Friday, June 14, 2019

Clip the Tip and Not the Quick - Zen Clipper™

Everyone knows it's easy to clip the nails of cats (and other pets)! Right?!? Seriously, it's important to keep your cat's claws trimmed and it's not always an easy task.




I grew up with dogs who lived outside and didn't get my first cat until I was in my twenties. We didn't clip the nails of our dogs and I don't think I even knew I needed to clip the nails of my first cat. My first sign should have been when she destroyed two of our sofas.

I honestly don't remember the first time I actually trimmed one of my cat's nails. I do remember taking my previous Persian cat, Praline, to the groomers when she was a kitten and up until she was about 8 years old. At some point during her first 8 years, I began clipping her nails. Praline was easy to groom and clip nails - she would lay on her back purring - while I held each paw and clipped away the necessary tip, being careful not to clip the quick. All of that changed when my mom got her first puppy and he had black nails that she asked me to trim. I admit that I was afraid to do it because I couldn't see the quick in his nails. I told my mom that she needed to take Bandit to the groomers for a nail trim. Then I get Truffle and Brulee and kittens and they are wiggle worms from the "get go." They don't relax when I try to groom them or trim their nails.


Holding Truffle to clip her claws


Why Trim My Cat's Claws

For many years, people let their cats live outdoors and there wasn't a need to trim their claws because they were worn down from scratching on trees and being out in the environment. More cats are moving inside to live for their safety and the companionship of the people who live with them. People need to trim cat's claws because of the sharp points that can shred furniture and/or accidentally scratch. Dr. Marty Becker (VetStreet.com, 2012) states that trimming your feline's nails helps make life "more comfortable for both you and your cat." Dr. Becker continues to say that trimming the tips of the claws can make the kneading your cat does a more enjoyable experience and can prevent painful broken claws that can result when a sharp tip gets caught in the carpet. 

I've worked with Truffle and Brulee over the last 8 years to help them get more comfortable with having their claws trimmed (usually once a month). I can always tell when it's time for a trim when the girls tap my arm or hand for a treat and I feel the prick of their "needle-sharp" nails. I've tried numerous nail clippers in the past: guillotine-type, human fingernail clipper, or the traditional pet scissors-type clippers. I found the guillotine-type difficult to use because of my small hands and the small nails of Truffle and Brulee. I've settled on the scissors-type clippers but have found them to not always trim cleanly, causing the nails to split. I was very interested in trying out the Zen Clipper™ that I received at the Cat Writers' Conference this year because it was different from clippers I've seen and used in the past.

What is the Zen Clipper™

Measuring Truffle's claws to determine appropriate size

The Zen Clipper is a different type of pet nail clipper that is designed to clip just the tip of your cat's nail and removes the guesswork of how much nail one needs to cut. Zen Clipper was selected as a Top Five Product to help reduce fear, anxiety, and stress in pets by Dr. Marty Becker, "America's Veterinarian" and the founder of Fear Free. The Zen Clipper was originally invented for cats, but now has a variety of sizes designed for cats, dogs, birds, reptiles, and small animals like ferrets and rabbits. There are no exposed sharp edges that can accidentally harm your cat or yourself. “The design ensures that the same amount of claw is removed every time and the quick can’t be harmed even if the animal was to jump or move while it is being trimmed,” Zen Clipper inventor Michael Bihlmaier said. “The best part is that once the claw is trimmed, it cannot be over clipped.”

The Zen Clipper has a patent-pending conical blade that only allows the tip of the pet's nail into the cutting area - it's like putting the tip of the nail into a small funnel. You clip just the tip and avoid the quick. Zen Clipper provides a sizing card (available for download) that can be downloaded or they will mail you a free sizing card. All you need to do is to put your cat's smallest nail inside the circles to determine the correct fit. The stainless steel blade of the Zen Clipper shears the nail and doesn't crush it like other standard clippers. It's made from high-quality stainless steel for a long-lasting, sharp-clipping edge and blades. There is a cushioned, non-slip handle that is durable, comfortable, attractive, and easy to use.


Our Review

Mom Paula preparing to trim Truffle's claws

I admit I was a little hesitant to try the Zen Clipper on Truffle and Brulee because it was so different. I pulled out the sizing card and placed Truffle's smallest claw inside the various holes to determine what would be most appropriate to use. The XS size fits most cats, but I also needed the XXS for their smallest claws because it turned out Truffle and Brulee have different size claws on each foot. I worked with Truffle first because she's the most calm when it comes to nail trims. I laid her on her back (easiest for me since I don't have any help) and carefully placed the Zen Clipper on her smallest claw. It only went up so far (no where near the quick of the nail) and I pressed the handle. I was amazed at how quickly and cleanly the Zen Clipper was. I didn't hear the normal splitting of the nail I sometimes hear when clipping their larger nails. It was quiet and didn't appear to upset Truffle when I clipped. I've noticed in the past with the scissor-type clippers that the sound it makes when clipping tends to startle them. This wasn't a problem with the Zen Clipper. I was able to clip each nail swiftly and neatly with a couple of minutes. I didn't have tips of nails flying all over the place. If you look closely at the first photo, you can see the tip that was trimmed off of Truffle's nail below her nail.

It isn't time for a nail trim for Brulee yet, so I haven't been able to try out the Zen Clipper on her. She is still a squirmy cat and has little patience as I try to situate the traditional clippers on her nails to avoid cutting the quick. I look forward to trimming her nails with the Zen Clipper next week (I'll update everyone how she did).

I'm very impressed with the Zen Clipper and plan on using it for efficient and stress-free nail clipping with my beautiful Persian cats.
The Zen Clipper can be purchased on the Zen Clipper website or other online pet stores. They may be a little more expensive than the traditional scissor-type clippers, but they are well worth it.

