I have cats. Therefore, by method of deduction you know I also have shredded furniture and a special corner in the living room dedicated to swearing and weeping. R.I.P. white, French Provincial Bergere chairs. You will be missed.
I’ve owned many cats and never declawed any of them. I’ve come close, but I just can’t bring myself to do it. I don’t judge anyone who has their cats declawed, because I know how utterly infuriating it is to buy a piece of furniture that cost 3 weeks pay only to have a cat look you in the eye as it tears hunks out of it. Repeatedly.
Happy with its handiwork the cat usually strolls away with a wiggle in its walk, tail straight up in the air, presenting you with its anus.
The cat you see in the picture above is Ernie. Our latest cat. I found Ernie on our front porch a few winters ago, curled up on our wicker furniture, covered in a dusting of snow. She was gone by the morning but came back every night. After months of taming, cajoling and calming I finally got that little cat into our house, only to discover she’s a polydactyl. That’d be a cat with an unusual amount of toes. Many toes. A LOT of toes. Which of course means … a lot of claws. Go ahead. Go back to the picture above and take a look at how big her paws are. That cat could take out a pot bellied pig with one swipe.
So I knew for my furniture to have any hope in hell of making it, I had to start trimming her nails immediately. I was a bit worried that as a formerly wild cat she wasn’t going to go down without a fight, but by the time she came to live in the house she was so happy to have a warm place to live and lots of food, she’d pretty much let me do anything to her.
So now every few weeks I wrangle her and my little Siamese, Cleo and trim their claws. And this is how you do it …
Buy some cat claw trimmers at your local pet store.
Holding your cat firmly in your lap, take one of its paws and push down on their knuckle with your thumb. This will make the claw extend out.
Take a good look at the claw. You’ll see a dark portion in the nail. That’s tissue. The quick. And you DON’T want to knick it, so be aware of where it is. If you do cut into the quick it will hurt the cat and bleed a little. It’s not the end of the world, but it’s not nice either.
While still pushing down on their knuckle to extend the claw, line your trimmers up to just before the tip of the vein and clip. You’re just taking the sharp end off the claw.
The younger the cat is when you start doing this the easier it will be.
All of the cats I’ve owned have been fine with trimming their front claws. The odd time their back nails get to be so long and sharp you have to trim them, but not often. These are a tad more difficult to negotiate, but it can be done.
Finally, please observe the pain and suffering I endured to bring you this post.
Admittedly, the scratches are kind of difficult to see in these pictures but that’s because the blood hadn’t truly started to rise yet. They’ve scabbed up nicely now and are quite obvious but I couldn’t be bothered to take more pictures of them. I figured you’d understand.
The scratches weren’t the result of trimming my cat’s claws, but rather the result of trying to take pictures of my cat while trimming her claws. It was a bit of a kaffuffel.
In the end, everything worked out fine. I got the pictures, my cat’s claws were trimmed and my arms have begun to heal nicely. R.I.P. coral coloured Gap tee shirt and my prayers are with you grey Joe Fresh leggings. You will be missed.