Cat’s claw bleeding?

What happens if you bravely try to trim your cat’s claws and (oh no!) the claw starts to bleed?  You’ve cut a little too deeply into the claw. Instead of trimming the clear, bloodless tip, you’ve cut into the part of the claw that has a blood supply.

My guess is that if something can bleed, it can hurt.  What with cats being so stoic about pain — and so dramatic about everything else! — I don’t know for sure if and how much that bleeding claw hurts.


UPDATE: I looked at the blog for Dr. Arnold Plotnick, a local veterinarian specializing in cats. He writes:

“The problem is that each nail has a blood vessel inside.  Along side the blood vessel runs a nerve.  The trick is to trim to just beyond the blood vessel and nerve because if you nick them the cat will hiss, may bite, and will definitely bleed.  NOTE: Everyone hits this vein occasionally, even experienced veterinarians.  So having a blood-stopping powder on hand is important.”

** My opinion (me, Linda, not Dr. Plotnick) is that it’s easier and just as compassionate to simply wait for the blood to clot.  It will clot in a few seconds. I dab it with a tiny piece of paper towel. I don’t use styptic powder because I heard that it can sting a bit, and anyway, I haven’t found it to be necessary, so why do extra things to a cat?  Also, I’ve found from experience that many cats will not hiss or have any reaction at all if you nick them.  Not that I nick cats every day, but the few times I have, I’ve only realized what I’ve done when I check the claws after finishing. There will be a little drop of blood, sometimes not even a drop, just a hint of redness at the tip of the claw. Even if it’s just a tiny bit, I still wait for it to clot.


I do know that when I’ve cut too deeply on my own nails, it hurts like a house on fire.  In fact, one of the ways evil people torture other people is by sticking pins in the pink part of the nail.

What if you do make a mistake? I’ve done it. Even with the best of intentions, if the lighting isn’t great, the cat jerks their paw, or it’s just an “off” day, mistakes can happen. Anyone who says they never make mistakes might be in early-stage Alzheimers. Either that or they’re lying.

The good news is that claw blood clots up fast.  If you want, and if you can manage it, you can put a little bit of tissue paper against the bleeding claw until it clots. It’s not a big deal, apart from the sadness we all feel when we do something that might hurt our beloved cats. Cats seem to get over it quickly.

Don’t let fear of nicking the claw stop you from trimming the claw.  Over time, you’ll get better. If you really can’t do it, or don’t want to do it, call me. I’ll be happy to visit.

I’m not a fanatic about frequent claw trims. As long as your cat’s claw isn’t getting snagged on you or on furniture, you’re probably fine.  If you’ve got an old, fat or sick cat, you might need more frequent claw trims because the claw could grow into the pad.  If that happens, there’s now a hole in the paw pad because the claw is poking into it. Paw pads do have nerves, so my guess is that hurts at least a little.  Paw pads don’t need ventilation!

Anyway, good luck.  You can do it. If you can’t, that’s what I’m here for.:)

Appalachian scratching post

More & More Owners Schedule Claw Trims

Belle says schedule a claw trim today!

This is good news for cats!  For a cat who tolerates claw trims, think how much better their life is when momma or poppa schedules claw trims every 4 to 8 weeks!

No more getting claws stuck in the scratching post or worse, the sofa. No more scabs on the ear from too-long claws tearing at sensitive skin.  More cuddles with their human, instead of being pushed away with an “ouch!”


Hey cat owners, you don’t have to let your cat bite you. That’s just crazy.

What kind of masochistic deal is this?  Listen, if your cat nips at you, bites you and tries to scratch you, there’s a simple solution.

Move the heck away from your cat! Step away from the kitty! Those boots were made for walking, girl. And please, please, don’t play with your cat using your toes, fingers and hair. Then you’re asking for it. May as well write letters to inmates at SuperMax facilities, and send them a photo of you in a bikini.

We humans are supposed to be the ones with big brains, but sometimes I wonder.

Newsflash . . . being a good owner isn’t the same as being a punching bag.  Anyway, if you don’t learn to avoid getting bitten and scratched, you KNOW that sooner or later your adorable fluffy will scratch or bite you on a day when you’re in no mood for it.  You’ll scream your head off at that poor beast. You might even take her to a shelter. How compassionate is that?

My fancy, elaborate advice to owners whose cats are beating them like a rag doll is to just stop. When those claws come out, the fun ends. Get up and walk away. No yelling. No baby talk.  If you’re in bed and the cat hassles you, put the cat on the floor.  Keep a bunch of toys around so you can distract monster kitty with a mousey wand or crinkle ball.

I know, I know. Some cats are relentless. That’s what doors and ear plugs are for. Cats can be annoying.  Some of them even specialize in being annoying. That’s one of the reasons I love them. They’re punks. They crack me up.