Trimming Your Cats Nails

Cleo showing how to get her nails trimmed.

Nail Trimming Tips

Let’s talk about those claws. Cats are well equipped beings with very sharp claws. The use them for a number of things like climbing, marking their territory, and self-defense. Because their claws become dull after several times of use, it is necessary for them to get regularly sharpened. Since this is a natural instinct, cats will find what they can to polish up their lethal weapons, whether it’s on their designated scratch post or your lovely leather sofa. 

In order to save yourself from those dreadful cat scratches and your favorite drapes from the nauseating rips and snags, it is important to know how to properly trim your cat’s nails. 

Identifying the Quick on a Cats Nail

Anatomy of the Claw

Cat’s nails naturally retract when they are resting, making it a bit difficult to see their nail. You can gently apply pressure at the bottom of the toe to expose the nail. 

At the base of the nail is a more pink or light red area. This is the quick, make sure you can identify the quick before cutting as this area contains blood vessels as well as nerves. If you happen to cut into the quick on accident it will bleed and be painful for the cat. Make sure you have a clotting agent such as styptic powder to clot the nail, then take a break.

Most domestic cats have five claws on both front paws and 4 on each back paw adding up to 18. However, there are exceptions such as a polydactyl cat. Examine your cat’s paws thoroughly before sitting down for a nail trim. 

Proper technique of trimming a cats nail

Use Proper Tools and Techniques

There are designated trimmers for cats and some people prefer a Dremel drill. However, we like to use human nail trimmers as it is something that is already familiar with, and the cats don’t seem to be as startled when using them versus a drill. Hold the trimmers horizontal when cutting each nail. Cutting vertically seems to be an easier position to cut, however it can splinter the nail and cause what is almost like a hangnail to us. 

Getting a Feel for It

 The best time to start trimming nails in when your cat is a kitten. Kittens are more acceptable to new things and will allow you to mess with their feet more. Touch their feet several times during the day and practice retracting their claws so you and your kitten get more comfortable with it. 

Applying pressure to retract a cat claw.

Of course, not everyone will adopt their cats as kittens. In this case, the best time try for a nail trim is when they are worn out and sleepy. Possibly after a meal or a long play session. Find a dim, quiet room with no distractions. Lay them on your lap and gently massage their paws. This will relax them as well as allowing them to become more familiar with you handling their feet.  

Reward Them for Good Behavior

Cats respond very well to positive reinforcement. When attempting to trim their nails it’s always a good idea to have treats on hand. When they allow you to retract their paws, give them a treat. Try one nail at a time, rewarding them after each complete paw. If they start to get squirmy take a break and try again later or another day.  

Cleo Knows Its Time for Her Mani Pedi

Work as a Team

 Sometimes it’s not always easy to get the nails trimmed by yourself so you might have a friend accompany you. When doing this you are more apt to make the cat nervous since there are more of you than him. Make small movements and use a soft voice which will help calm him down. Take breaks if necessary as you want to keep this a pleasant experience for you cat.  

Practice Makes Perfect

Remember, you and your cat are not going to be perfect the first time. Allow you both some time and practice, be patient and reward good behavior. Take breaks when necessary and never be aggressive or angry with your cat if they do not stay still. Let them have some space and try again another day. You will be pro’s before you know it!

Until Our Next  Cat Convo

- Amanda

Spot Me Out

Do you know how to tell the Difference?

When clients and friends come to our cattery they are astonished at how I can tell them all apart. Well the answer for me is easy but not everyone knows what to look for in order to identify each and every one, so let me give you some tips. 

The Distinct Differences

There is one thing about the Savannah Cat that never EVER changes, its spots! Each cat has their own unique spotted pattern which I call their "Fingerprint" You can always look at the cats and tell them apart by the spots. Main ways that I describe these patterns are if they have a flower pattern, a line of spots, lots of small spots, large distinct spots, clusters of spots, etc. Sometimes it is very hard to tell them apart but once you really sit and look at the pattern you will find something that sticks out to you so you can determine if that's your cat. 

