1- Hold the clippers in one hand and hold your cat's paw in the other.
2- Gently squeeze the top and bottom of your cat's paw, on the joint, just behind the claw to extend the claw"
Now for the True Story :
Roll your cat into a bath towel, you should have something that looks a little like a large cat burrito with head at one open end .. tail ( it will be swishing at a rapid rate) at the other end .
There may be a sound .. a little like a small wild animal growling because he wants to rip your throat out ... or it could be a small pitiful meow that breaks your heart, but don't let him/her fool you ... those claws draw blood better than my doctor.
Merlin is large ... he is mostly all hair as far as the bulk of him goes, but his bones, his size is large. He is twice as big as Minette ( Russian Blue) and nothing in the domestic cat world is as large as Honey .. my late Mom's cat. Honey will beat your dog's ass. Believe me.
But when she meows, she sounds like a tiny little girl cat ... just hidden in a huge cat body.
So ... Merlin decided to take a nap by my bed, under the windows. I decided to take advantage of the 2 of us being alone, with good light, and I had the energy, he had none. Or so I thought.
Having been through this before, I was prepared.
1- cat nail clippers. scary but brilliant.
2- bath towel ( why a bath towel ? you'll see)
3- be sure you are wearing clothes that can get hairy, torn, keep your flesh covered and hopefully resistant to blood stains.
Merlin was lying there like a large hairy pillow .. I started baby talking, he started purring .. we were doing well !
I tucked him up against me ( as if you were going to nurse a baby) and took his paw in my hand. He complained but did not really move. Merlin keeps moving down to a minimum if possible.
I squeezed his paw, the claw popped out ... 4 claws were no nonsense, long but ordinary claws ... hooked, sharp as they could be and dangerous if you are not into being clawed bloody.
This is where the towel comes in.
You roll the cat in the towel like a big cat burrito .. head and front legs sticking out, back /hind legs with muscles and long claws, wrapped up nice and safe in the towel.
Front legs .. nice and easy, he was complaining but purring too.
I am always terrified I will cut him and make him bleed. So being still is a very good thing .. for the cat to do .. I am trying to make use of 2 arms and hands when I really need 3 or 4.
Each nail cut easily and quickly, him grumbling, me telling him how fabulous he was.
Then we got to the "thumb" mail ... it is the biggest nail on the end ...
This is where the Horror of cat manicures comes ..
The nail was starting to grow into his foot pad ... omigod !!!! omigod !!!!
I had a moment of hating myself so much I wanted to slap me, letting his nails grow that long .. being afraid of being clawed more than worried about something like this happening .. I am such a loser.
Then we got down to business.
Roll up that old cat, get that clipper situated under the nail, be sure his pad/flesh is not there too and then ... He yanked his paw away, growled at me and tried to hide his foot.
So I begged for forgiveness, kissed him many times, then made sure all feet were wrapped up safely and tried again.
Now I am shaking too ... the damned clipper would not go under the claw, and I was terrified of cutting his foot ... so this went on for several minutes, me continuing to beg him for forgiveness and whispering to God to be sure I don't cut my cats toe off because it would definitely be my Last Straw.
He never tried to claw me. He only wanted his foot ( probably sore) back .. but we managed.. Merlin and I.
He now has a nice manicure on both front feet, back feet are another day, he and I can only take so much ..
So this is the way to cut your cats nails.
Or ... if you have a good vet or groomer that you like, pay someone else... it is So Totally Worth It !!