Pets.ca - Pet forum for dogs cats and humans 

-->

Clipping Feral Nails!

catsnatcher-CDN
February 10th, 2006, 09:00 AM
Yes, that's right.... How do you do it?

The last feral I succesfully re-homed was 1.5 year old Sheba who was born in the alley and turned out to be the friendliest purring machine once she got in doors.

My dad, who forcibly adopted her and who is now smitten by this love machine, is complaining that every morning she is kneeding her paws into his chest and piercing him with her 10 little weapons of mass destruction.

I tried to clip them by petting her, giving her treats and making her forget i had a nail clipper and it took over an hour to get 2 nails. In fact, the second one almost didn't happen when for the first time since her rescue, she hissed at me...

My dad nor I want to be the one to upset her since she has bonded with us easily and we don't want to her to resort to feral ways. We are considering a groomer but being a feral cat, I don't know...

So...any ideas? Remember, beyond that angel face, she is a feral cat

chico2
February 10th, 2006, 09:04 AM
I believe many cats turn:"feral"once the nail-clippers come out:D
Usually I hold and cuddle the cat,while my husband does the trimming,in my house,definetly a 2-person job.
Vinnie and Chico usually suffer through it under protest,Rocky has to be clipped by the vet,or we do one nail a day:D
Sheba is beautiful...one lucky kitty! She is not one of your outdoor kitties,right?

catsnatcher-CDN
February 10th, 2006, 09:11 AM
Thanks fo the suggestion Chico2,

I tried the two person thing...doesn't work. She loses her mind like a feral stuck in a cage.

And yes, she was one of the outside cats. She is Thelma and Louise's sister. However, Thelma and Louise are not adoptable and no where as friendly as her.

StinkyT
February 10th, 2006, 10:16 AM
You can ask the vet or groomer for suggestions on how to get them done. I had a vet get me to try holding our cat's scruff (support it's bottom!) and gently bounce. This reminds them of being carried by momma cat so they'll relax a little. Get another person to bounce with you while he/she clips the nails (it's just easier that way). Don't try for more than 1 or 2 at a time, cats usually run out of patience much sooner than you do and if you use this technique for too long it won't work anymore.

One of my cats I can smoosh between my thighs while I'm sitting and clip the nails. She struggles and actually says "OWWwww!" The other is a two person job. Remember to give your cat treats right after and praise her lots.

Prin
February 10th, 2006, 11:54 AM
Maybe a cat muzzle? It's just material that covers the eyes and velcros behind the head... Some calm down when they can't see.

Lucky Rescue
February 10th, 2006, 12:05 PM
Cats have a unique hatred of being restrained and even really tame and trusting cats don't like it. The more you try and hold her down, the more she will resist with all her might.

I tried to clip them by petting her, giving her treats and making her forget i had a nail clipper and it took over an hour to get 2 nails

Do not keep at her for an hour. 10 minutes is the longest I would try. I clip my ex-feral cat's nails when he is sleepy and/or lying on my lap, with petting between each nail. IF he objects, I stop. I want no unpleasantness associated with this.

You need to get used to having her feel handled and touched with NO clipping first. You touch her paw, she gets something really yummy - tuna or salmon if she loves it. This is a very gradual process, but really the only way to do it without totally traumatizing a feral cat and making her regress and not trust at all.

catsnatcher-CDN
February 10th, 2006, 12:13 PM
Thanks Lucky,

I didn't restrain her for an hour. I pet her, played with her, caressed her paw until I can sneak in and clip just the tip, without any type of restraint at all. It worked the first time; the second almost didn't and then I couldn't trick her without hurting her by accident so I had to give up.

All my other cats are ex-ferals and rescues and though some object, none as bad as her. So maybe the muzzle at a groomers that Prin has suggested.

Does anyone know of an EXCELLENT cat groomer?

Chico2,

I've never NOT been able to coax a cat to clip his/her nails. But Sheba resists more than I've ever seen. I don't want her tramautized at a bad groomer's place either.

Lucky Rescue
February 10th, 2006, 12:24 PM
Any vet will clip her nails, but unless you're planning to take her every few weeks - which would be extremely stressful for her - you need to be able to do it at home.

I pet her, played with her, caressed her paw until I can sneak in and clip just the tip, without any type of restraint at all. It worked the first time; the second almost didn't and then I couldn't trick her without hurting her by accident so I had to give up.

You got one nail done - that's good!. Try again another day. I got my feral cat used to it as I described - very gradually by touching his paws while he was lying on me, then squeezing out each nail and immediately releasing it so he got used to it and saw no harm came to him. This takes time, but it made it quite easy when I finally got the clipper out!:)

catsnatcher-CDN
February 10th, 2006, 12:42 PM
You got one nail done - that's good!.

:D:D :D
LMAO That's so discouraging...you don't even know!!!!!! I've got 9 MORE! :p

You're right about stressing her at the vet. I don't want to do that. I've seen vets with Feral cats and I'm not impressed. The only vet I know who was able to handle a feral cat went on maternity leave!

I've actually been trying get my dog MAX used to getting his nails manipulated by touching a nail and releasing them. I've been doing this for 2 years now and he has finally let me touch his nails with a metal nail clipper without actually cutting them. I still can't get further than that though.

I'll try the same with Sheba... Gawd, I hope it's not more than 2 years before I get to nails #3!!! :thumbs up

poodletalk
February 10th, 2006, 12:48 PM
Susieqt and Boubou who uses PETS.CA are excellent cat and dog groomers. Maybe they can give you suggestions. If you like, I can always PM you their salon number.

catsnatcher-CDN
February 10th, 2006, 12:58 PM
yes, please poodletalk...see my new thread in the general forum about cat/dog groomers.