Contents of Article
- Trimming your cat’s nails is a worthwhile challenge.
- What is the Best Cat Nail Clipper?
- 4 Types of Nail Clippers
- What makes a great cat nail clipper?
- Top 5 Best Cat Nail Clippers and Trimmers
- Tips for Trimming Your Cat’s Nails
- And finally, what should you do in case of an accident?
Trimming your cat’s nails is a worthwhile challenge.
With enough preparation, training, and the right cat nail trimmer, maintaining your cat’s claws can be a smooth process with multiple benefits that affect both you and your cat.
If allowed to continually grow, your cat’s claws can curl back into the pads of their paws, leading to a painful infection. Long, unmaintained claws often get caught in carpet or other fibrous surfaces. If your cat’s claws get trapped in the carpet, the effort to dislodge the claw could lead to pulling and twisting the paw – a painful and dangerous situation.
Besides these benefits, trimming your cat’s claws has human-centric benefits as well. If your cat regularly scratches furniture and other objects in the home, keeping their claws blunt can prevent further damage.
Sometimes, your furniture isn’t the only thing that needs protection. Whether it’s through blissful kneading or aggressive swipes, your cat’s claws can be painful or dangerous. Regularly trimming your cat’s claws keeps the skin damage to a minimum.
With proper training, a thoughtful approach, and a high-quality nail clipper for cats, maintaining your cat’s claws can be a positive experience. Choosing the right tools is a critical part of the process. Sharp, well-designed trimmers help you to trim your cat’s claws quickly, easily, and effectively, while poorly-made clippers only contribute to any anxiety that you or your cat may have. There are a variety of styles, brands, and designs available, so it’s important to do your research and make a choice that’s right for your cat.
By outlining the various types of cat nail clippers, describing the qualities that separate great clippers from the rest, and listing our picks for the top 5 best nail clippers available today, we’ve broken down the research process to make finding the right tool simple.
What is the Best Cat Nail Clipper?
4 Types of Nail Clippers
1. Scissor Style
In design, they’re just like a regular pair of scissors, but feature a notch that holds the claw steady while you snip. These scissors have very short jaws with rounded tips to keep your cat safe. The low-profile design makes it easy to safely trim the right part of your cat’s nail, keeping accidents to a minimum and making them perfect for beginners. A high-quality scissor-style clipper is easy to use and cuts through your cat’s claws effortlessly. This is an almost universally approved style that’s a good starting place for those just getting into trimming their cat’s nails. A major complaint about scissor-style clippers, however, is the size of the handles – they’re often too small for larger hands.
2. Pliers Style
These clippers are designed similarly to a pair of pliers, with long, comfortable handles. They’re strong, comfortable to hold, and easy to use. Perfect for cats with thick, heavy nails, these are a popular choice among beginners and experienced groomers alike.
3. Guillotine Style
These clippers feature a loop through which your cat’s claw passes, and a blade that enters the loop and cuts off the desired portion of the nail in a guillotine-like fashion. Guillotine-style clippers cut quickly and make it easy to control the angle of the cut, but come with a few drawbacks. First of all, the blades tend to wear out quickly and must be replaced regularly. If you cut your cat’s claws with a dull guillotine-style clipper, it could break your cat’s nail rather than cut through it. A second concern is that these clippers make it a little bit more difficult to see where the quick of the nail begins. While some experienced users prefer this style, they’re just too risky to recommend on our list of the top five best cat nail clippers.
4. Electric Grinder
These tools allow you to quickly and very easily maintain your cat’s nails. Grinders create smooth edges that won’t need to be filed down later. Despite being easy to use, these trimmers are typically too noisy for cats and will usually scare them away.
What makes a great cat nail clipper?
Sharp, Durable Blades
The quality of your nail clipping experience hinges on the quality of the blades. Without sharp blades, precision and efficiency suffer, while the risk of breaking your cat’s claws increases. Look for clippers with durable stainless steel blades.
Easy to Use
It’s important that the clippers are easy for you to hold and operate. We’re looking for a design that fits well in the hand, is not too heavy, and features a comfortable non-slip grip. Some clippers feature handles that are either too big or too small for some hands, which leads to a less comfortable and effective clipping experience.
A design with locking blades helps to prevent accidents when the clipper is not in use. We’re also looking for clippers with a design that encourages accuracy, making it easy to avoid cutting your cat’s skin or hitting the quick while trimming. Some clippers incorporate guides to ensure against accidents, while others simply make it easy to see your cat’s claw during the trimming process.
Top 5 Best Cat Nail Clippers and Trimmers
Bearing in mind everything that we’ve discussed up to this point, here’s our list of the top five best nail clippers and trimmers available today. All of these tools are well-made and well-loved by customers and cats. They have a reputation for durability, effectiveness, and comfort.
