You are here


One of the things about sharing your life with cats means having to deal with their claws—claws that catch in the loop of your favorite sweater leaving a big hole or turn the side of your sofa into mince meat. Declawing your cat is inhumane and cruel and certainly NEVER a solution for dealing with your cat's claws-but even in a home full of cardboard and sisal cat scratchers, most cat parents are left with having to trim their cat’s claws from time to time.

Keeping claws trimmed is particularly important with older cats because their claws can grow faster and thicker, eventually curling under the toe and possibly embedding itself INTO the paw pad. This actually happened to my dear cat Gracie many years ago (You can read her story HERE) and after that nightmare we began checking her claws once a month and kept them trimmed. I discovered that ONE of her toes would grow a curiously thick, longer claw so being mindful of your cats claws is important.

ZC logo 475

As someone with lousy close-up vision, I am not a fan of doing claw trims. I fear cutting into the “quick” which is where the blood supply of each cat’s claw ends. If you cut it, the cat’s claw will bleed and, of course, it’s painful for your cat. If you’re really awkward, you can do more than harm the claw you could even clip the tip of the toe depending on the type of trimmer you’re using.

The other day the folks at Zen Clipper® contacted me about writing a review of their new nail trimmer. I didn’t think much of it at the time, but agreed to have them send me a product to try out. I couldn’t imagine it being any different than the drawer full of other clippers I had.

I was so wrong.

As a graphic designer, I enjoyed the bright colors and stylish design of the medium-sized clipper. Once I removed the clipper from the backer card, I noticed that unlike scissor-type clippers, these clippers cannot be opened very far apart due to a small spring that confines the movement of the clippers. What the spring does is causes the clipper to immediately go into an open position right after you close and release. This is a clever design feature because it gets the clipper ready to go faster than if you had to re-open a scissor-type trimmer after clipping a claw. It seems minor, but it ended up being an important factor.

In truth, I usually hold the cat needing the claw trim and Sam does the work. I had a bad scare with a kitten (she’s fine now) and since then I haven’t wanted to try trimming claws.

Laundry helper
©2015 Robin AF Olson. Woody "helping" with the laundry before we did his claw trim.

Since I promised to give it a try, I decided to test our foster cat, Woody. He was sitting on my lap, relaxed. I gently held his paw. All I had to do was line up the conical hole between the blades with a claw. I read on the package that you have to be careful the first few times you use it to make sure the claws don’t go too far into the opening. If they do go too far it means you need to exchange your Zen Clipper for a smaller size (Zen Clipper will exchange your clipper with no charge to you if you bring it back to the store where you originally purchased it). The claw easily slipped into the hole, not too far. I pressed the Zen Clipper closed and released. It made NO SOUND. Woody didn’t seem to even FEEL IT. His claw didn’t get crushed as it does with some types of trimmers. It was neatly trimmed back.

Niky claw trim r olson b 475
©2015 Robin AF Olson. Nicky.

I tried another claw and another. Eventually, I didn’t have to look too carefully since the hole would only line up with a claw and I was trimming off the tips. I trimmed one paw in a few seconds, tops, then did the other paw while Woody sat there purring away.

Energized by how effortless it was to use, I looked around for another cat who I could try it on. Freya was nearby so I did her claws, too. She fussed a bit, but again because she did not hear that telltale “Click” after each claw was cut and because the blades make a clean cut, she didn’t act as though she was uncomfortable.


I never thought I would be so blown away by product that I also never thought could be improved upon. The Zen Clipper out-performed my expectations and gave me confidence I’d lost long ago. I actually find trimming most of my cat’s claws a fun task since I don’t have to feel scared I’m going to hurt them in the process and I can get the job done quickly.


Niky claw trim r olson 475
©2015 Robin AF Olson. Nicky getting a claw trim.

Now, does this product calm a cat who hates getting their claws trimmed? No, but I believe that between the quiet operation and what it does for the cat-parent’s confidence might also make those tough-to-trim cat claws a thing of the past if you take it very slowly and only aim to trim a claw or two at a time.

All Clippers with text 475

The Zen Clipper comes in Small, Medium and Large. Medium is a good size for most cats. Older cats with thicker claws would need a Large and kittens and some reptiles and birds, too, would benefit from a Small size.


