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Trimming your cat’s claws is one of your many responsibilities as a cat owner. It’s a simple enough task that keeps your cat comfortable and it may help save your furniture as well.
Cat nail clippers come in many different forms, each with their own pros and cons.
We’ve assembled a list of the best cat nail clippers on the market in different categories to help you pick the right kind for your cat. Keep reading to see our top picks!
The best cat nail clippers are strong, sharp, easy to maneuver, and cleanly trim your cat’s claws without damaging them.
In this article, you’ll become familiar with the different types of cat nail clippers and their merits, find out what to look for in a pair of clippers for your cat, and finally, you’ll meet my picks for the top 8 best cat nail clippers on the market today.
Our Top 8 Recommended Cat Nail Clippers
Want a quick look at the products reviewed in this article? In the comparison table below, we’ve highlighted some of the most important features of each product. You’ll find more detailed information about each product later in the article.
Top Picks Explained
What Should You Look for in Cat Nail Clippers?
Shopping for cat nail clippers can be a challenge because there are so many different options out there. From guillotine-style clippers to electric nail grinders, all nail clippers are not created equal.
Before you start shopping for a set of nail clippers, take the time to learn more about the different types and think about which might be the best option for your cat.
Choose Clippers With Ultra-Sharp Blades
Choosing the best cat nail clipper is like picking a good shaving razor. Low-quality, dull blades are seductively easy on the wallet, but they put you and your cat at risk for injury.
Strong, sharp blades slice through your cat’s claws without crushing them. Choose a high-quality stainless-steel blade and your clippers could serve for a lifetime of snipping without going dull.
The best cat nail clippers are as comfortable on your hands as they are on your cat’s nails.
Remember that cats are wriggly creatures and you’re not necessarily a grooming expert. A slippery grip and a slippery cat could lead to a bloody manicure. Sudden movement could send the blades into the sensitive quick of your cat’s nail, causing it to bleed and causing your cat pain.
We’re looking for a design that fits well in the hand, has a perfect weight balance, and which features a comfortable non-slip grip. All of these features help you to maintain control of the clippers.
Look For Safety Features That Protect Both You And Your Cat
Safety Guards Or Guides
When you’re trimming your cat’s nails, there’s one thing you’re probably going to worry about more than anything else. You’re going to constantly work to avoid accidentally cutting into the quick. Choosing a pair of nail clippers outfitted with a safety guard or guide will help you avoid snipping into the sensitive heart of your cat’s nail.
Protect yourself and your family by selecting clippers with locking blades. This helps prevent accidents when the clippers aren’t in use.
When it comes to nail trimming, it’s important to have a firm grip on your clippers so you can control the cut. Look for a pair of clippers made with a comfortable and ergonomic grip that fits snugly in your hand.
Need another way to keep your cat’s claws under control? Here’s our list of the top 3 best cat nail caps.
The Types Of Cat Nail Clippers
In addition to considering the safety features offered by a set of nail clippers, it’s important to think about how they work. Different nail clippers cut the nail in different ways.
Here’s what you need to know about the different types of cat nail clippers:
Scissors Style Nail Clippers
This style of cat nail trimmer involves a small pair of scissors with rounded tips — similar to baby fingernail scissors. But unlike a standard pair of scissors, nail scissors for cats feature notches that hold your cat’s claw in place while you snip.
Scissor-style clippers are a great choice for beginners and experienced clippers alike, but they might not be a good fit if you have large hands since they tend to be fairly small.
The handles, while comfortable for small hands, are usually a poor choice for anyone with large fingers. If your hands are on the larger side, resign yourself to a few minutes of cramped hands or think about choosing a pliers-style nail clipper instead.
Pliers Style Nail Clippers
Perhaps the most highly acclaimed variety of cat nail clippers, this style is popular among both beginners and professionals. As the name suggests, they’re shaped like a pair of pliers, with long, comfortable handles that fit in any hand size.
This design gives you good leverage and strength, allowing you to make quick, effective snips. Many pliers style nail clippers also come with safety features like a quick-stop guide.
Guillotine Style Nail Clippers
This style features a loop through which your cat’s claw passes. When you squeeze the handles, a blade moves through the loop and chops off the tip of your cat’s nail.
For the most experienced groomers, guillotine-style clippers have some precision appeal. They make it easy to choose exactly how much of your cat’s nail you want to cut, and at which angle you want to slice. But it’s not all sunny.
If you’re inexperienced with this type of nail clipper or if your cat tends to wriggle during a trimming session, a guillotine style clipper tends to obscure the line where the safe zone ends and the quick begins.
Cats are sensitive creatures and, unless yours is an extremely chilled-out anomaly, they won’t be happy about a noisy electrical appliance whirring around their nails. These speedy grinders are a good choice for dogs, but a frightening proposition for the average cat.
A cat’s nails are also much smaller than a dog’s, so it may be difficult to control the depth of the cut with an electric grinder versus a set of handheld nail clippers.
Can You Use Human Nail Clippers For Your Cat?
A good pair of human nail clippers will out-trim a cheaply-made trimmer for cats. Human nail trimmers are usually small and maneuverable and, if the blades are sharp, they can give a clean cut.