Safari Professional Nail Trimmer Review
A well-loved and reliable design
This nail trimmer is a customer favorite for its dependable, effective, and highly user-friendly design. With its ergonomically designed non-slip handles, the Safari professional nail trimmer makes trimming your cat’s nails comfortable and simple. It’s a durable, high-quality tool made with sharp stainless steel blades that will reliably cut through nails for a long time. With its easy-to-use design and safety stop, this is a great choice for beginners and experienced users alike. – Buy It
- Has a safety guard to help prevent accidents
- Great design makes trimming your cat’s nails simple
- Sharp, durable stainless steel blades
- Locking blade prevents accidents when not in use
- May be a little bit too bulky for some cats, especially kittens
Boshel Cat Nail Clippers Review
Unique angled blade makes safe, accurate trimming simple
These scissor-style nail clippers are recommended by professionals and feature a unique angled semi-circular blade that makes it easy to see the cat’s nails, making it easier to safely trim without cutting into the sensitive quick. It has a non-slip grip for comfort and accuracy. The blade is made from stainless steel that’s sharp and durable for years of easy trimming. – Buy It
- Features a unique angled blade design that makes clipping easier and safer
- Non-slip rubber grip improves comfort and accuracy
- Sharp and durable stainless steel blades
- The handles may be a little bit too small for larger hands
Pro Pet Works Nail Clippers Review
An excellent choice for beginners
With a combination of comfort, ease of use, effectiveness, and durability, this clipper is a great choice for beginners. It features an extra-comfortable non-slip grip that makes it easy to handle the tool. The blade is sharp, durable, and made from stainless steel. It features a safety stop guard to discourage cutting into the quick and comes with clear, detailed instructions to help make your nail trimming session a success. Each of these clippers comes with a nail file for final smoothing – this can help your cat to avoid snags. – Buy It
- Sharp stainless steel blade
- Features a safety guard
- Non-slip grip for comfort and accuracy
- Includes a nail file for finishing
- Includes detailed instructions for trimming
- Ultimately designed for dogs and may be too bulky
Pet Republique Professional Nail Clippers Review
Great for those who enjoy scissor-style clippers
Pet Republique professional nail clippers are ideal for those who prefer basic scissor-style nail clippers. The stainless steel blades lock for safety when not in use and feature a safety guard to discourage cutting into the quick. While the handle loops may be too small for larger hands, they are ergonomically designed and feature no-slip grips for comfort and accuracy. These clippers are a simple, straightforward nail trimming solution. – Buy It
- Sharp and durable stainless steel blades
- Comfortable non-slip grip
- High-quality design is made to last for years
- 15% of all Pet Republique profits are donated to the American Animal Rescue Society
- Features a safety guard and locking blades
- Handles are too small for larger hands
Millers Forge Nail Clipper With Safety Stop Review
A strong pliers-style clipper for quick cutting
This nail clipper makes trimming quick and easy with a spring-loaded cutting mechanism and sharp stainless steel blades. The rubber grips are easy to hold and handle, encouraging accurate, comfortable clipping. The safety stop discourages accidentally cutting into the quick and the lock holds the blades in place when not in use. – Buy It
- Cuts through nails quickly and effectively
- Comfortable plastic grip
- Features a safety guard and locking blades
- Durable, long-lasting stainless steel blades
- The safety guard tends to slip out of place
- The handle grips may slip
Tips for Trimming Your Cat’s Nails
Once you’ve found a great nail clipper, it’s time to face the challenge of trimming your cat’s claws. Here are some tips that will help make maintaining your cat’s nails simple.
1. The first step is to train your cat to become comfortable with the process.
It’s recommended that you trim your cat’s nails every 10-14 days. This regular part of your cat’s maintenance regimen will go much more smoothly if you help your cat to understand that trimming time doesn’t have to be a struggle. Some recommend wrapping anxious cats in a towel or blanket to restrain them, but a better approach is to help your cat establish a positive relationship with nail trimming.
2. Many cats are super-sensitive about their paws.
If your cat is one of those who doesn’t like to have their paws touched at all, the first stage of training is to slowly teach your cat that having their paws touched isn’t that bad. Instead of grabbing your cat’s paws and trying to clip right away, gradually introduce your cat to having their paws touched. During calm, happy moments, gently pet your cat’s paws until they appear frustrated, then back off, offer a reward, and try again later. As your cat becomes more comfortable with having their paws touched, gently hold and squeeze the paws to expose their retractable claws – just the way that you would during a clipping session.
This process could take about a week or longer – it’s worth it for a calm, happy cat during nail trimming sessions.
3. Introduce the clipper
Before diving into clipping your cat’s claws, allow them to become comfortable with its presence. Open and close the blades, snip a piece of dry spaghetti, or run the grinder so that they become accustomed to the noise. Let your cat sniff and touch the trimmer on their own. Once your cat is comfortable with this new tool, it’s time to put it to use.
4. Safely trim off the pointed ends of your cat’s nails.
With one hand, gently expose your cat’s claw. Most cats have translucent nails – you’ll see the white part of the claw that has grown beyond the blood supply and a pink area that runs through the center of the nail, starting at the base and reaching about halfway to the tip. That pink area is called the quick. It’s filled with blood vessels and nerves, so you should never cut into it – that’s painful for your cat and will cause bleeding. Using your free hand, trim off the pointed end of the nail at approximately a 45° angle.
If your cat gets frustrated, take a break and try again later when they feel more relaxed. You’ll want to trim all of your cat’s front claws, including dewclaws and possibly the ones in the back – although these are usually fairly short and dull already.
Once the nail trimming session is complete, give your cat a reward for their patience – this will help to establish positive associations with the trimming process and can make your next session even easier.
Here’s a very informative video on the best way to trim your cat’s claws:
And finally, what should you do in case of an accident?
Keep styptic powder on hand in case you accidentally cut into the quick and your cat starts bleeding. Use the powder to stop the bleeding, apologize to your cat, and end the nail trimming session immediately. Try again later at a calm, pleasant moment.