Thanks to Zen Clipper, I have a Medium-sized Zen Clipper (a $23.95 retail value) to give away to TWO lucky readers! All you have to do is leave a comment here on why you hate trimming your cat’s claws and I’ll chose the best two comments to win! Deadline is Monday, October 12, 2015 at 12:12 PM EST. Only ONE COMMENT per person. Multiple entries will be disqualified.


You can learn more about Zen Clippers on their web site or find them on Facebook.


After careful consideration, from time to time I write product reviews. If you see it here, it's because, at LEAST I think it's worth you knowing about even if I have an issue with it and, at BEST, I think it's amazing and we should all have one, two or more of whatever it is I'm reviewing. I get NO reimbursement for writing these reviews, though to write a review I am supplied with the item and I may be provided with an administration fee, as I was in this case. This review is MY OPINION, ONLY. The result you experience using this product may differ.

CICH Content Categories: 


Like you, I am afraid to trim claws for fear of cutting to much. Whenever they see the vet I ask the vet to trim their claws. I also have 3 cats that don't like being held and 1 cat who doesn't mind being held but is afraid of everything different from visitors to unfamiliar sounds. I think if this trimmer doesn't make any sound it would be perfect for that cat. You are correct that even though they have several scratching posts they still scratch my furniture.

This definitely looks like something to try! I always worry about cutting too much of my cats nail off and hurting them, but this seems like it would definitely be much more helpful than regular clippers.

Trimming claws is hard and stressful for both us, I only have 1 purrkid  that allows me and is easy to do. The other 4 are pretty impossible. It would so nice to be able to trim their claws, one of mine has, claws that catch when she walks. This sounds like a great product.

I have eight cats.  And anything to help the job of trimming claws would be welcome.  I have a couple that are ok with it.  But I do  have a couple of older cats who have thicker claws and I hate trimming them.  I usually take him to the vet to do it because my husband hates the job of holding.  He thinks he is going to get bit or scratched.  

I have three cats, which I have named 'The Evil Plan Bureau'.  These cats can inimidate Pit Bulls; that's how tough they are.  When I plan on trimming their claws, I gather a thick towel, multiple bandages, rubbing alcohol, and gauze.  The towel's for them.  The rest are for me.  My partner wraps each of them in a towel, burrito-style, while I wait with our claw trimmer.  Within a minute of trimming the first cat, my partner is wearing three bandages.  When I'm finished, I'm wearing five.  I'm not sure if the EPB is scared of the sound of the trimmer, or want to remind us (in a not-so-subtle way) just who is the 'boss', but that's why I hate trimming their claws.  I'm the boss, and they tend to forget that.  


The very thought of trimming my boys nails causes anxiety in both myself and the cats.  They were born to a Ferrari mom and have an inbred distrust of being handled to confiningly.  It looks and sounds like the Zenith trimmers might be the answer to all our concerns! 

Mollie! Mollie! Mollie! Never once has she let me clip her claws without bloodshed -- even as a kitten in the shelter before we adopted her. She's strong. She bites. She refuses to have her claws clipped. If the Zen Clipper works, it will be a minor -- not major -- miracle!

I hate trimming my girls claws because she always tries to twist herself up like a pretzel while I try and cut the nails. She is the contortionist and I am the magician slinging the blades as a contestant on a spinning wheel. I am quite sure my husband gets a great deal of entertainment from watching such a spectacle.

Thanks for this review! This would come in really handy with five cats. Like you, trimming claws makes me very tense in case I screw up (once was enough to terrify me for life.) It's nice to see a solution out there. 

I hate trimming Priscilla's claws because she hates it! She's 17.5 yo and still hates having her paws touched. And as you mentioned, she's old, so her claws sometimes get all jacked up, and I'm so afraid I'm going to hurt her.  But if I don't trim her claws, her claws will hurt her.  Sigh.  I would LOVE to try these clippers! I have 2 other kitties I could use them on also! 

With 8 cats, 6 of whom are older rescues from hideous situations, and one with diabetes, claw trimming is a constant and unwelcome issue, but an absolute necessity.  I would appreciate unbelievably a Zen clipper to help make this activity easier and better for all of us.  As soon as one kitty is stressed, the rest of them "know" and hide, start yowling or get into a defensive posture, knowing their turn is coming.  I would do anything to make this a stress free activity for all concerned, especially my Max, who has diabetes and a closed head injury resulting from being dropped down a stairwell by children at his first home.  As a result, he is for all intents and purposes, according to his wonderful vet, an autistic cat he doesn't love to be held or touched too much and can't handle a lot of stimuli of any kind. He deserves (and I try to give him) as low stress an environment as possible, but claw trimming is something that is unfortunately something he fears and loathes.

