cat getting claw cut

Is it Cruel to Trim a Cat’s Claws?

If you have a cat, you might have wondered if it’s okay to trim your cat’s claws, or if it’s cruel to your cat. The short answer is: yes, it’s okay to trim your cat’s claws and not at all cruel, if you do it right!

Cat’s claws are an important part of their anatomy. It is the human equivalent of our knuckles that help them with their daily cat activities, such as climbing, keeping balance, self-grooming, self-defense, and the likes. It is very common for cats to damage furniture or hurt their owners using their sharp claws due to their nature.

Is It Ok To Cut A Cat’s Claws?

Depends what you define as “cut”. Unfortunately, some owners feel like their pet’s well-being is inferior to anything else, hence they resort to declawing.

Completely removing them from the root, called declawing, is mutilation in its most basic sense, and outright cruel and 100% harmful to the cat’s general well-being. It is illegal and banned in some states in the US and in the majority of countries in Europe.

However, if you feel like your cat might benefit from duller claws and you JUST ordered a new sofa set, then trimming is possibly your best humane alternative!

In this article, we take a look at the benefits of trimming your cat’s claws. Read until the end for some tips on how to safely do it as well!

Benefits of Trimming Your Cat’s Claws

Generally, it is not 100% necessary to trim your cat’s claws, but it really depends on your cat. Indoor cats, especially if they are not big fans of scratching posts, tend to need more frequent trimmings than outdoor cats. All the same, there are some benefits in trimming than you might realise, which also proves that trimming isn’t at all cruel.

Claw Curling Can Be Avoided

If your cat’s claws grow significantly fast, and they are not big fans of scratching posts or your expensive furniture, they might benefit really well from frequent trimmings. Claws that are left to keep growing curl into the paw pads and cause pain. If they’re already caused wounds and look like they are beyond repair, then your cat might need to get treatments and surgery, which can be very expensive.

It is very easy to prevent this by scheduling somewhere between a monthly to a bi-monthly trimming session. However, it is still best to get an opinion from your vet!

Alleviate Discomfort

As mentioned in the previous point, trimming not only can prevent expensive treatments and surgeries, but can also easily and cheaply alleviate your cat’s discomfort if they’re having any.

Imagine you have really long nails. Would you be able to perform your regular daily activities as normal? Would you be able to feed yourself, go to work or school, use your phone, etc. while having ridiculously long nails that are also causing you pain and discomfort?

At the end of the day, we are not very far off from cats, and if we need a little bit of (self) care every now and then to ensure we are happy, healthy, and comfortable, then cats do too!

Keeps the Claws Healthy

Overly long claws can make it hard for cats to move, and one wrong movement could cause breakage in the claw that might even cause wounds and pains that may require treatment.

Trimmed claws would just have the perfect length and strength to keep your cats out and about without harming them.

The best thing about frequently trimming your cat’s claws is you are able to constantly monitor the health and status of their claws and overall well-being.

Some owners who don’t find the need to trim their cat’s claws end up being surprised that their pet has long been suffering from a claw injury.

Since the claws are retracted in the cat’s paws on a regular basis, it can be very hard to notice something is wrong until it’s too late!

Keeps Family and Other Pets Safe

Cats naturally will claw at anything when they are being aggressive or playful, but don’t take it personally!

Most of the time, when they claw at you, a family member, or another pet, they are just in a playful mood and might not even mean to cause harm, even when they do.

So the best solution is a frequent trim to ensure they are rid of the sharp tips that cause the most pain. If done right, there will be less injuries in the house and more playtime!

Helps Protect Cat From Snagging

Think of all the items a cat loves to scratch. Letting your cats nails grow out can increase the likelihood of snagging their nails on a carpet or other surfaces.

As a cats nail naturally curls, its easy for a cat with long nails to increase their chances of getting their nails caught in something soft.

Not only may it cause a little discomfort to cat, but could potentially cause them injury when they try to unsnag their nails.

How to Safely Trim Your Cat’s Claws

If this is your first time trimming your cat’s claws, you have to be extra careful not to trim the claws too short and hurt them in any way.

The whole point of choosing trimming over declawing is ensuring that your cat is as comfortable as possible with zero pains. You might have an even more challenging time if you have an adult cat who has never had a trim before, but hopefully you manage!

Here are the basic steps you need to take to safely trim your cat’s claws.

  1. Make sure your cat is calm and comfortable. If they like to cuddle, or get some treats or pets, give it to them until they are at their calmest. Do not attempt to trim your cat’s nails if they are in alert or defensive mode. You’ll know!
  2. Place your cat either on your lap or on a comfortable surface. This could be their favorite bed or spot in the house. Make sure they are reassured that they are safe and nothing in their immediate environment can harm them.
  3. Press gently on their paw pads to reveal their claws. Keep an eye on your cat’s response when you do this.
  4. Inspect the claws. Identify where the quick is, or the fleshy part of the claw. You must not, under any circumstances, trim all the way down to this bit. This is basically their nail beds and it WILL hurt them if you trim them.
  5. Start trimming gently. If your cat shows any signs of stress or discomfort, leave the rest of the trimming for another time. You can trim one claw or two a day until they get used to it, and make sure to give treats after every successful trim!