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Ask Lyle – How often should I have my claws clipped?

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Hi Lyle!
My name is Luna. My humans think I'm 6ish years old. I was part of a cat colony and was really hungry and went into the carrier with food and the door shut right behind me. At the vet they tipped my ear and made sure I couldn't have babies. I've been living the good life in Southern California for 4 years now. I'm an only cat.

Lyle, here's the thing—I don't like getting my nails clipped. They get too long sometimes and get caught on the carpet, blankets, and some of my toys and I get nervous and run away really fast when they get stuck on these things.

My mom will clip my nails (maybe one or two at a time) when I'm waking up from a nap. She gives me treats and says nice words after I let her clip them. My question is "how often should I get my nails clipped?" She doesn't cut deep so I don't bleed. I have lots of scratchers here and I'm a big fan of cardboard.

Thanks For Reading Lyle,

Luna Casallas-Duffer

Dear Lithe Luna,

Thanks for writing in! Your question is a great one, and I am so glad you asked. It sounds like your mom is already doing a good job of helping you maintain your nails, and having her do them when you are partially asleep is a great idea for anyone who is new to clipping. The best advice I can give with nail clipping is patience, patience, patience! Some cats may never love having their paws handled (they are an extremely sensitive part of our body, after all), but with the right approach, nail trimming doesn't have to be traumatic. Again, it sounds like your mom is doing great at rewarding your patience with treats, hugs, and encouraging words. If anyone needs a good how-to guide to clipping, check out this one from the ASPCA.

You asked about how often we should have our nails clipped—most vets recommend clipping claws at least once every three weeks. It can also depend on the type of cat you are and what kinds of things you do with your claws (different cats' claws grow at different rates and different thicknesses). Take me, for example! I am a super active guy who loves to play with toys (and my mom's face while she is sleeping – it is so fun!). I also tussle with my brother a lot, and so my momma makes sure to clip my nails about every other week (and I don't mind it, so it is NBD). My brother, on the other hand, is a much more timid guy who doesn't go tearing across guests' laps, so she is a little less vigilant with his trimming.

As I say, it sounds like your mom is doing a great job with you, and I love to hear about cats who are well taken care of.

Best of luck, Luna!


If your cat has a question for Lyle. just write him at asklyle(at), and he will be happy to answer them. Don't forget to include a photo of the cat who needs advice so that we can post it with his response! Follow all of Lyle's adventures on Instagram, @Lylestagram 

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