When claw clipping is a challenge

Clip my claws? No way!

Clip my claws? No way!

Mollie is 4 years old. A chunky, muscular little girl. She’s well behaved, uses her litter box faithfully, and makes liberal use of her scratchers.

Therein lies the rub.

We all know that cats scratch as a type of feline manicure. The act of scratching removes the outer sheath of claw, resulting in a perfectly honed instrument of terror.

She was probably about 8 weeks old when we make her acquaintance in the shelter. Just in the course of figuring out her temperament, I attempted clipping her claws. Even at that young age, her hate of the procedure was quickly apparent. I didn’t push it, not wanting to damage the budding relationship.

Suffice to say, it never got any easier.

Our other cats have usually complied – plunk them on the counter, tuck the butt end into my left armpit, snip, praise and treat. Not so with Mollie.

The raw diet she quickly embraced quickly added strength and muscle. The attempts to clip her claws turned into a huge struggle between her teeth and claws and my body parts.

I tried getting her used to having her paws touched by gently squeezing them and stroking them. She wanted no part of that.

Her daddy helped a few times cloaked in an old jacket and heavy gloves, but that only added to the trauma and he didn’t want to go on record as being the bad guy.

I found the Klaw Control restraint bag. I couldn’t even get her into it. I understand why Jackson Galaxy reacted with an incredulous look. It came complete with a mask, that yes, reminded one of Hannibal Lechter. Rate that as Epic Fail.

Next I tried pinning her between me and the sofa, which worked briefly, one session, maybe two, with only a gouge or two to my midriff.

Whatever technique I adopted, accompanied by praise and treats, Mollie quickly caught on for the next time.

At her check-up a few months ago, I asked the veterinarian to clip her claws and held my breath. But she was perfectly calm. Even when the back claws were done

That girl knows how to ring her mama’s chimes.

So I tried again. She drew blood even before I was able to position her.

I called the vet’s office and made an appointment. I hate spending time and money for something that should take five minutes.

Indeed, 1 ½ hours (leaving work, scooping her up, driving to the vet’s, waiting, 5 minutes for the clipping, and the return trip) and $21 later, front and back daggers were blunted.

I tried to tell her it didn’t have to be that way, that she didn’t have to be stuffed in a carrier and listen to the Jack Russell terrier yapping until our ears rung.

It remains to be seen if she’ll get the message. I’m not betting on it.


About ExclusivelyCats
Sally Bahner is an expert in all aspects of cat care: Writer, consultant, speaker, instructor.

5 Responses to When claw clipping is a challenge

  1. Paul leahy says:

    Your cat is the spitting image of our cat mogwai. Not even the vet could clip his nails. Any time we take him to the vets it’s a nightmare lol. Have a look at my blog that I have created for one of our cats Gary

  2. james says:

    Your cat is really adorable, My cat use to have issues with scratching the litter box. I recently got a automatic litter box, and she really enjoys it, http://www.litter-robot.com

  3. What a beautiful kitten! She looks like such a firecracker! May I ask where you are located? I’m part of a veterinary homecare company, and as a part of our service offer nail trims in your home! no 1 1/2 wait or taking time off work. We are based in LA but are expanding throughout the US. Please feel free to check out our site http://vettedpetcare.com/ If you are in LA we’d love to meet you!

    • I’m in Connecticut. And, yes, Mollie is firecracker when it comes to claw clipping. She had a dental last week and needed Clavamox because of an extraction. Could I medicate her? No way. OTH, Celica Blue gets Prednisolone as part of her lymphoma treatment. Down the hatch. No problem.

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