As the kitties get older, their medical needs are more and more significant; this product isn't something that would otherwise be on our shopping list.

Thanks for considering me for the claw trimmer giveaway.


I have 2 cats, and neither will cooperate with me when it's time to trim their nails. Itty Bitti, the Siameezer, spends most of his waking hours sharpening them (but not on any of the nifty scratching posts or cardboard scratchers, of course...) He also likes to jump up and ride around on my shoulder, which is very painful for me and has ruined a lot of tshirts. Kobe, my sweet black cat, won't let me near his I usually just let the vet do it.

I'd LOVE to win a Zen Clipper!!! Maybe it would give us all a little Zen around here! =^..^=



My cats are pretty good with nail trims but I help my friend and my cousin and some of those cats act like they are being murdered! The sound really does bother manuy of them. This trimmer sounds great!

I've had my share of cats who get all wiggly when I try to clip their claws.  But I have to say that Baccaruda takes the cake.  As I clip each claw, he bites me.  I've tried distracting him with a toy so he bites it instead of me, but it's quite a feat to hold the cat and the clippers and the paw and move the toe floof and then also clip a claw while keeping a toy near his mouth.  Don't even get me started about clipping his back feet!  I would love to try this Zen Clipper on him.

Hi Robin,

I would love to be chosen for one of the Zen Clippers. I have three kitties with different needs, although all three are not fans of nail trims. Anything to make it easier, safer, and faster for my babies I'd love to use!

Kitty 1) Abby is a spry 19 years old and was rescued as a kitten. He is front-declawed (sadly, before I knew any better!), but he does have his back claws. One claw seems to grow faster than the others and causes him some discomfort. Abby, while not a fan of trimming his nails, will let me clip that one nail without too much argument, but it would be wonderful to be able to trim them all.

Kitty 2) Maxie is an 11 year old, large, pedigreed Maine Coon. He is NOT declawed (I learned so much after Abby!). He is also not fond of nail trims, but desperately needs them trimmed. I'm ashamed to say it has been a few YEARS since I last tried to trim his nails because it takes so long to do each one because, like you, I have a hard time with seeing up close. If I could do it faster, I am sure he would be more amenable to trimming. Anything that makes this easier, like the Zen Clipper sounds like it would be, would be awesome.

Kitty 3) Izzy is 9 years old, and is a wee little lass. She is not declawed. Izzy was a true feral kitten when I rescued her. She'd been shot with a pellet gun and her left shoulder was disclocated. Poor baby girl! I've gained her trust and she is such a little love-bug now. I have tried to trim her nails in the past, but because she will not tolerate being made to sit still for more than a few minutes, has not had all her nails trimmed for a long, long time. Her nails have a tendency to grow inward, and I hate to think that they may grow into her pads.

Basically...I am DESPERATE. Thank you for considering us for one of the Zen Clippers!


Jules Burnell

I have four cats, so 40 nails to trim. My cats are good about it, but we can only get through about 4 nails at a time. There's also the problem where I have lost my good pair and now just use my clippers- loud and crushy. 

We need a little zen in our lives- these clippers sound perfect!

I have a heck of a time trimming somewhere around 184 cat claws every month. The first couple cats are pretty compliant and know they'll probably get a treat when it's over. The rest of them squawk, flail, and try to bite. A normally sweet, soft round kitty screams like she's being attacked, then growls like an idling Mack truck. I'm scared to death of cutting a nail too short..I feel like a horrible mother. It's happened a couple of times and I go running for the flour, which is the everyday household substitute for styptic powder. Flour gets tracked all over my tiny kitchen. Poor kitty looks at me like the injury was intentional. 

So flour gets tracked all over the kitchen and I've hurt my cat. I feel like a louse. I get the vacuum to clean up the flour and suck up all the little nails.

in a few weeks, I get to do it all again. Yay.

I have gotten pretty lax at keeping claws on my six kitties trimmed.  It seems that they are all getting worse about sitting still for it.  I am having more of a problem seeing what I am doing and it takes longer and they don't like that.  Maybe if I didn't have to worry about hurting them, it would all be over with before they got upset.

I can never seem to get my cats still enough to trim their nails.

They are not used to me doing this so they will tug and pull to get away from me.

I would love to be able to trim their nails instead of having them done at the Vets each time we have to go.