But they’re not perfect. They don’t grab the claw in the same way the best cat nail clippers do – this could make your job more difficult, and it puts you at risk for crushing the claw. If you’re new to the game, it may be best to use a pair of cat claw clippers.
Our Top Picks For The Best Cat Nail Clippers
Now that you have a better understanding of how we came to our top picks, you’re probably eager to see them!
All of these tools are well-made and well-loved by customers and cats. Each has a reputation for durability, effectiveness, and comfort.
Here are our top picks for the best cat nail clippers you should consider:
#1 Overall Best: Zen Clipper Precise Junior Pet Nail Clippers
Sharp blades are a must for pet nail clippers and the Zen Clipper’s blades are some of the sharpest we’ve tested. Zen Clippers outperformed the exceedingly popular Safari nail trimmers in real-world testing, making the entire nail trimming process quick and easy.
What makes these clippers unique is the thumb wheel that enables you to make micro-adjustments to the opening between the blades. These clippers don’t have the safety stop that many models utilize to keep you from trimming your cat’s nails too short, but by adjusting the size of the opening you can control how much of the nail you’re cutting off. Closing the blades completely effectively “locks” them for safe storage between uses.
Some customer reviews mention their cat’s nails splitting during trimming, but one cat owner discovered that tightening the screw that holds the two blades together solves this problem. Keeping the blades flush ensures a quick, clean cut.
Zen Clippers have handles designed to accommodate ambidextrous use. They’re shaped to ensure a strong grip so you can get the leverage you need to make a quick cut, even if your cat moves during the process. Some customers report that the handles are a little small, but even customers who suffer from arthritis find Zen Clippers to be comfortable and easy to use.
- Sharp blades make nail trimming quick and easy
- Adjustable wheel changes the size of the opening
- Wheel doubles as a lock to close the blades for safety
- Handle designed for comfort and ambidextrous use
- Fairly pricey, around $25
- Some find the handles a little small
#2 Best Durable: Millers Forge Nail Clipper With Safety Stop
When a journalist writing for Wirecutter asked groomers to name the best dog nail clippers, experts unanimously agreed that Millers Forge clippers lead the pack.
“Every pro we spoke to recommended trimmers from Millers Forge, praising their price and reliability.”
But Do Millers Forge Clippers Work Well For Cats?
While this clipper has its fussy moments—customer reviews say that the rubber grips tend to slide off and that the safety guard slips out of place—it offers a quick, smooth, and silent trim.
This pliers-style clipper features heat-treated steel blades. Customers describe the blades as exceptionally sharp and durable. One customer said that they successfully used one pair for over 10 years. The blades are thin, providing a good view of your cat’s nail.
The spring-loaded clipper allows you to move smoothly from claw to claw.
- Cuts through nails quickly and effectively
- Features a safety guard and locking blades
- Fits every size hand
- Durable, long-lasting stainless steel blades
- The safety guard tends to slip out of place
- The rubber grips are unreliable and loose
#3 Most Popular: Safari Professional Nail Trimmer Small/Medium
Though technically marketed for dogs, these pliers-style nail clippers are perfectly suitable for cats as well. They have over 900 reviews on Chewy with a 4.7 out of 5-star rating.
This nail clipper has strong, ergonomically-designed handles almost everything you would want in a pair of cat nail clippers. Maybe that’s why it’s such a customer favorite. This nail clipper currently has 5,480 customer reviews on Amazon and a 4.6 out of 5 star rating.
This nail clipper has strong, ergonomically-designed handles that feel comfortable in most hands. They feature non-slip grips that allow you to cut your cat’s nails with confidence.
The ultra-sharp stainless steel blades have a reputation for durability. They come out of the package sharp and stay keen for years of trimming. With each snip, the spring-loaded jaws pop apart, allowing you to move easily from nail to nail. Cautious nail trimmers will appreciate the inclusion of a safety stop to help you prevent slip-ups when your cat makes a sudden movement.
- Has a safety guard to help prevent accidents
- Sharp, durable stainless steel blades
- Locking blade prevents accidents when not in use
- A highly-rated and well-loved nail clipper
- Pliers-style clippers fit every hand
- This clipper may be too large for small cats and kittens
#4 Best For Small Pets: Shiny Pet Nail Clippers for Small Animals
These scissor-style clippers were made with small animals in mind. In addition to cats, they’re recommended for small dogs, rabbits, birds, puppies, and ferrets.
The angled clipper head features an opened window that allows you to keep an eye on your cat’s nail as you snip.
Because the blades are razor-sharp, these scissors allow you to make quick, clean cuts. The anti-slip grip handles give you precision, comfort, and confidence.
Each pair of Shiny Pet clippers comes with an instructional eBook called Trimming Your Pet’s Nails.
- Angled blades give you a perfect cut
- Features a safety guard
- Anti-slip handles are comfortable and secure
- Sharp stainless steel blades
- Larger hands will have trouble handling these scissors
#5 Best For Comfort: Pet Republique Professional Nail Clippers Review
Like the Shiny Pet clippers, these are small nail scissors designed for tiny claws. The cat/mini clipper size is perfect for your cat’s delicate nails.
