Cats’ claws are naturally sharp for catching and killing prey and to enable them to better maintain balance. Your feline friend can undertake some nail maintenance themselves scratching trees and fences outdoors, or letting rip on the sisal scratching post indoors.
Whether your feline friend is being hounded by an uncomfortable piece of dead claw or they need some help cutting overgrown claws down to size, you need a decent pair of clippers. The best cat claw clippers are sharp enough that they cut easily and quickly, without being so large as to cause anxiety in your cat. They should also be comfortable for you to use and easy to wield.
With choices including manual and automatic, those with spring-loaded blades, and professional clippers, choosing the right set can be difficult. Below, you will find reviews of ten of the best cat nail clippers to help you make the right choice.
A Quick Comparison of Our Favorites in 2023
|Best Overall||JW Pet Gripsoft Cat Nail Clipper||
|Best Value||Frisco Nail Clippers Small Pets||
|Premium Choice||Necoichi Purrcision Cat Nail Clippers||
|Best for Kittens||Pet Republique Cat Nail Clipper||
|Resco Original Cat Nail Clippers||
The 10 Best Cat Nail Clippers
1. JW Pet Gripsoft Cat Nail Clipper – Best Overall
|Materials:||Plastic, Stainless steel|
The JW Pet Gripsoft Cat Nail Clipper is a cheap set of manual nail clippers. They have stainless steel blades and a rubberized handle sheath. The finger holes are large enough to accommodate most hands and have been ergonomically designed so that they are comfortable for use by left-handed and right-handed pet owners.
This is a basic set of clippers so the blades are not spring-loaded and there is no nail guard to prevent cutting down to the quick, but they are well designed, inexpensive, and sharp enough that they will glide through cat nails easily, therefore minimizing the time and stress of cutting kitty’s nails.
If you have a large adult cat, you may need to look for a more robust pair of clippers, and if you do have large hands, you might find them a little unwieldy. However, in most cases, they will do the job well and don’t cost the earth making this basic set the best overall cat nail clippers.
2. Frisco Nail Clippers For Cats And Small Dogs – Best Value
|Materials:||Plastic, Rubber, Stainless Steel|
Even cheaper than the JW Pet Gripsoft set in first place is the Frisco Nail Clipper For Cats And Small Dogs. These clippers are a similar design with one large thumb hole and a smaller finger hole, as well as a comfortable rubberized grip, for the user. There’s also a tang, as seen on hairdresser scissors, which is designed to offer greater control while cutting.
The blades are made from stainless steel and they also have a semi-circular nail guide that ensures you are cutting the claw using the right bit of the blade and to ensure a straighter and more precise cut.
The Frisco Nail Clippers are the cheapest set on our list, but they are let down somewhat by their size. The blades struggle to cut large adult cat nails and the handles are too small for large hands. Even users with small hands will find it difficult to maneuver and achieve the best possible cutting angle. However, for the price, they are very difficult to beat and the addition of the nail guide and the tang does add some control, making them the best cat nail clippers for the money.
3. Necoichi Purrcision Cat Nail Clippers – Premium Choice
At the other end of the price scale, at least for manual clippers, are the Necoichi Purrcision Cat Nail Clippers. Necoichi claims that these have a 30% thinner blade than other similar cutters, ensuring a cleaner cut, less chance of nail breakage, and improved visibility to ensure that you do not cut down to the quick.
The pink part of the nail, towards the base, is called the quick. This is filled with nerve endings and blood vessels, and cutting it can cause a lot of pain, bleeding, and anxiety in your cat. Not only will it make it near impossible to finish cutting the claws this time, but your cat will remember and will be more likely to fight against any claw clipping next time.
The clippers also have a cat head silhouette and several cat paws on the handles, which have a softened grip for greater comfort.
The clippers are comfortable to use and the stainless steel blades do a good job of cutting nails, rather than crushing or tearing them. However, they are very expensive, and this is another set that requires small hands to use properly.
4. Pet Republique Cat Nail Clipper – Best for Kittens
Even if your young kitten doesn’t need too much help maintaining claw sharpness, it is a good idea to start when they are young by clipping every couple of months. This ensures that when they get older and when their claws really do need cutting down to prevent damage, your cat won’t stress through the whole experience. It’s easier for you and for your cat. However, a kitten’s claws are very small and thin and clippers that are too large do not offer the precision you need. They can also look quite daunting to a tiny cat.
Pet Republique’s Cat Nail Clippers are short clippers and the blades have a half-moon design. The half-moon means that the claw nestles between the upper and lower blade, both of which are made from stainless steel, and makes it easier to get a precise cut. The handles have a textured finish, which helps provide a decent grip, and they are suitable for left- and right-handed use.
Because these are designed for small cats and smaller animals, the blades are not tough enough to handle large adult cats, so you will need to buy a new pair when your cat gets bigger, but they are a good introduction for your kitten and you.