Giveaway



We're excited to announce that two of our readers have the opportunity to win a Zen Clipper™ (one cat and one dog).  No purchase necessary. The giveaway is open to residents of the United States 18+ years, except where prohibited by law. The giveaway will run from June 14-23 and end at 11:59pm ET. Two winners will be randomly selected by Rafflecopter (powered by Random.org) and notified via email. Winners will have 48 hours to claim their prize; failure to do so will result in forfeiture of the prize and a new winner will be randomly chosen. To qualify for the giveaway, a comment must be left on our blog post.  Other entry options are available after a comment is left.  Please check your email and be sure to add sweetpurrfections@sc.rr.com to your address book!  Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

26 comments:

  1. The XS was too small for 90% of my cats nails. But like you, I noticed that it doesn't sound like it crunches the nail like the scissor types. My two squirm and get upset - and there are times when just when I find the perfect spot, they move or pull away. We're getting a larger size to try - so we'll see how that goes.

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  2. Wow, the Zen Clipper sounds Intriguing! I am always looking for some suggestions on some nice nail clippers for my dog. I like how they have multiple custom sizes. Anything that will reduce the stress my dog goes through during his nail trimming is worth a try. Thanks for the info.

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  3. We have a Zen Clipper and it's pretty easy to use and now that you mention it, it's time for my trim!

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  4. I have to say I saw the Zen clipper mentioned on another blog site and was intrigued. I cut with normal cat clippers at least once a month, sometimes twice if they feel like they need it. As you mentioned it's hard getting the nail to not splinter when cutting plus you have nail flying everywhere. Then if they're squirmy you worry about cutting to close to the quick. I do have a nifty trick for if you do hit the quick, an ice cube. I never liked the powder and the cube did the trick. Plus I foster cats and a lot if them are not into nail trimming so to have a clipper be quick, pain free, and sound free sounds like a winner to me.

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  5. My claws tend to be thicker than other cats - plus my human goes fairly close to the quick - so I actually need a larger size than most!

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  6. Sounds like a great product. My dog has black nails and the sizing card would really help me identify how much to clip. I definitely think it makes a difference how quiet a clipper is. Sometimes I think Louie freaks out because of the noise as much as the actual clipping.

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  7. What a great idea. We all have light colored nails so Mom can see the quick but our woofies didn't and she was always nervous.

    The Florida Furkids

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  8. for my oldest she has to go to the vet, she gets so upset, was not bad as a baby, but her previous vet screwed up and since she has been terrible. my youngest dog, Harley, lets out a yelp even before you touch her but she is not bad. i have a grinder and nail clippers. they have black nails so it is hard.

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  9. Looks like a really good clipper but with my lousy eyes am going to stick with the groomer and give her 10 dollars each time Layla needs it done. I would rather be safe than sorry

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  10. That is a nice clipper. I got Prancie too low a few months back and she bled a lot :(

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  11. Looks like an interesting product! I'd for sure try it on my dogs. I cut their nails weekly...well, on one I use clippers and on the other I use a dremel. For some reason they are each more comfortable with a different nail cutting tool, so I stick to what they are most comfortable with.

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  12. Such a simple, yet ingenious idea to make cutting cat nails SO much easier. I love it. Thanks for sharing!

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  13. Dr. D. sez as long as you have scratching posts, you shouldn't have to trim a cat's claws until they get old. Pawsome clippers though.

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    1. Truffle and Brulee have scratching posts all around the house that they use, yet, their claws still grow and need trimming.

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  14. I use the guillotine type clippers.

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  15. Kilo the Pug absolutely hates having anyone touch his nails, let alone clip them. He would need to be sedated at the vet. Luckily he likes to walk on pavement and they wear down. I want to try the Zen Clippers as I have admired the cat ones for several years at Global.

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  16. I can't imagine having to trim a cat's nails. i know my dogs are huge babies about it. But I'm glad that this goes into the ether as an option because there are still people who declaw cats out of fear for what claws could do to their furniture.

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  17. Oh I remember those days of cutting nails! My sweet Dusty was great. She didn't really fiDget too much as long as I didn't take all day. My other cat Precious wasn' t having it. Id have to cut her nails in spurts....front paws on day and back paws another day. Now I have a cute foster kitten so his nails are easier to cut as he's easier to hold but it's hard to see the quick. I like that the Zen clipper does the hard work for you without the guesswork. I guess this product gets Truffle's stamp of approval!

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  18. I'm glad they're coming up with ideas for safe nail-clipping. With pink nails, at least one can see where the quick is. With black nails, like our guys have, it's much trickier.

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  19. Oooh, that reminds me, time to clip our Goose's nails! This looks like a great clipper - will keep an eye out for it when we next visit the U.S. Sadly, we're not eligible to enter the contest.

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  20. I can't wait to review the clippers. They look so amazing and perfect for Harvey

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  21. These look like nice clippers.

    I don't have the hand eye coordination to clip my dogs' nails. I'm impressed that you were able to pose and take a photo at the same time! Theo goes to the vet for nail trims, because he's super stressed about nail clipping. But my husband can clip the girls' nails at home.

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  22. A cats claws grow sort of like an onion. The outer claw splits as the inner claw grows. The outer claw becomes loose like a hangnail to a human and the cat scratches things to remove the loose parts. This scratching doesn’t really sharpen the claws, it just reveals the new, fresh and very sharp layer underneath.

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  23. I am with you...I grew up with dogs and cats and don't recall ever doing nail care. Our dogs were outside a lot on the ranch and I think nature took care of their nails. The Zen clipper looks like a great pair of clippers! Some lucky cat parent is going to win that cool giveaway!

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