Can You Use Dog Nail Clippers on Cats? Care & Safety Tips

All cat parents know that felines require regular maintenance to keep them looking clean and neat and most importantly, ensure that they’re healthy. While there are several important areas of cat grooming, one stands out in particular: nail care.

Taking care of your cat’s nails and regularly trimming them is essential for preventing overgrown nails, which could impact your cat’s ability to move.

However, cat owners can be hesitant about this process, especially if they don’t know which tool to use. There’s also a lingering question among many cat parents, especially those who also own dogs: Can you use dog nail clippers on cats?

The answer to this question is technically yes, you can use dog nail clippers on cats, but some versions are better than others for this task.

Let’s dig deeper into this topic, explaining the different types of pet nail clippers, why nail clipping is so important to cats, and how to choose suitable clippers for your feline!

Can You Use Dog Nail Clippers on Cats? Is It Safe?

You can use almost any type of dog nail clippers on a cat, but you should carefully think about the options to make the clipping process go smoothly and to prevent accidents.

Here’s what you need to know:

  • Scissor-style dog nail clippers are your best choice because they work the same as cat nail clippers; the only difference is that kitties can get this product in a real scissors shape. Still, these should enable you to do a decent job as long as you carefully cut around your cat’s quick areas.
  • Grinder trimers are as efficient as they are easy to use, and they don’t have any blades. However, they can often be loud, which may make some cats scared or nervous.
  • Guillotine-style dog nail clippers require you to put your pet’s nail through the guillotine opening, which can be unsuitable for cats. You may lose control over the cutting area and accidentally nip the quick.

If you live in households with multiple pets, each should have their own pair of nail clippers. However, if that’s something you currently can’t afford, you can use dog nail clippers on cats, but with caution.

Always disinfect the clippers before using them on another pet, and repeat the same process for every cutting session.

The 3 Different Types of Pet Nail Clippers

There are three different types of pet nail clippers that you can use for your furry companion.

1. Scissor-Style Clippers

Scissor-Style Pet Clippers
Image Credit: Volga, Shutterstock

These pet nail clippers have a design similar to scissors, with a tension spring that requires you to use your hand force to use it. It’s great for dogs because it can do the job quickly and efficiently without causing pain, especially if your dog’s nails are unusually thick.

When it comes to scissor-style clippers for cats, they can either have a similar design to the dog ones or literally look like human scissors, making them easier to handle.

2. Guillotine-Style Clippers

Guillotine-Style Pet Clippers
Image Credit: Jiggo_Putter Studio, Shutterstock

These pet nail clippers have a guillotine design that requires you to slip the pet’s nail through in order to clip it. They usually also function with a tension spring principle that requires you to use the force of your hand to clip the claw.

This type of nail clipper typically works better for dogs than for cats, as felines tend to have more sensitive nails; when clipping them, you have to be careful not to clip the quick area.

3. Grinder Trimmers

Pet Grinder Trimmers
Image Credit: yar-andy, Shutterstock

These electrical devices are entirely safe because instead of using blades, they rely on small grinders that trim the nails. These trimmers are efficient but can take time to get used to.

It will also produce a great deal of noise and vibration that may be upsetting, especially for small dogs and cats.

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Why Is It Important to Trim Your Cat’s Nails?

Unlike outdoor and stray cats that wear down their nails with activities like tree climbing and hunting for food, indoor cats typically don’t have these opportunities. Since a cat’s nails are constantly growing, you need to help your cat with proper nail care. Otherwise, your cat’s nails can become overgrown, leading to discomfort, pain, and possible infections. Felines with overgrown nails can also experience mobility problems; they may get stuck in carpets or similar surfaces or be unable to retract their claws.

If your cat likes scratching, scratching posts can come in handy to keep the claws at a proper length. However, some felines may also try to scratch your furniture and other possessions, which is why keeping their nails short can prevent or minimize the damage done to your home.

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Final Thoughts

You can use dog nail clippers on cats, as some types are identical to the ones for cats. Just know that some cats may be scared of grinder trimmers due to their noise and vibration, and remember to be careful if you’re using the guillotine-style nail clippers on your cat.

If you have multiple pets, it’s best to have a pair of clippers for each pet to promote healthy nail clipping. But if you have no other options, any type would be okay—as long as you get your feline’s approval, of course!

Featured Image Credit: GaiBru Photo, Shutterstock

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