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What To Do If You Overcut Your Cat’s Nails

 by danielle on 23 Aug 2014 |
1 Comment(s)
Clipping a cat’s nails is no easy task. Keeping a struggling cat still while trying to get the clippers around the right nail and making sure not to take off too much is challenging to say the least. Inevitably, accidents sometimes happen. 
If you cut the quick of a cat’s nail they won’t be happy. The quick contains highly sensitive blood vessels and nerve endings, similar to the pink part of a human fingernail. Bleeding, pain – and possibly a scratch for you – will result from accidently trimming the nail too far.  
Try to keep a hold of your cat if you do interfere with the quick. Squeeze the tip of the claw to reduce the flow of blood, being careful to not to apply pressure to the entire paw which will have the opposite effect and increase blood flow.
It is advisable to keep styptic powder or a styptic pencil in your grooming kit as this can be used to quickly contract the blood vessels of an open wound. If you do not have access to styptic products, rubbing the nail with cornstarch or over a dry bar of soap can also help.
Whilst painful, an overcut nail is not a serious injury and should heal relatively quickly. However, your cat’s suspicions of the nail-cutting process are likely to be longer lasting. It may take time and effort to convince them they are unlikely to suffer further pain when they see you coming towards them with the clippers.
To reassure them, we recommend regularly massaging your cat’s paws when they are relaxed and giving them a treat to create positive associations before attempting another clipping session again. 



angela - Comment
angela17 Jul 2018Reply
Today was the first time since I've owned my cat (8 years) that I have cut her nail too short and made her yelp and bleed. I sobbed after for about 30 minutes. Thank you for this advice. She is a sweet girl and she seemed to forgive me pretty quickly, (headbutts) however...I had a hard time forgiving myself. Thanks for the article. I worry about her being in pain now every time she has to use that paw, to scratch the litter or walk, etc. So awful. Glad to know it should heal quickly.

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