Calming a cat for nail trimming


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Calming a cat for nail trimming

Updated Dec 21, 2021

Dear Cathy,

I have a six-year-old indoor cat. He was rescued from the shelter several years ago by my daughter. He is incredibly sweet and affectionate and very attached to me. However, clipping his nails is almost impossible. He just won’t allow it. I must bring him to a pet store to have it done. Is there anything I can give him to relax him? Taking him out to the pet store is extremely stressful for him. Melatonin, perhaps? If so, how much?

– Linda, East Northport, New York

Dear Linda,

It’s normal for cats to get anxious and tense in new situations. While melatonin can be administered to cats for anxiety and fear, cats are not like dogs and humans and metabolize things differently. So, please consult your veterinarian on dosage and maybe a recommended brand.

Until then, look for an over-the-counter calming aid, especially for cats, that has melatonin listed as an ingredient. Often these products will contain other ingredients like thiamine, L-Tryptophan, ginger, and chamomile, which can also ease your cat’s anxiety. The proper dosage will be on the package.

Cathy M. Rosenthal is a longtime animal advocate, children’s author, syndicated pet columnist, and pet expert with more than 30 years in the animal welfare field. Send your pet questions, stories and tips to Please include your name, city, and state. You can follow her @cathymrosenthal

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1 thought on “Calming a cat for nail trimming”

  1. Cathy.
    I’m having the same situation with my cat that I rescued from the SPCA. She’s very sweet ( I’ve had cats since I was 18 & I’m allergic& always have been) That was the reason for the OWNER SURRENDER
    This us my first meower- climber -picky eater (fancy feast medleys- also Iams indoor- hair ball dry food)
    She also needs to go to “CATNIP
    AHOLICS) ANYWAY- what can I do?
    Something has happened in her past
    I’m not allowed to hold her ir even pick her up therefore taking her anywhere would be next to impossible as well as stressful on both of us . Any ideas???? She sleeps on a pillow next to me a night & loves pets, scratches & I forever get the head butts on my hand especially if she’s not done being petted . She barely plays with toys as if she’s never had anyway. I could on and on – she’s just what I need fir a companion. She even has Met Life Pet Insurance -accident , illness & wellness plan.
    Please email me with suggestions on nail trimming as well as holding her or picking her up .

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Cathy Rosenthal (aka The Pet Pundit), CHES, CFE
Animal Welfare Communications Specialist

Cathy brings more than 35 years' experience in the animal welfare field. She is a sought-after speaker, Certified Humane Education Specialist, a syndicated pet advice columnist, an author, a publisher, and of course - a loving pet parent.

Read more about Cathy here or check out her Non-Profit's page to see more ways she can help you and your organization.

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