My kitty was injured when I adopted him, probably in a fight, and his hind paws are very sensitive. He yowls, bites, and runs when I try to squeeze his paws. I end up trimming one at a time when he's asleep just to keep them from clicking when he walks. This product sounds like it would really help! 

I have four cats and have to take two to the vet to get their claws trimmed.  This clipper sounds like something I could try on all four cats.  I'd love to be able to try it.

While most of my cats are philosophical about having their claws trimmed with their regulation cat claw trimmer, a couple of them get very nervous and stressed, to the point that I don't trim their claws at all, but depend on the many scratchers placed all over the house to help them out.  It would be more than amazing if we could find a trimmer that wouldn't cause my nervous cats distress! This Zen clipper sounds wonderful.  So glad you have found it for your cats!

I usually wait till they are asleep to clip claws that way we can get them done. My husband is a paraplegic and has gotten clawed inadvertantly because he cannot feel when the kitties put thier paws on his knee.

3.5 years ago, I adopted a cute little tortie-and-white kitten from the Humane Society. I adopted her because she was so pretty, and because they told me that because she was a polydactyl on all 4 paws, that she was lucky. Of course, I didn't know until her initial vet appointment that when you own a polydactyl, you have to watch those extra toes and make sure that you cut the nails before they wind back into their toe. She's already my wild-child, so it takes both my boyfriend and I to clip her nails. And yes, I have had them curl in almost to touching her toes before. She freaks out every time we try to clip her nails- she KNOWS when we are going to capture her and do it. I want the clipping to be as nice as possible, and I know that she hates the sound of the toenail clipper (yes, I use a toenail clipper to clip her nails- I do have others, but nothing worked well enough) when they crunch down on her poor claws. If there was a way to help her, I think that this would do it!!! I got her quick the last time, and that made me sad. I do periodically touch her paws to help desensitize her, but again, she is my wild-child (but super sweet), and gets scared at loud noises.



I would love to win because kittens.. I often have 120+ nailes to trim.. anything to make it easier would be welcomed

Hi, Robin,

Churchy here. I read what you wrote about the Zen nail clipper and I asked Momma to enter the competition to win one. Why? You see, in our house, there are four of us and Momma (and Daddy) cut our nails every fortnight. That's English for every two weeks. Momma is from England, but you know that:-) Anyway, we are three boys and one girl and we all have different sized nails! We go in turn, one by one. Daddy holds us and Momma carefully cuts our nails. I won't tittle tattle but a couple of us scream bloody murder and pretend that we're dying. Daddy gets scared, but Momma uses that 'voice' that means we need to fix our faces and suck it up. She's one of those 'tough love' type of Mommas. Anyway, I know I'd feel much safer if we had one of these clippers because they can adapt to different nail sizes. Mine are second thinnest (and I bite them, which doesn't make it easy to see where there sensitive spot is!)


Lots of love, 


These sound awesome! I don't have a problem trimming most of my cats claws but two are never intereste in claw maintenance. Right after that first click, those paws are done for the day. I'm lucky if I can get a few more clips in while they sleep. I'd love to give these a spin. Thanks for the contest!

I'm one of those horrible people who didn't know better about declawing. I never realized what it does to them. I know now!

But my three do have their back claws and one of my girls is constantly pulling her sheaths off! I've been so afraid to try to trim their claws but if this works that great, I would definitely try it then!

Please, I would really love to win because since I'm on disability, vet visits for something like trimming is out of the question! They do get routine care twice a year since my three are all senior cats but I can't afford any extra!

While I don't hate clipping my cat's nails, I do get nervous.  I am always afraid I will trim off too much (I have yet to do that).  By the way, I have a cat that I don't even bother trimming as she is a special needs tripod.  He back nails are capped due to the fact she scratches excessively on account of allergies and makes herself bloody because she doesn't know when to stop.  I don't trim the front paw because it's her only defense against many things including an active younger cat. 

With all the claws that get trimmed at our rescue, this would be a Godsend! Anything that would speed things up and improve safety is a great thing in my book!

And maybe -- if the people who adopt from me see how safe, fast, and easy this is, it would prevent some declawing?? Now THAT would be the ultimate Godsend!!!

Hi Robin,

I would love to win a Zen Clipper for my two cats; like you I had bad experience trimming a cat's claws once and haven't done it since. I leave it to my vet to do now, but with the proper safer cat trimmer I would give it another shot. 

