12 Best Cat Nail Clippers in 2020

Trimming your cat’s nails is no cat owner’s favorite chore, but it must be done. A cat’s nails grow quickly, and, without regular trimming, they could grow too long and curve back into the cat’s paws. Plus, keeping them short saves you from a lot of accidental (or not-so-accidental) scratches.

As a species, cats generally don’t like being forced to do anything. The idea of sitting still for more than 30 seconds just because you want him to is probably not your cat’s favorite thing. Trimming your cat’s nails requires at least a few minutes of stillness and, if you don’t know what you’re doing, they can be a long, difficult few minutes.

In this article, we’ll talk about the importance of keeping your cat’s nails trimmed down and how to do it correctly. You’ll also see our top picks for the best cat nail clippers.

The Importance of Trimming Your Cat’s Nails


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Cats have sharp claws and few things are more unpleasant than having one rake across your bare skin or poke right through your clothes. Trimming your cat’s claws is the best way to keep yourself from getting scratched and it will also protect your furniture and whatever your cat uses as a scratching post.

More than just keeping you safe, however, trimming your cat’s nails keeps him safe as well. Your cat’s nails grow continuously and if you don’t keep them trimmed, they could keep growing right back into the pads of his feet. Long nails are also more likely to snag on things, breaking and hurting the cat.

Here are the three different types of cat nail clippers: 

  • Scissors Style – These nail clippers look much like a regular pair of scissors, but they are sized for cat claws. The blades typically have a contoured edge to fit the nail.
  • Pliers Style – This type of nail clipper looks more like a hand tool than a set of scissors, but the blade is very similar. These are usually a little more heavy-duty than the scissors style.
  • Guillotine Style – This tool typically has a two-piece handle you squeeze to close a contoured blade on a metal ring – you insert the cat’s claw and cut off the tip guillotine-style.
The type of cat nail clippers you choose is largely a matter of preference and what you feel comfortable with. Scissors clippers may be the easiest to use at first, but pliers-style clippers are generally a little more durable. The trouble with guillotine-style clippers is that they sometimes crush rather than cutting the nail – it’s also a little more difficult to see where the blade will actually cut.

How to Use Cat Nail Clippers Correctly

If you’re not in the habit of trimming your cat’s nails yourself, or you’ve just brought home a new kitten, you may need to work your way up to it. Start by getting your cat used to having his feet handled during cuddle or play sessions and give him plenty of treats as encouragement. When your cat is ready to have his nails trimmed, start with one or two toes at a time and work your way up to two or all four paws.

Choosing the right tool for the job is important. Cat nail clippers are specifically designed for your cat’s nails, so you definitely need to have a pair on-hand. Once you’ve purchased this essential grooming tool, the next step is to learn how to use it.

Here’s how to use cat nail clippers the right way: 

  1. Place your cat on the ground in front of you or on your lap where you can easily reach all four paws – you can also try holding him in the crook of an arm to keep him still.
  2. Lift one of your cat’s paws and gently press the top and bottom of the paw to extend the claws.
  3. Position the cat nail clippers just behind the point of the claw and snip off the sharp tip – avoid cutting too much off or you might cause the nail to bleed.
  4. Work as quickly as your can while staying safe – if your cat starts to become agitated, you may need to stop and resume at a later time.
  5. Give your cat a few treats when you finish as a reward – it will help him form a more positive association with the experience so he may struggle less next time.

Now that you know why it’s important to keep your cat’s nails trimmed and how to do it, there’s nothing holding you back! Keep reading to see our top picks for the best cat clippers for nails.

The 12 Best Cat Nail Clippers

When shopping for the best cat nail clippers, you’ll see that there are several different types. Some look like scissors while others have a unique shape – you’ll even find electric or battery-powered nail grinders. Consider the options available before you decide, taking into account our recommendations.

Here are our top picks for the best cat clippers for nails: 

FURminator Nail Clippers for Dogs & Cats

When trimming your cat’s nails, it’s important not to cut too much or you might sever the quick and make the nail bleed. These FURminator Nail Clippers for Dogs & Cats take the guesswork out of cutting your cat’s nails because they feature an adjustable nail guide that keeps you from accidentally cutting too much. These clippers have easy-grip handles for comfort and control with a sharp, stainless-steel cutting edge to ensure a clean, even cut.

PetSpy Dog & Cat Nail Clipper

These PetSpy Dog & Cat Nail Clippers are reliable and easy to use. With super-sharp blades, they trim quickly and effectively and there’s a safety stop feature that keeps you from cutting the nail too short. These clippers also come with a built-in nail file stored in the handle so you can take care of rough or uneven edges. The non-slip, user-friendly design is an added bonus.

Resco Original Cat Nail Clippers

If you prefer guillotine-style nail clippers, these Resco Original Cat Nail Clippers might be the right fit. They feature a heavy-duty solid steel construction for maximum durability – it also allows you to cut thicker nails with less pressure. These clippers have attractive chrome plating for added durability and they come in two colors – classic chrome or bright red.

JW Pet Nail Scissors and Carrying Case

These pet nail scissors are affordable and very easy to use. With gripsoft technology, these JW Pet Nail Scissors and Carrying Case are comfortable to hold and ergonomically designed for optimal control. They come with a convenient carrying case that also has a styptic powder dispenser – this means you’ll always have it on hand, just in case you trim your cat’s nail a little bit too short. The clippers themselves are high-quality, stainless-steel to ensure a quick, precise cut.

