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Help me clip Coal's nails!
April 20, 2008 3:40 PM   Subscribe

What's the best kitty nail clipper?

I've been using the Bamboo Guillotine Nail Trimmer for the last 5 months, but it seems as though it's dulled beyond sharpening. Not only are sharpening instructions not included, but any attempts to do so just don't work. So, clipping has become a longer chore and left little Coal more frustrated than before since the clippers just seem to split his nails rather than cutting them.

Any suggestions? Price is relatively no limit (I'd prefer not to buy $100 clippers...but if they work and I won't have to replace them, I'd consider it!).
posted by MeetMegan to Pets & Animals (18 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
We've been using a pair of Groomax clippers for our three cats. We've had the same pair for a couple years and they're still in good shape. I also like that it has a little guard (movable) to prevent clipping too close.
posted by LolaGeek at 3:51 PM on April 20, 2008

I use a human nail clipper, which cost .99, for my kitty.

When it gets dull, I buy a new one.
posted by ottereroticist at 3:51 PM on April 20, 2008

I use regular human fingernail (not toenail) clippers on my kitty, and he's fine with them, nor have I had any problem with them splitting his claws or otherwise causing trouble. (Mind you, I've used the same pair since he was a kitten, and cats seem to like things to stay *exactly* the same -- he'd probably freak if I used a different pair of clippers.) The key seems to be having a very sharp pair of clippers.
posted by alaaarm at 3:53 PM on April 20, 2008

I do the same as ottereroticist - human clippers. I buy the toenail size, though, because our kitties are bigger than average. This is definitely not an area where you need to spend a lot of money.
posted by clarkstonian at 3:53 PM on April 20, 2008

I just read the site for the fancy nail clipper you were using. I don't know why the stypic is such a desirable feature -- I've never made my cat's nails bleed. Maybe if that happens to you a lot the fancy one is worth it.
posted by ottereroticist at 3:53 PM on April 20, 2008

I use this kind of thing. I have one I bought from the vet that cost about £10 and when I couldn't find it one day, I bought another one for a £1 from a discount store. The £1 clippers work best.
posted by essexjan at 3:55 PM on April 20, 2008

I have never seen or used your guillotine type. I have always used and loved this kind of clipper, which apparently is called a claw scissors. I'm so used to it now I wouldn't feel safe using anything else.
posted by GaelFC at 4:01 PM on April 20, 2008

The claw scissors seem to work best for me.. Also, you can buy stypic by itself (not exactly sure where, but maybe at a drugstore)
posted by majikstreet at 4:09 PM on April 20, 2008

3rd-ing claw scissors. Quick and simple.
posted by ctmf at 5:09 PM on April 20, 2008

I just saw an infomercial last night for something called the "Peticure" - a quick Google search says it's a slightly more expensive version of a Dremel rotating file - you file the nails down rather than clipping. It sounded marvelous but $60 seemed like to much to part with as an experiment. Anyone tried something like that? (Sorry for partial derail)
posted by Sweetie Darling at 5:23 PM on April 20, 2008

Human nail clipper for 99 cent at the Duane Reed. They are up by the counter where you pay next to the M&M's which always gets me another 75 cent.
posted by JohnnyGunn at 5:37 PM on April 20, 2008

Another vote for human nail clippers. If your cat is used to having his nails clipped, and you know where to clip it (not too far down! ouch!) he'll be fine. It did kind of skeeve me out the first time I did it though, since I'm used to clipping thin human nails with them, rather than razor sharp killer kitty ninja claws. But it's fine, really.

Although FWIW, we did have those claw scissors at some point too. They worked well too, but then we lost them and reverted to the human ones that were in the junk drawer. We kind of stopped looking for the claw scissors (maybe they're further back in the junk drawer?) Either are fine in my book.
posted by AlisonM at 6:16 PM on April 20, 2008

Thanks for the great answers! I am going to try human clippers now (since they're in the house anyways) and get the nail scissors if that doesn't work. I am a first-time cat companion so sometimes I get suckered by the "I know nothing about this so the more expensive one must be best" issue and end up with stuff I can't use like the guillotine clippers above. Coal and I thank you for your advice!
posted by MeetMegan at 6:31 PM on April 20, 2008

The main thing is to remove the very sharpest bit at the tip. Leave him as much claw as won't draw blood from you with ordinary interaction (kneading, climbing up you, etc). There's no way short of hurting him that you can render his claws totally harmless, so don't try. If he'll tolerate you filing it down with a nailfile (alternating filing an nail and giving him a lick of sardine paste or some other treat from your finger is good), do that. If you can leave him long but blunt claws, this will help a lot with his climbing on furniture etc.
posted by aeschenkarnos at 6:44 PM on April 20, 2008

we use a human clipper, and clip sideways.
posted by thinkingwoman at 7:30 PM on April 20, 2008

I prefer guillotine clippers (though of a cheaper variety than yours), but human ones work okay when I can't find them.
posted by Metroid Baby at 5:05 AM on April 21, 2008

I also prefer the scissor type.
posted by Mavri at 7:47 AM on April 21, 2008

I use the "Resco Cat Nail Trimmer #757" (less than $10), a "guillotine-style" clipper that was recommended by a friend's vet.
posted by phliar at 4:25 PM on April 21, 2008

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