I too have problems with close vision making me more nervous cutting my kitties nails.  We have several cats of our own plus my adult children that moved back home have their own.  On top of that we foster kitties that come from a feral cat colony until they are socialized and adopted out.  So there are a lot of claws that need to be trimmed and only a limited amount of funds for supplies.  We would really love to have a pair of the Zen clippers.

Holding my cat's paw

Dreading her screaming in pain

Need Zen now



I grew up with cats but and currently have two I adopted from shelters, but I have never dared to trim their claws.  Knowing that I could harm them has caused me to always have the vet do this.  I would love to be able to do this on my own in the comfort of our home.  The Zen Clippers sound wonderful and I would be greatful to have them for Ace and Willow.

What I hate most about trimming my cats claws is all the blood I shed. And don't worry about my cats, the bloodshed is all mine.

My sweet Nala...she acts like you're trying to kill her. She's not keen on anyone doing anything to her, except maybe a little petting when she's in the mood. Last time her nails were trimmed the vet tech was doing the clipping while the vet held her wrapped in a towel. She still managed to pee all over the place. My nerves were so shot after that visit I went home and cried over a glass of wine. Good thing is Nala was in a snuggly mood so I did get a few pets in. At least she was doing well after the visit. 

My cat thrashes and makes weird noises when I try to cut her nails.  She moves so much that it takes forever because I'm being careful not to hurt her!


If I don't win I might have to look into buying one because it's really hard to deal with every month.

My cat thrashes and makes weird noises when I try to cut her nails.  She moves so much that it takes forever because I'm being careful not to hurt her!


If I don't win I might have to look into buying one because it's really hard to deal with every month.

I need these so I don't get peed on anymore! My foster failure, Remy, despises having his nails trimmed. It is traumatic for everyone when it has to be done. I sometimes end up bleeding and we both end up soaking wet because he has peed all over. Just a bad soggy situation!


Because of Remy, and the fact I don't want any of my foster kittens to end up soaking their new family, I work very hard at getting my kittens used to nail trims and having their paws handled. 


Not sure if this is over or not, however, I have always clipped my cats nails until now.  A tom for sure. He is so obnoxious that any help I can get to make is less stress for me and him would be fantastic... Thanks and if this is over, sorry....

Pick me and my 5 beautiful cats!

I do need this , I don't do my 2 cats nails , I'm to scared they will bleed to much if I cut to much

With my 4 sweet kitties, I find it difficult to keep up with claw clipping! I have exactly the same issue of being so afraid of going too close and hurting them. We have tried a few different ones, but none seem to work as well as I'd like. This one looks promising and we'd love to have one!

Hi! Of my 6 cats, a couple of them seem to keep their claws at a reasonable length. The rest, well, they start getting stuck in stuff--their kitty condo, furniture, me, the carpet. Sometimes they get stuck so bad I have to unhook them. So far we've been lucky but I am so afraid someone will end up with a dislocated shoulder or broken arm! I like to think my kitties and I are pretty good at trimming claws but we usually only get 2 or 3 claws done before they decide they have something "better" to do. I believe the Zen Clippers would allow me to trim all the claws of all the cats so no more getting stuck in stuff!! We need some Zen in our lives!!

I have tried about every nail clipper, even the ones with sensors, and grinder (that were advertised as low noise level) on the market with no luck. Either they emited too much noise or they didn't perform as stated. Having cut into the quick on several occasions, neither myself or the pet are up for home nail trims at this point. I just don't feel confident I can trim the nail without cutting into the quick and it is evident the pet feels the same way. Therefore, trims are now done at the vets office.

The Zen nail clippers does sound like it would prevent over cutting of the nail, but again it could end up in the pile to take to the Goodwill as the other prior nail clippers succumbed to. I just keep hoping somebody will make a nail cutter that prevents human error! Who knows, this device could be it!

I have tried about every nail clipper, even the ones with sensors, and grinder (that were advertised as low noise level) on the market with no luck. Either they emited too much noise or they didn't perform as stated. Having cut into the quick on several occasions, neither myself or the pet are up for home nail trims at this point. I just don't feel confident I can trim the nail without cutting into the quick and it is evident the pet feels the same way. Therefore, trims are now done at the vets office.

The Zen nail clippers does sound like it would prevent over cutting of the nail, but again it could end up in the pile to take to the Goodwill as the other prior nail clippers succumbed to. I just keep hoping somebody will make a nail cutter that prevents human error! Who knows, this device could be it!

Add new comment