhood to tolerate this it simply won't work and will make trimming MUCH harder in the future.

It seems like a lot of work, but the truth is that this will take each volunteer about 10 seconds a day. Even once you get to the 'hard' steps of actually trimming, since you'll only do one nail it'll go super quick.

It seems like lots of work, but in the end having her used to this sort of handling and grooming will make her that much more adoptable, and much nicer to cuddle in the mean time!
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