5. Resco Original Cat Nail Clippers
Resco Original Cat Nail Clippers look more like shears or secateurs and utilize a guillotine-style cutting method, rather than the scissor clippers previously featured in the list. Made from solid steel, they are very durable, and the blades can be replaced, which means that you won’t have to keep buying a new set of clippers whenever the blades get dull. This style of clipper is used by professional groomers because it allows them to cut straight, precise lines, and their design means that cutting can be done quickly and easily.
If you are an inexperienced cat claw clipper, you might struggle with the design and shape of these expensive clippers. What’s more, the design means that the clippers are somewhat intimidating. Although the design does mean that this clipper is suitable for hands of any size and can be used left or right-handed, the blades are not very sharp, which means that they are as likely to splinter, shatter, or crush claws, especially on large cats.
6. Patpet Steel Grit Dog & Cat Nail Grinder
|Materials:||Plastic, Stainless steel|
Some cats simply don’t like having clippers near their claws. Whether they have had a bad clipping experience in the past or they naturally dislike the look of sharp scissor-type blades, it can make trimming a real challenge. In these cases, or if your cat is very trusting, an electric claw grinder offers quick and accurate claw maintenance.
The Patpet Steel Grit Dog & Cat Nail Grinder is, essentially, a small grinder. It includes three grinding wheel heads that are rated for use on large, medium, and small pets. It is quieter than a lot of other electric options, too, and it can be recharged easily via the provided USB cable. It also offers a choice of two speeds: 17,000 RPM and 8,000 RPM. In most cases, cat owners will combine the small animal grinder with the 17,000 RPM setting.
Although the Patpet Steel Grit Dog & Cat Nail Grinder is quieter than other grinders, it is still around 40dB, or roughly the same as a fridge, which can be enough to scare some cats, especially when combined with the vibration that naturally occurs. If you’ve never used this type of claw trimmer, it is quite an expensive experiment to find out whether your cat likes it, and while the grinder heads should last two years, replacement parts are only available from the manufacturer.
7. Toe Beans Clawper Pro Dog & Cat Nail Clippers
|Materials:||Rubber, Stainless steel|
The Toe Beans Clawper Pro Dog & Cat Nail Clippers set is a professional set used by groomers but can also be used by pet owners to keep cat and dog claws in trim. The open handle, which is rubberized for improved grip and comfort, means that this set is convenient for use by left and right-handed people, regardless of the size of their fingers and hands. The set comes with a hidden nail file, which can be used to neaten up after a trim or between clipping sessions to prolong the time before you have to cut again. The whole thing comes with an eco-friendly drawstring bag: ideal whether you need to carry them with you, for example to shows and exhibitions, or you want an easy and convenient way to store them.
The stainless steel blades are spring-loaded. Spring-loaded blades apply pressure as you squeeze, which serves to prevent slipping and make the experience more comfortable and enjoyable for all concerned.
The clippers are expensive for a manual set and the blades tend to splinter the nails because they aren’t sharp enough. The file is a little too smooth, which means that it takes a long time to make any kind of impression on larger claws.
8. Hartz Groomer’s Best Nail Clipper For Dogs And Cats
|Materials:||Plastic, Stainless steel|
Hartz Groomer’s Best Nail Clipper For Dogs And Cats are scissor-style cutters with an open handle so can be used by people with small or large hands. They have a rubberized grip for comfort and control, as well as spring-loaded stainless steel blades. The semi-circular blade design makes it easier to guide the claws into position while ensuring that they stay there. The clippers also feature an adjustable nail guard. Once you have your cat’s claw in place, slide the guard across and it will prevent you from cutting any further down the claw. The spring-loaded handles also ensure accuracy.
The clippers are moderately priced and do have some decent features, although the nail guard is a little loose so slips around. If this does happen, it means that you will have to rely on your own senses to avoid cutting the quick. The blades also tend to splinter the nail, because they aren’t sharp enough, and even though the handles are open, it isn’t comfortable for larger hands.
9. Dremel 7300-PT Dog & Cat Nail Grinder Kit
Dremel is well known for its production of high-quality multi-tools and hand grinders. A cat nail grinder is just the same as a hand grinder. It has a fast-spinning wheel covered in an abrasive material that gradually grinds the surface of the nail down. It allows you to cut the nail without reaching the quick, while the 60-grit sanding drum is more than adequate to work on cats’ claws. The Dremel has two speeds, offers wireless use, and comes with its own charger which will fully recharge the battery in three hours. You even get 4 replacement sanding bands, so you won’t have to find replacements too soon.
The Dremel is expensive, even for an electric grinding clipper, and it is noisier than other similar models, which will cause a lot of cats to panic and run. Even on the lowest setting, the vibrations are noticeable and the grit will be too coarse for some delicate claws, and the bands can get loose, potentially causing you to sand your cat’s paws.
10. H&H Pets Dog & Cat Nail Clipper Medium
|Materials:||Plastic, Steel, Rubber|
The H&H Pets Dog & Cat Nail Clipper Medium is the larger of two sets of nail clippers from H&H. While the small set has scissor-style handles, this set has open handles. This means that they are suitable for large as well as small hands.
The grips are coated in rubber and textured so that they are comfortable to hold and easy to grip. They are spring-loaded and there’s also a latch that keeps the handles closed and the blades safely sheathed when not in use.
