Our Top 5 Picks
Pet Republique ® Professional Cat Nail Clippers
JW Pet Company GripSoft Cat Nail Clipper
Safari 770045 Professional Nail Trimmer
Cat Nail Clippers Trimmer By Boshel
Simply Cats: Kittynails Nail Clipper
Why You Should Clip Your Cat´s Nails?
Cat´s maintain generally maintain a decent length of their claws/nails by scratching objects around them and chewing off the outer layer of their claws, this is also why you should always provide your cat with plenty of surfaces to excercise their need for scratching such as scratch pads or scratching paws.
Older cats that are more immobile and cats that are not able to scratch on nearby surfaces are suseptile to claw overgrowth, which is when the claw or nail grows into the paw pad. This can cause infections and pain. If your cat has long untrimmed nails they also increase their risk of getting their claws stuck in surfaces like carpets, which may hurt them. Cat´s also have what is known as a a "dewclaw" which grows on the inside of their front leg (see picture below). This claw does not get worn down by scratching and therefore needs to be trimmed by you.
- It helps maintain a good length of nails for older and less active cats
- It prevents infections that can occur because of overgrowth and when the nail grows into the paw pad.
- Your cat does less damage to your furniture if they scratch.
- You lessen the risk of your cat getting their nails stuck in surfaces like carpets and hurting themselves.
Types of Nail Clippers
There are different types of nail clippers that you can use to clip your cat´s nails/claws, but the most common ones are guillotine type clippers, scissor type clippers and human nail clippers. We recommend using scissor type or guillotine type clippers for cutting your cat´s nails. Another thing to consider is the size and design of the clipper. There are clippers with scissor type handles as well as those with plier like handles. This comes down to personal preference for what to choose, but we find that the smaller the clipper, the easier it is to handle and the less obtrusive it is in terms of getting a good view when cutting your cat´s nails.
What Makes a Good Nail Clipper (How did we score our picks)?
These are the criteria which we have have judged the clippers after as we believe that these are the most important factors for whether a clipper is a good choice or not:
- Small size for easier handling and less obstructions or the tool getting in the way.
- A reliable grip that reduces the risk of accidents while trimming the nails.
- Stainless steel to ensure that the blade stays sharp.
- Sharp blade that makes it easy to cut and does not splinter or crack the claw/nail.
- Good value for money
- A safety mechanism to prevent accidental injury to you or your cat.
With its short stainless steel blade and rubber anti-slide rubber grip, this nifty little clipper earns the top spot in our buying guide. We like the overall solid build quality coupled with the small size and easy handling; the value isn´t bad here either as it is competitively priced compared to the rest of the Clippers in this guide.
We especially like that Pet Republique promises to donate 15% of the profits to the American Animal Rescue Society so that you can feel good about helping to rescue cats and dogs while clipping your cat´s nails!
What We Like:
- The small form factor makes it easily to handle and the clippers will not obstruct your view.
- It´s size and reliable grip makes it easy to clip precisely, reducing the chance of accidentally cutting into the quick and hurting your cat.
- When you purchase a product from Pet Republique, they donate 15% of the profits to the American Animal Rescue Society, which helps rescue cats and dogs.
- Good value for your money.
What We Don´t Like:
- A small percentage of customers have complained about the build quality.
#2 JW Pet Company GripSoft Cat Nail Clipper
These small and handy clippers from JW PetCompany, are excellent value and the best for those on a budget. Their low price is not a reflection of their build quality, however, as this product as a good overall build quality and sturdy feel to it. Because of their size, they won´t obstruct your view when cutting your cat´s nails/ claws and their rubber grip increases your control further.
What We Like:
- Very good value for money. The cheapest clippers in our guide.
- Rubber grip that makes these easy to handle and easier to clip your cat´s nails/claws.
- Small size that do not obstruct your view when clipping.
What We Don´t Like
- A small amount of customers find the grip for these too tight.
#3 Safari 770045 Professional Nail Trimmer
The Safari Nail trimmer is the only one in our buying guide with "plier-like" handles, so if you find these types of handles easier to work with, this should be your pick. Solid overall and good build quality get these a spot in the top 3. The safety lock on these is a good feature to ensure that you do not unintentionally cut or clip your cat. We recommend that you get the smallest version they sell for your cat.
What We Like:
- Good Grip with the rubber handles.
- Safety lock to prevent unintentional damage while clipping.
What We Don´t Like
- Some people may find these a bit to large or prefer a different grip.
- Some customers complain about the blades not being sharp enough and shattering the nail/claw.
