Mr. Squirmy Goes to the Vet

When Floki was a kitten we were able to clip his nails, barely. Since about three or four months ago, nail clipping has become an impossibility. Whenever we try, he becomes, for lack of a better word, the squirmiest cat on Earth. He twists and turns and kicks and screams and hisses until he breaks free. If none of those works, the extra long, sharp claws in flesh (mostly my flesh) does the trick. People tell us, “Get a towel and wrap him like a burrito.” It’s a wonderful theory but it does not work, at least not for Floki.

We tried many times over the last few months to clip his nails but we also didn’t try many times because I worried Floki would start to fear me. My job was to catch him and hold him while Rose’s job was to do the clipping. Since no clipping occurred, I was the only bad guy.

I decided to call our nearby vet to see what they charged. I figured getting him in a cat carrier would be much easier and it would also make them the bad guy, not me. They told me it would cost $12. I thought that was a bargain so I made an appointment for yesterday morning.

I was wrong about it being easier to get Floki into the carrier. It was a nightmare. As soon as Rose opened the door to the carrier, Frankie walked inside. I had to dump Frankie out first and then try to catch an already nervous Floki. That was made easier since we closed the patio door giving him no access to the house. I picked him up and tried to put him in the carrier but he spread out his arms and legs in his best Rocky the Squirrel imitation and I couldn’t get him inside.

I thought I would take the top off a put him in that way so I tried that. Rose picked him up and put him inside while I put the top down but I couldn’t hold him in long enough to secure the door.

I put the carrier back together but Frankie walked inside it again and I had to dump him out again.

I caught Floki and he grabbed onto my shoulder with his claws. I couldn’t pull him off for fear of losing a chunk of skin on my shoulder so I backed up against the cat tree and gave him somewhere to go.

I considered giving up and calling the vet but after one or two more tries we got him in the carrier. Then the crying started.

He cried all the way to the vet.

Once we were there and he saw other cats and the biggest Husky dog on the planet he became quiet.

cat Floki

We were never put in a room. Instead, someone came out and brought Floki to the back room. I told her she needed to put on a suit of armor and she just said, “We’re used to it.”

When she returned Floki I asked, “How did it go?”

She said he was fine.

What!? Are you freaking kidding me? Are we talking about the same cat? I didn’t say that but I thought it.

Later that evening we trimmed the nails of our other three cats with hardly an issue, even from Big Baby Chris. Frankie went UTB for a while but gave us little trouble when we did catch him.


27 thoughts on “Mr. Squirmy Goes to the Vet

      1. Mary McNeil

        I’ll have to look, but they are the common brand – Pet Mate . They have them at the usual stores. They cast a bit more – $35 or so – but TOTALLY worth it.

  1. Caren Gittleman

    I am with Mary….I have a carrier that has a front door AND a door (hatch) on top. It is MUCH easier for the cat because instead of shoving them in face first, you open the top and put them in FEET first. Also, I keep Cody’s carrier out every day with the door open. He often goes in it and sleeps there. He learns that he does not go to the Vet every time he is in the carrier. If you don’t leave your carriers out, i strongly suggest doing it.

  2. The Island Cats

    If you don’t have a carrier with a door on top, set the carrier on the backside so the door faces up. Drop the cat it, close the door. Also, try getting Loki when he’s sleeping to clip his nails. If he’s sleepy, he might not be as squirmy…though you still might need to wrap him up. ~Island Cat Mom

    1. Charles Huss Post author

      I think I need to look for that top door carrier or at least put together our large carrier. I don’t want him to be afraid of us so the vet being the bad guy works for us.

  3. Summer

    My human puts us in the carrier rear end first – it makes it almost impossible for us to do the flying squirrel pose to stop getting put in. My human’s boyfriend used to be a vet tech, so he knows all the good holds to trim Binga’s claws, since she is a big baby about it.

  4. onespoiledcat

    Teddy is pretty good with the nail trimming thing……….Sammy was SUPER good……..I think we just happened to “luck out” in that department!


  5. The Swiss Cats

    What an adventure ! At least, the job is done ! Claire does it when we are half asleep, 3-4 claws at time, and it takes one whole day to get our 8 paws done. Fortunately for her, as we go outside on a regular basis, we don’t have our claws trimmed very often. Purrs

  6. Deziz World

    Ya’ll didn’t go with him? Well then, you’ll never know why it was so “easy” fur them. We’re not fans of claw clippin’ time either. Mommy doesn’t innerstand it, cuz with da exception of a couple weeks, she’s da only one who’s ever clipped our claws. And she’s never hurt us. And she doesn’t think anypawdy bothered with our claws durin’ those couple weeks befur she got us. But she did have them clip me’s claws one time. A ten dollar charge to watch two techs hold me down and another clip me’s claws haphazardly, and dat was it fur us. Mommy just takes it on da chin and hands, literally and clips us herself. No burritos here either. MOL

    Luv ya’

    Dezi and Raena

      1. Deziz World

        It’s not likely. mommy says VETs scare peeps with dat “let us be da bad guy” thing cuz they don’t want your kitty respawndin’ to your emotions. Lots of peeps can’t handle needles, etc. and might jump and scare kitty durin’ an exam or shot, etc.. But da truth is, kitty can reason, and knows you’re not hurtin’ him/her, and doesn’t hold it against ya’ or fear you. Altho’ it’s bestest to not chase kitty to ketch him to clip claws. Da bestest time, is when kitty is relaxes and you can walk up and pick them up with no chasin’. A little luvvin’ befur da clippin’ and a little luvvin’ after da clippin’, and it’ll be all good. Never, let kitty escape or get down on their terms. You always dictate when they can be free from your grasp. Good luck. Big hugs

        Luv ya’

        Dezi and Raena


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