Hertzko Angled Blade Pet Nail Scissors

Trimming your cat’s nails can be a struggle and it may get uncomfortable holding the clippers for an extended period of time. These Hertzko Angled Blade Pet Nail Scissors are designed with comfort in mind, made with anti-slip rubberized handles and an angled design to prevent wrist and hand strain. They are made with high-grade stainless-steel blades with semi-circular indentations so you can see exactly where you’re cutting on the nail.

Pet Republique Cat Nail Clippers

These Pet Republique Cat Nail Clippers feature a classic, easy-to-use design and they are also very lightweight and compact. The half-moon design makes it easy to position the claw for cutting, keeping it completely visible the entire time so you don’t accidentally cut too much. These clippers have ergonomically designed handles for comfort and sharp stainless-steel blades for precision.

Four Paws Ultimate Touch Cat Claw Clippers

You don’t necessarily need to spend a lot on a pair of cat nail clippers. These Four Paws Ultimate Touch Cat Claw Clippers are extremely affordable and they get the job done. With a stainless-steel surgical cutting edge, these clippers cut cleanly without crushing the nail. They have a molded handle for comfort and they are lightweight and easy to use. At such a low price, you might think about buying several pairs and keeping them stored around the house to grab at your convenience.

ConairPRO Soft Grip Cat Nail Clippers

Designed for comfort and safety, these ConairPRO Soft Grip Cat Nail Clippers feature a non-slip ergonomic handle that gives you optimal control without hand fatigue. These clippers have built-in safety guards to keep you from cutting the nail too short, ensuring a positive experience for both you and your cat. They feature stainless-steel cutting blades with heavy-duty spring action, making it easy to cut even the thickest nails without crushing them.

Safari Nail Trimmer for Cats

Another affordable option in scissors-style nail trimmers is this Safari Nail Trimmer for Cats. These trimmers are lightweight and simple to use. They feature a stainless-steel cutting edge and comfortable molded handles. These clippers are designed for optimal control and comfort, just in case your nail trimming session goes a little longer than expected.

CHI Small Nail Cat Clippers

Some nail clippers are simply bigger than they need to be. These CHI Small Nail Cat Clippers are the perfect option for kittens or small cats and they are very affordable as well. These scissors-style clippers feature a stainless-steel blade and ergonomic grip, all priced under $8.

Bissell Dog & Cat Nail Clippers

If you’re looking for nail clippers that give you a little more control than a scissors-style design, try these Bissell Dog & Cat Nail Clippers. These clippers feature smooth, ergonomic handles to reduce fatigue with a heavy-duty spring to provide a little assistance. The stainless-steel blade makes quick work of your cat’s nails, and there’s a file stored in the handle just in case. You’ll also be glad to find an adjustable, built-in angled safety guard to keep you from accidentally cutting too far.

Necoichi Purrcision Cat Nail Clippers

If you don’t mind paying a little more for style, these Necoichi Purrcision Cat Nail Clippers feature a cute pawprint design. These scissors-style clippers have ultra-sharp cutting edges that are 30% thinner than most models, making the quick of your cat’s nail more visible. The handles have a cushioned, non-slip grip and they are printed with a cat’s face and tiny pawprints.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. How often should you trim your cat’s nails? The frequency with which you need to trim your cat’s nails depending partially on how fast they grow. Generally speaking, however, you should cut your cat’s nails every 10 to 14 days. If your cat isn’t used to having his nails trimmed yet, you may need to do just a few toes at a time until he becomes accustomed. Be sure to reward him with treats so he’s more likely to sit still next time.
  2. Do you need to trim all four nails? Many cat owners only trim their cat’s front nails because they tend to be the sharpest. For some cats, the nails on the hind feet grow a little more slowly and they may not come to the same sharp point. You’ll need to check your cat’s nails at least once a week to see if they need to be trimmed and make the decision yourself about cutting just the front two or all four of them.
  3. Can you use human nail clippers on a cat? If you don’t want to spend the money to buy a set of cat nail clippers, you might be able to get buy with human nail clippers. The thing to remember is that many pet nail clippers have a safety feature that keeps you from cutting too much. You may also find that human nail clippers don’t open wide enough for cats with very thick claws.
  4. Do I need to cut my cat’s nails if he has a scratching post? All cats should have their nails trimmed from time to time. A scratching post helps give your cat a way to satisfy his urge to scratch without destroying your furniture, but it doesn’t do much for his nails. This is particularly true for cardboard scratching posts, though sisal rope may help a little bit.
  5. What do I do if I cut my cat’s nails too short? Each of your cat’s nails contains a blood vessel called the quick that supplies blood to the nail. If you cut the nail too short, you might sever the quick and cause the nail to bleed. Styptic powder stops the bleeding quickly, so it’s a good idea to keep some on hand. To avoid taking too much off the nail, only trim the pointed tip. If your cat has translucent nails, you may be able to see the quick through them.

As a cat owner, trimming your cat’s nails is one of your major responsibilities. Not only does it keep you from getting scratched every time your cat jumps off your lap, but it prevents the nails from growing too long and curving back into the cat’s paws. Don’t think that having your cat declawed is a good solution – the procedure involves amputating the ends of the toes and it can be very painful for cats.

To keep your cat’s nails trimmed, you’ll need a good set of cat nail clippers. Check out our recommendations for the best cat clippers for nails above to help you make your choice.

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