Holistic veterinarian Cheryl Cross, D.V.M., of Knoxville, Tenn., offers these claw-clipping tips:
1. Have some of your kitty’s favorite treats handy, and rest him or her comfortably on your lap or on a table.
2. Hold a paw in one hand and gently press a toe pad to extend the claw. Some cats are uncomfortable having their feet handled, so you might need to build trust doing just this step before any clipping.
3. When the claw is extended, you’ll see the pink tissue (the quick) on the inside of the claw. Beyond the quick is the more transparent nail that you’ll be trimming (use trimming scissors for cat nails or regular human nail clippers). The quick contains blood vessels and nerves, so cutting into it can cause mild pain and bleeding.
4. To remove the sharp tip below the quick (away from the toe), trim about halfway between the end of the quick and the tip of claw. (Cut conservatively until you get the hang of it.) If you clip the quick, dab cornstarch on the nail tip.