People get manicures and pedicures and pets with paws get pawdicures. The words come from Latin – Cure means attention or care. Man and Ped are the Latin root words for hand and foot. Manicures, pedicures and pawdicures are terms for care given to hands, feet and paws. Pawdicures are becoming quite popular as a way of pampering pets especially dogs. For cats it is more challenging since most cats do not like having their paws touched.
Why do cats need paw care? One of the reasons why cats scratch is to remove or shed older layers of their nails. Indoor-only cats especially need help with this. Regular nail trimming helps remove the outer layers and prevents ingrown nails and infection. Also, when nails are too long they curl under and grow back into the paw pads which is extremely painful.
Here are a few tips that I found helpful. Start slowly – it is important to spend time getting them comfortable with paw touch. This may take a few weeks. When your cat is comfortable with touch you can examine its claws. Cats have retractable claws so use gentle pressure to get it to extend its claw. Notice the darker pinkish area; do not cut clip close to this area. This is the quick and contains nerves and blood vessels. If your cat is still comfortable you can move ahead with the next step. Cradle your cat with its head facing away from your body. Gently put pressure on the paw until the claw is extended; carefully clip the nail. Hold the cat nail clipper so you’re cutting from top to bottom. If your cat becomes uncooperative just stop. Do one or two nails at a time until they become accustomed to it. Usually clipping their nails every few weeks is enough to keep their nails healthy.