Another thing I tend to recognize is the pattern of lines on their face and around their eyes. Me being a girly girl and former hair dresser I have fun names for this. ;) The lines on the side of their face are sometimes black, orange, bold, or broken, I call this their "mascara" The cats also often have markings in between this "mascara" that can be dark or light, more bold than not or also spotted, this is their "blush". Then we come to the "eye liner" this is the part around their eyes that is often a very light or bright white in color. If you move down their necks they have bands around their necks..... take a guess at what this is called.... yup, their "necklace" The "necklace around their necks are often what I call broken which is where they do not completely come together. At times, they have multiple "necklaces" and most often in different shades of black and gold. 

The Maturing Differences 

A1Savannahs features of a savannah blog photo blue eyes

Just like humans, all kittens are born with blue eyes. A very common question we are always asked is if their eyes will stay blue. Sometimes they will but most often they change to a green, gold or hazel color.  Kittens eyes do take time to develop and their quality of vision always comes before the color change. Kittens eyes typically will change their color between 3-6 months of age. Most of the time the kittens will be in their new home at this age so it is very hard for us to give a precise answer. 

Another thing that can happen is that the color of their noses can change. From my experience, we have had kittens born with pink noses that end up with a dark outer rim and sometimes born with this dark outer rim and turn mostly black. They say that cat noses can change with temperature, mood, blood pressure and that the lighter the cats nose the more you can see it change. But as far as our little hybrid kittens go, I think it is just part of their maturing process.

Figuring It All Out

Now that I have given you some of my helpful tips on how I like to discern the differences between our kitties why don't you go have a look. See if there is anything that stands out to you or helps you decipher your cats "Fingerprint" 

Tell us your helpful tips or show off your cat's beautiful features on our social media pages!

UNTIL OUR NEXT CAT CONVO

-Amanda

A1 Savannahs features of a savannah info-graph

Sleepy Kitty

Our cats and their napping habits.

As a mommy to several kitties I am always catching them in the most unusual slumber. Some of them in the obvious places like; in the warmth of the sun, on the fluffy sofa, in their cozy bed, in our cozy bed, and my most favorite is in my lap.  But sometimes you look for them for twenty minutes but they are nowhere to be found because they have a secret bunker where they can slip into that deep sleep with no disruption.

Types of Sleep

Did you know that cats also go into REM (Rapid Eye Movement) sleep just like humans? Most of the time when cats are sleeping they are not in that deep, fabulous, no care in the world sleep but more of that, I'm asleep but not really asleep because I can freakin' hear everything that is going on and no one will be quiet sleep. They stay in this state of sleep for around 15 - 20 minutes while momentarily falling into REM sleep for about 5 minutes at a time. If you ever notice your cat sleeping but slightly shift their radar's or taking a slight peek around this is when they are in the "Dozing" stage of sleep. If your kitty has their eyes tightly shut or using their personal fluffy sleep mask this is when they are in the "DO NOT BOTHER ME I AM ACTUALLY ASLEEP!" stage.

Why so long?

Cats can sleep anywhere from 15-20 hours a day depending on their age filling their fluffy fuel tanks. Cats release an obscene amount energy when hunting their prey, or in our instance, their secret stash of catnip so they need all the rest they can get. Kittens and older cats require more sleep than the average aged cat. Kittens sleep more because their precious little bodies are growing and older cats have had their time of prime and have decided life is much easier when you slow down.

Getting Adjusted

Most cats are dawn dwellers but being as adaptive as they are, they easily adjust to our hectic schedules. They enjoy their human time therefore making time in their day for us. But if you are having kitty soft paws in your face at 4:00 in the mother lovin' morning then try having some extra play time during the day especially before bed time. You may also give them a small snack before bed because they also like to go to bed on a full belly.  FUN FACT: We have a friend that as soon as he has eaten he is ready for bed before we even leave the table. We always tease him and tell him his eyelids are attached to his stomach. The more he eats, the fuller he gets and pulls his eyelids down, it’s pretty comical. But kitties do have a method to their madness when it comes to their sleeping habits.  Hunt, Eat, Clean, Sleep, Repeat!