#4 Cat Nail Clippers Trimmer By Boshel
These neat little clippers have a good solid feel to them, and the angled blade can be helpful in the clipping depending on your preference. The rubber grips help prevent them slipping during clipping. Boshel offers a 30-day hassle free money back guarantee if you are not 100% satisfied. The main drawback on these is the high price compared to the competition, and they are therefore not in the top 3 in this buying guide.
What We Like:
- Overall good build quality
- Angled blade can make it easier to cut the nails/claws
What We Don´t Like
- The most expensive of the clippers we reviewed.
#5 Simply Cats: Kittynails Nail Clipper
The Simply Cats: Kittynails nail clipper was designed by two veterinarians and is specifically designed to cut the nails of cats and other small animals like rabbits and guinea pigs. It´s small form factor and shortened scissor blade makes it easier to make precision cuts and avoid accidentally hurting your cat in the nail clipping process.
What We Like:
- Allegedly designet by 2 veterinarians.
- Small and easy to handle.
What We Don´t Like
- Some customers complain about poor build quality.
- More expensive than some of the other choices.
How To Clip Your Cat´s Nails
Do not expect your cat to like trimming their claws, and do not feel discouraged if you have to cut all of their claws over multiple sessions as your cat may try to get away frequently. If you feel to nervous about cutting your cat´s claw or would like to observe it a few times done by a professional first, consult your veterinarian or a professional groomer to have them show you. We have made a list of steps you should follow to ensure that the clipping process goes as smoothly as possible below:
Step 1: Pick The Right Time
If you want the clipping session to go as smoothly as possible, it is a good idea to start when your cat is either tired or sleepy (after a meal for example).
Step 2: Prepare Equipment
You should have set of clippers ready, styptic powder or a styptic pencil in case of bleeding. Some cats are calmer if they are wrapped in a towel during the session as well. The clipping should be either done on a smooth surface where your cat can´t easily get a grip and get away, or on your lap. What you need is: A pair of clippers, some styptic powder in case of bleeding and a towel to help your cat calm down and sit still.
Step 3: Get Your Cat Ready
If your cat is not used to getting their nails clipped or even their paws handled, it might be a good idea to practice with pushing down on the paw pads to reveal the nails, and get both you and your cat used to this before actually clipping the nails.
Step 4: Expose The Claw(s)
Cats have retractable claws, this means that you are not able to see them right away, but you have to expose them. To expose your cat´s claws, press down on the top of their paw pad, like we show in the picture below. The red area you see is called "the quick" and is a very sensitive area for your cat. You should NOT clip into this area, as this can cause bleeding.
Step 5: Cut The Nail
Cut the nail by positioning the clipper to cut in the area that is about halfway from "the quick" to the tip of the nail, as shown in the video below. If you accidentally cut into "the quick", apply styptic powder or a styptic pencil to stop the bleeding. If you do not have stryptic powder, apply pressure to the area for some time stop the bleeding.
Do not forget the "dewclaw". Cats have a small claw on the inside of their paw (see image below), this claw also needs to be trimmed as it does not get worn down by normal scratching and can grow into the paw pad.
Step 6: Reward Your Cat
After you are done with the session (or you can do this after each nail), reward your cat either with praise or a treat - or both!
Thats it! You have successfully clipped your cat´s nails. Well done!
It is okay if you are not able to cut all your cat nails in one sitting. If your cat is new to getting their nails clipped, you may only be able to clip one or two nails at a time. Take your time, and reward your cat when you are able to clip a nail with praise or a treat.
A Few Words About De-clawing (And Why We Think You Should Never Do It)
There are those that for various reasons have a lot of problems with their cat´s scratching in an unwanted manner. Some of them have a veterinarian perform a de-clawing of their cat to completely remove the claws. This is a brutal and irreversible procedure that is illegal in some states in the US.
The way the claws are removed during a de-clawing procedure is by removing the entire outer most joint of the paw (like cutting of the tip of your finger), in essence amputating part of the paw. If your cat is declawed, your cat is now at a severe disadvantage when it comes to defending itself, therefore, keep a declawed cat exclusively indoors. Please, do not declaw your cat, instead trim their claws naturally and provide them with scratching posts and scratching pads.
If your cat still is scratching in an unwanted manner , talk to your veterinarian or consult a cat behaviorist.
As you can see there is not too much that differentiates our top 5 picks from each other (especially the top 3) and it really comes down to personal preference with any of those three and if you would prefer plier-like handles like the Safari over scissor like handles of the Republique or JW´s Pet Company trimmers. We are confident however, that you will find a clipper you are satisfied with out of these 5 picks and wish you the best of luck in trimming your cat´s claws! If you have any suggestions or questions, please feel free to comment below or contact us by going to the contact page.