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Trimming Claws

SavannahLuv

Site Supporter
#1
Has anyone had luck with their Savannahs being horrible/hating their claws being trimmed, but getting better with age? Or if they hate it do they pretty much always hate it?

I've played with Shango's paws & extracted his claws since I 1st got him. He's fine with that most of the time, but the second I try to cut a nail or he sees the clippers he turns into a devil cat and starts trying to bite me or swat at me. Since there's no way to trim while he's awake, I've even tried when he's sleeping. After 1 nail being cut, he's wide awake and nips at me if I try to cut anymore. I've tried giving him treats and praising him after cutting to get him to like it, but that doesn't work either. I've purchased several different clippers (from baby human nail clippers to different types for cats) to see if he happened to like any better than the other, but he pretty much hates them all equally. I'm very careful when trimming to only trim the tips and never get the quick... I'm pretty sure if I ever get the quick and cause him pain, then nail trimming really will be a nightmare to get done. I've never tried the binder clip trick because scruffing doesn't affect him.

Slowing trying to keep them trimmed on my own takes almost 2 weeks and by the time I'm done, it's pretty much time to start all over again. Usually I just have my sister come over and she holds him down while I cut so it's done in just a couple of minutes.

I keep hoping he'll learn that if he just tolerates it, the trimming will be over in minutes and he can get rewarded. If anything, he's only getting worse with age because he's getting bigger and is harder to hold down/restrain while cutting his nails. It's not as easy as it might seem to hold down a 17 lb cat that is trying desperately to get away.

He's going to be 1 year old later this month so I'm beginning to lose hope that he will ever cooperate so I can trim on my own. Any suggestions to get him to cooperate or have others had the same experience with their kittens hating their nails being trimmed, but learning to cooperate as they got older? If not, I've accepted the fact that he will just have to be held down or I'll just slowly have to trim them 1 at a time by myself... de-clawing isn't an option.
 

WitchyWoman

Admin
Staff member
#2
Of my 4, the F6 knows it'll be over quicker if he doesn't struggle. One F2 and the F1 fight the trimming and try to chew the clipper. The other F2 is simply impossible. I get to trim one claw a week on him if I'm lucky. Two of them don't really need trimming because they do a good job of taking care of their nails. The F6 and one F2 get a bit clickety every now and then and that's when I trim.

I've found no correlation with my cats between claw trimming and the lack of urge to scratch furniture. Even though they have plenty of scratching posts and a variety of cat trees, 2 of them still sharpen their claws on furniture and it doesn't matter whether I clip them or not.
 

SavannahLuv

Site Supporter
#3
Luckily Shango is pretty good about leaving furniture alone as long as he has something else to scratch instead. His nails just get rather long and he accidentally scratches me sometimes when jumping up on my lap or when playing. I usually just play with wand toys only when his nails get that long until I'm able to get them trimmed again. The bed spread and sheets also get damaged easily when his nails are longer, but that's also why I don't have expensive bedding anymore so it's not a big deal.

Luckily his back ones aren't bad, just the front ones that ideally need to be trimmed about once a month or every 45 days. He was getting pretty nasty today so we only got 3 more trimmed. I think I have 2 left and he'll be good again for a while. Next time, I might just cheat and take him to the vet office so they can deal with him.

Would putting sandpaper on his cat wheel work? I could keep a close eye when his nails start getting worn down and remove it... just not sure if it would actually file down his nails or end up making his paw pads sore.
 

WitchyWoman

Admin
Staff member
#4
The Thunder Shirt or other calming shirt might help. Some people use a binder clip on the cat's nape or clothespins which mimic a momma cat carrying a kitten to get the cat to stay still for trimming.
 

Diane

Savannah Super Cat
#5
I brought my new F2B male kitten a few days ago for his purchase exam and I wanted the vet to trim his nails....I could tell she was very nervous about savannahs. She was very hesitant about it and made a funny face,:p so I had my husband help me when we got home and we did pretty good, so far. Just to listen to his heart she had to call in the tech to help her, like he was some wild animal, and the tech had a big towel to wrap him up in and started too scruff him on back of the neck and was scaring him...he was not even showing any kind of aggression.:( And I told them to stop! Only 11 weeks old too.... I held him and he was fine.....The vet I usually see there was in surgery and she is fine with savannahs...she was good with Newton my F3. I did read of a procedure that just removes the claw only on a breeders website, like if you would only remove a fingernail, and sometimes with that I read, the claw will grow back and have to have it done again......if I decide to declaw, that's the ONLY way I would go. So far, he is good with clipping.
 

Rafiki

Site Supporter
#6
Rafiki has gotten to like having her nails short. At the 3 week mark, she is constantly chewing on them. I cant honestly say that she likes having them trimmed but she does put up with it. I have to watch for signs indicating that she has had enough but I can usually do them by myself in about 3-4 minutes. One time I got the quick and she bled. I was shocked that she did not cry out or make a fuss. I, on the other hand, was a mess! LOL

Jammu (Pixie bob) takes 2 people. The hubby holds him while I do the clipping. The hubby is also the one to take any attempts at biting. Jammu's claws are huge and thick and dark. The dew claws and the claw on the extra digit are particularly thick and tough and it is very difficult to see where the blood vessels are. Since these don't retract, I need to make sure that I keep them at a certain length so he does not get them caught on anything. We usually take a break between paws and give him lots of kisses and cuddles.
 

Patti

Admin
Staff member
#7
When you say that scruffing him is ineffective, do you lift him off the ground when you scruff? In order for scruffing to be effective he needs at least his front paws to be pulled off the ground, and ideally all four paws suspended off the ground for trimming.
 

MM3

Site Supporter
#8
I have always since day I when she was weeks old had the clipper in sight. She's always been really good about trimming. She is vocal while it is happening but truly a lady durning the cutting. What ever method you have in mind stay with it. It takes time and patience. The trust will happen if your consistent and persistent.
 

Jim & Baghira

Savannah Super Cat
#9
Wow I guess I got lucky with Baghira :eek: I started clipping his claws when I got him. The first few times I did it he tried a few times to get away, but I didn´t let him. He gave up and never had a problem since. Now I think he takes it as though I´m grooming him. He lets me take one of his paws then he spreads his toes and pushes his claws out lol. Takes me about 15-30 seconds to trim all of them tri big grin:.
 

cbain

Site Supporter
#10
I must be lucky to have a friend who is a Vet and trims our cats claws, she and her Vet Techs use binder clips to scruff and it only takes a couple of minutes and charges $8. sometimes nothing, during flea and mosquitoes season her Techs carry clips and clippers with them when they make their monthly visit , the second pic, Casey and his buddy and his Vet DSCN0566 (2).JPG DSCN1777.JPG