Cat Nail Trims and Nail Caps

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By Dr. Stephanie Janeczko, D.V.M., Medical Director for Animal Care & Control of New York City

Trimming your cat’s nails regularly can help to minimize the damage caused by scratching. Your veterinarian can help you trim your cat’s nails or you can learn to trim them at home. To start, give your cat treats and praise for each nail, and know when to call it quits. If you can get only one or two nails done per session, that’s alright — you’ll get further in the long run by working with your cat and not making nail trimming a war.

Cat Nail Trims and Caps

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Another option to consider is Soft Paws®, which are plastic nail coverings that can be glued over the claws. The idea is that these blunt plastic nails will not be sharp enough to cause damage. Usually the staff at your vet’s office will place the first set, but after this many owners are comfortable replacing the Soft Paws® at home. These must be replaced as the nail grows out, usually every four to six weeks or so.

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