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Kitty won't let me pick up to clip nails...

December 4th, 2003, 04:54 PM
We have had a cat for a year now- she's about 2 2/1 years old. She came pretty traumitized from her old home and has never let us pick her up- or even be able to come near it. She is very loving but doesn't jump up on things or let you reach under her belly. The thing is, her nails are too long and need to be trimmed- she's sticking in the carpet! We have accomplished this once before - I lured her onto the hardwood for some petting and swooped her up .... I have tried this since and she now avoids the hardwood floors and won't let us come near her when she's on it! She only eats one kind of food and is not interested in any kind of treats so we can't bribe her.... I don't know what to do anymore!!! Any suggestions would be helpful.

Thanks in advance!
ps- I have lived with cats all my life and have never had reason or desire to pick one up by the neck. I can't imagine this would be appropriate to do to an adult cat but she's Really Small for an adult... is this an option?

Lucky Rescue
December 4th, 2003, 05:08 PM
For now, I would take her to the vet for nail trimming.

To get her over her fear, I would confine her to a small room with all her stuff and go in and let her get used to you slowly. Wait til she is hungry, then take her food in and gently stroke her all over while she eats.

You might try putting her meal into two dishes, and while she is eating out of one, slip your hands under her body, lift her one inch off the floor, then immediately put her in front of the other one.

Get some cat toys and play with her - cats cannot be frightened while playing.

You will have to be very patient and very gentle and take this one tiny step at a time. Otherwise, you risk making her fear you even more.

I have been able to tame adult feral cats with this method. Your cat is acting similar to a feral cat, so here is some more advice.

Scroll down to the "Fearful Cat". You might want to try Rescue Remedy too!
Good luck!
Fearful Cats (

December 4th, 2003, 07:50 PM
I'm serious, this kitty doesn't even play with toys (only plastic bottle caps- she's a cheap date :). I can't even pick her up to get her to the vet, or to get a hold of her while someone cuts her nails at our home.

She also doesn't like to be "shooed" into other rooms and only explores at night- we were rearranging some furniture last week and she just run around frantically instead of taking the easier option of running downstairs or into any of the other numerous open doors that were upstairs - like our bedroom or bathroom... kitchen.... she's strange! So, for now, getting her into another room is just another thing that freaks her out.

Let alone lifting her while eating.... I'll try it but am not holding out. I have no doubt of her ability but we're at the end of our rope and will try anything!

Have tried rescue remedy as well, thanks for that tip.

I'll let you know!


December 7th, 2003, 06:08 PM
try clipping her nails when she's eating. lift her paws off the floor about an inch, enough to get the job done, and don't spread her "fingers" too far apart when u'r clipping, she'll be even more aware of that...

do u pet her? does she climb up on your lap? there's another perfect opportunity... try and have someone help you out.

patience is key. :)