Caution

If your fur child is sleeping more or less than usual you might want to consult with your veterinarian. There may be an underlying medical problem that needs addressed. Always take note of unusual habits your cats may have. If there is something different or concerning contact your breeder for advice or of course your veterinarian is always there to help. 

Whether in my lap or in their bed I always enjoy watching the cats sleep. You can actually distinguish when they slip in and out of that deep sleep. You can see their paws twitch and nose wiggle while in the land of catnip or their radars activate to be sure no danger is near.

We are always finding our kitties in the most peculiar places and positions. 

Tell us about some of your favorite sleepy kitty stories or share your photos with us on our social media sites!

Until Our Next Cat Convo 

- Amanda

Exercise your Pet

Keep that kitty movin'

As most of you Savannah lovers know the Savannah breed is very active, playful and somewhat destructive at times. Keeping your kitties engaged in playtime, walking, and dates with other furry friends can really reduce the possibility of bad behaviors. 

Discouraging Bad Cat Behaviors With Exercise & Training

Given this propensity for extra propulsion and playfulness, this could also be a gateway for more destructive behavior patterns if not trained properly and given plenty of exercise. Similar to toddlers and young children, parents will often attempt to “tire them out” as a pathway to a less naughty kid and the same is true for our four-legged friends.

A1 Savannah Kittens at Play

More Fun With Less Damage Done

Also given more activity, many cats tend to be less destructive with fewer bad behavioral habits. But some of this comes along with training that also discourages rough housing and other aggressive behaviors that could potentially put them at risk for injuring themselves, other animals, you, friends or family members.

A1 Savannahs Kittens at Play

When it comes to playtime and exercise routines, it’s important to remember how we interact with them is just as important as participating in the process itself. For example, encouraging them to attack hands and feet will send a message that this behavior is acceptable. This could cause an unsuspecting child, visiting friend or relative to be swatted, scratched or bitten when they may be simply trying to interact with your cat.

Put Them On A Leash, Capeesh?

Savannah cats are also very intelligent and many pet owners will often choose to train them to walk on a leash, which is actually much easier than you might think. You should first introduce them to the concept of wearing a harness since they’ll be much easier to control using this type of a device. It also greatly reduces the risk of them choking or slipping out of a collar while you’re out and about.

For some more information and suggestions about exercising with your pet, check out the infographic below. With more activity, playful exercise and given the proper training, you and your cat will be much happier and healthier in the long run! 

 What fun things does your cat do for exercise?

Until Our Next Cat Convo

-Amanda

A1 Savannahs Blog Post -PetExercise-Norwich

- We would like to give a special shout out to Jenn Johnson for helping us put together this weeks blog post!

Cool Cats

Okay, So let’s talk about cats getting in the fridge!

IMG_9422.jpg

Our F4 Cleo, aka Miss Cleopatra The Mischievous, is always ending up in our refrigerator. I'm not so sure what it is in there that she even thinks is remotely interesting. Oh yes I do… food! But this is the problem, every time she gets in there she isn't even looking for food. She hops up there, turns around with the most innocent eyes and looks at me. I'm like....... really?!? I always ask her what it is that she is so desperately seeking after but I just get that pitiful look. The only thing she does in there is get cat hair all over the place so then I have to have a deep clean party of the fridge. I mean, at our house cat hair is a condiment but we really don’t need it chilled.

During the holidays I was doing some baking and apparently she had decided to sneak up there. I didn’t realize it and turned and shut the darn door. Luckily since I was baking, I was constantly getting back in to the fridge because lets be real, I am super scatter brained….Just before the Cleo incident I put the milk in the pantry, but that’s besides the point.  Anyways, I opened the door and there sat a bright eyed and slightly cooled Cleo. If she could talk, which obviously she can, she would have been cussing me up and down because we know how much cats love the cold. But, she is the one that got up there and thought she was going to find a magical pot of cat nip or something. But in all reality all she got was a cool and very refreshing fridge session.

Hesitant but curious she still ends up in the fridge. But one thing is for certain, she is sure I am paying attention so her kitty fluff butt doesn't get stuck in there again.

How often do your kitties venture into the world of refreshing fridge sessions?

Until Our Next Cat Convo,

-Amanda