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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Cathy Rosenthal, CHES, CFE
Animal Welfare Communications Specialist

Cathy brings more than 25 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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