The scissors are simply-designed, with stainless steel blades that lock when not in use. To help you avoid the quick, the blades are outfitted with a safety guard. While the finger holes might cramp larger hands, you’ll find that the ridged rubber handle loops offer a non-slip grip for comfort and accuracy.
If you’re a philanthropically-minded shopper, you’ll be interested in Pet Republique’s partnership with the American Animal Rescue Society. 15% of the profits are donated to this organization.
- Sharp and durable stainless steel blades
- Comfortable non-slip grip
- 15% of all Pet Republique profits are donated to the American Animal Rescue Society
- Features a safety guard and locking blades
- At about $7 on Amazon, these are some of the most affordable cat nail clippers available
- Handles are too small for larger hands
#6 Best For Safety: gonicc Dog & Cat Pets Nail Clippers and Trimmers Review
This pliers-style nail clipper offers comfort and ease of use for groomers of all sizes.
The extra-long handles have a vibrant magenta color with black non-slip handle grips. To keep you safe while the clippers aren’t in use, the handles feature a convenient loop lock.
The clippers have a 4.5 out of 5 star rating based on 8,881 reviews on Amazon. Reviews of the stainless steel blades are varied. Some people say that they’re sharp and effective, while one top-ranked review states that the clipper cracked their cats nail.
Another drawback is the clippers’ lack of a safety guard. This makes them a poor choice for inexperienced groomers.
- Non-slip grip for comfort and accuracy
- Bold magenta color
- Pliers style clippers are perfect for all hand sizes
- No safety guard
- Some reviewers say that the blades aren’t sharp enough
#7 Budget Pick: JW Pet Gripsoft Cat Nail Clipper
For a simple pair of cat nail trimmers that get the job done, look no further than these scissors-style clippers from Gripsoft. Affordably priced under $5, these clippers are suitable for cats of all breeds, sizes, and ages and they are very simple to use.
What makes these clippers great is the Gripsoft technology that features non-slip grips and an ergonomically designed handle for comfort. The handle fits in the natural curvature of your hand so you don’t have to worry about slippage during nail trimming.
- Affordably priced under $5
- Gripsoft technology for comfort
- Simple scissors-style operation
- No safety guard to prevent overcutting
- May be too small for some hands
#8 Premium Pick: Hertzko Professional Cat Nail Clipper & Nail File
If you’re looking for a pair of well-made clippers you can use on furry friends large and small, Hertzko is the way to go. These pliers-style nail trimmers feature a high-grade stainless-steel blade with semi-circular indentions to help keep you from overcutting your cat’s nails.
In addition to being made from high-quality materials, these cat nail clippers are designed for safety and comfort. The anti-slip rubberized handle offers a comfortable grip and the safety lock keeps the blade protected and minimizes the risk for accidents.
Plus, this set of nail clippers comes with a nail file to help you smooth the cut surface of the nail after trimming to avoid snags on carpet and furniture.
- Comfort-grip, anti-slip rubberized handles
- High-quality, stainless-steel blades
- Safety guard and blade lock features
- May be too large for some cats
- Some customers had trouble using them
Why Should You Trim Your Cat’s Claws?
Because cats are so good at grooming themselves, many cat owners assume they don’t have to do much in the way of grooming. When it comes to your cat’s nails, however, it’s your job to keep them trimmed.
But why is it important to trim your cat’s nails?
Unlike a dog’s claws, your cat’s claws grow to a sharp point. There’s less risk of a cat’s nails becoming overgrown and growing back into the foot bad, but it can happen. Having overgrown nails also puts your cat at risk for injuring himself if the nail breaks or snags on the carpet or furniture.
You may think your cat takes care of his own nails by scratching and sharpening them, but that may not be the case. When your cat is scratching on a piece of cat furniture or a scratching post, he’s not actually doing much to wear down the nail – he’s really stretching and marking his territory with scent released from glands in the paws.
Keeping your cat’s nails trimmed is important for his own safety, but it also reduces the risk of accidental bloodshed during play sessions, and it protects your furniture as well.
For more information on cutting your cat’s nails, check out our in-depth guide to trimming cat claws.
Frequently Asked Questions
How often should I clip my cat’s nails?
You should trim your cat’s nails every 10 to 14 days. You can always check to see if his nails need to be trimmed – if they have grown to a sharp point, it’s time for a trim.
How can I calm my cat down to cut his nails?
It’s always a good idea to get your cat comfortable with having his paws handled by rewarding him with treats when he lets you touch them. Before cutting your cat’s nails, do a little grooming or a gentle play session to get your cat comfortable. If your cat is particularly nervous, clip one nail at a time and offer a treat at the same time to keep your cat busy.
What should I do if I cut my cat’s nails too short?
If you cut your cat’s nail too short and sever the quick, it may bleed profusely, and it could cause your cat pain. The most important thing is to stop the bleeding as soon as possible. Keep some styptic powder on hand and press it firmly against the bleeding nail for 1 to 2 minutes to stop the blood.