For a basic set of cat claw clippers, these are a bit on the expensive side, and the blades are quite dull, which means that they splinter and crush even the smallest of cat nails. Because the blades are sharp, it takes longer and more effort to cut through, which will also increase the anxiety your cat feels.
Buyer’s Guide: How to Choose the Best Cat Nail Clippers
Caring for cats not only means feeding them and ensuring that they get enough exercise. It also requires that you undertake other maintenance tasks: brushing teeth, grooming fur, and clipping claws. Trimming nails is often considered one of the worst tasks of owning a cat. An otherwise docile and loving ball of fur can quickly turn into a hissing animal armed with untrimmed, sharp claws. Having the best cat nail trimmer might not guarantee an easy clipping but it means that the job is done more quickly with less stress for your cat and you. It can also prevent you from cutting the quick and therefore reducing the fear your cat shows next claw-clipping day.
Tips To Make Claw Trimming Easier
1. Start Young
If your cat is a full-grown adult, it’s too late for this, but the younger your cat is when you start clipping its claws, the easier it will be now and in the future. Combine this with the next tip for the best lifetime results.
2. Build Up
Grabbing your cat, spreading its claws, and starting cutting straight away is not the best course of action if you want to reduce the stress for your feline friend. Whatever the age, start practicing exposing the claws when your cat is calm and relaxed. By pressing the toe pads, it exposes the claws, and this will be essential when it is time to get the clippers out. Keep practicing this until your cat at least tolerates it.
3. Ready The Treats
Get some tasty treats at the ready so that you can reward your kitty for positive behavior. If it lets you expose the claws, give it a treat. If it lets you approach with the clippers, give a treat. This positive reinforcement shows the cat that letting you perform these actions will reward it with a tasty treat at the end, so it will be more willing to let you do it again in the future.
4. Use The Best Cat Nail Clippers
Avoid using scissors or human nail clippers. They aren’t designed for cats’ claws, they can look very intimidating, and they are unlikely to give you the precision and accuracy that you need to be able to cut the claws properly. As well as the reviews above, you can find a guide on the types of cat clippers below, but you have a choice of basic manual clippers and grinders. If you can do the job well with manual clippers, these are cheaper. Good clippers will cut neatly and quickly, making the job as stress-free as possible for all parties.
At all stages of the clipping routine, be prepared to take a break and give your cat a break. If it gets stressed out when you first start exposing the claws, take a break and try again when you’re both relaxed. Remember that your cat will pick up on your anxiety and stress, so if you’re feeling anxious about the whole thing, so will they.
6. Do It Regularly
It can be tempting to put off doing things that make you anxious, but cats generally need their claws trimming every two or three months, sometimes more often. The more often you do it, without incident, the easier it will be to convince your cat to let you do it again. Don’t leave it a year, or you will have forgotten the best procedure and your cat will have forgotten the treats it receives for behaving.
How Often Should You Cut A Cat’s Claws?
Your cat will likely do a decent job of maintaining its own claws by scratching trees or scratching posts, and even walking or running along abrasive surfaces. As such, you may only need to trim every two or three months. Indoor cats that do not use a scratching post may need it done every month or even every two weeks. Base the frequency of clipping on how sharp your cat’s claws get.
Choosing The Best Nail Clippers For Cats
When looking for the best cat claw clippers, the following are the most common options.
Manual vs Electric
A nail guide is a notch or ridge in the blade of the clippers. The cat’s claw should slip into the notch, which prevents it from easily sliding around as it would on a straight blade with no notch. This is especially important when you start to cut and it can prevent you from having to make two or three cuts on each claw. Not all nail clippers have these guides, but they are quite common even on inexpensive clippers.
The nail guard is a piece of metal or plastic that sits a small distance behind the blade. It prevents you from pushing the cat’s claw too far, which stops you from cutting the quick. The quick is full of nerve endings and cutting it can cause bleeding, pain, and anxiety in your cat. You will likely have to stop clipping and your cat will be a lot more anxious the next time it sees the clippers.
Tang (Finger Brace)
The tang, or finger brace, is an appendage that juts out of one of the circular handles of a pair of manual clippers and is the same as those seen on hairdressing scissors. You sit your middle finger in the tang, giving you more pressure and allowing you to wield the scissors with greater efficiency. These are quite uncommon because they are considered unnecessary by a lot of users, but if you want them you will have to look specifically.
Cat claw clipping is an ordeal that a lot of cat owners and cats dread, but with the best cat nail trimmer, the experience can be made a little easier. They don’t have to cost a lot, are usually easy to use, and they do a much better job than if you were to try and use normal scissors or human nail clippers. Hopefully, the reviews helped you find the ideal set of cat claw clippers to keep your kitty’s claws in check.
The JW Pet Gripsoft Cat Nail Clipper is a cheap clipper that has a reasonable cutting blade. The even cheaper Frisco Nail Clippers are another basic model, although unsuitable for small hands and kitten claws, but highly affordable.
Featured Image Credit: Ermolaev Alexander, Shutterstock