I began cutting Cleo's claws when she was about 3 months old. She was very pissy faced about the situation, but I wrapped her up in a leopard print blanket and pull out one paw at a time, and was as speedy as could be with tiny cat claw clippers. Now she's a little over 2 years old and while a mani pedi isn't her favorite thing in the world, she accepts it as something that just happens, no big deal, she's rewarded with a treat and goes on with her life.
Lilah was 7 months old when I adopted her. And I'm sure she has never had her claws cut before. I'm sure of this because her previous owner was a psychopath who allowed her sibling to die. (Me getting angry about how some people can treat domesticated animals is another post all together). Anyway, I decided that she had to learn to have her claws trimmed sooner or later and sooner was better so she could get used to it. (Note: I'm 100% against declawing cats).
So about a week ago I wrapped her up in a blanket, pulled out the claw clippers, and went to work. She was pretty unamused, but things started out well enough. Then, by the time I had reached the first of her back paws, she decided she wasn't having any of this. She began to struggle, but she's pretty tiny so I managed to hang on.
Then she began to shriek. This was not an angry hiss or that weird mooing/growling sound that I'm used to cats making. This was a full out high pitched screech of unbridled wrath. She had had enough. I tried to get that last paw, I really did, but it wasn't happening.
Cleo, meanwhile, was obviously very, very concerned. I'm pretty sure she thought I was torturing Lilah. She put her front paws up on the chair I was sitting on to see what was going on and why Lilah was making those horrible noises. After I let Lilah go and she ran under the bed to hide, Cleo sat next to the bed and meowed pitifully.
Amazing. Cleo went to hating her new little sister to being overprotective. I was worried it would undo all the hard work I had done with her, but she still accepted her mani pedi with her usual grace.
I tried a second time to cut Lilah's claws to much the same result. I really, really want to keep trying and to get her used to it, but I'm worried she's too old. I won't give up that easily, though. I'm her mother and I know what's best.
As an end note, I believe I posted this video on my blog a while back, but it's an absolutely hilarious cartoon from Hyperbole and a Half.