Thursday, August 18, 2016

Cat product review: Zen Clippers for pesky claws

Jasper the cat on his hot tub

It's been said that the best way to prepare an adult cat for a successful and struggle-free nail clipping session is to build a time machine, head back to the days in which your cat was a kitten and ensure that every trim session is quick, easy and painless.

Jasper would like me to start building that machine now. As I've mentioned in a previous blog post, his early life was difficult, and he didn't grow up with tame kitty role models. As a result, he can be incredibly difficult to fuss with.

So when the team at Zen Clipper reached out with a new product made to reduce the risk of pain with nail trims, I was intrigued. I hoped that these things might help me to keep Jasper tidy. So I agreed to accepting a free sample of those clippers in return for an honest review.

Here's what the clippers look like.

Zen clippers for cats

There's a tiny hole at the tip of these clippers, made to encircle the nail you need to cut. The ergonomic handles make the snips easy, even when your hands are sore from a day full of typing (like mine!).

These clippers come in a bunch of different sizes, and it's important to get the size right. That hole is a pre-set size. Get clippers that are too small, and you cannot make meaningful trims to the nails. Get clippers that are too big, and you run the risk of cutting too much and causing bleeding and pain.

The company makes downloadable guides you can use when selecting clippers, but I suggest contacting the company directly and asking for a sizing chart to be mailed to your house. The cards make buying the right size super easy, as each clipper size is illustrated with a punched out hole. It's hard to make a mistake with instructions like that. But if you do, the company is happy to take returns and send you the right size.

Jasper the cat getting his nails clipped

I know what you're thinking. Why bother with sizing when I can get traditional clippers that accommodate all sizes of nails? There's an awesome reason.

Traditional clippers can, and most do, crush the nail before the clip. The animal experiences a bit of pain, and the clip is far from clean. When I am using traditional clippers with Jasper, he struggles like crazy because of the pinching, and he walks away with smashed claws that are a little bloody.

The Zen Clippers do not pinch. The two pieces of cutting material come together quickly and smoothly, so the nail is clipped clean without any kind of crushing action. And, if you get the right size of clipper, you're almost guaranteed not to take off too much nail. Your whole cat's (or dog's) nail won't fit in the tool. Only the bit you need to cut will fit. 

While Jasper did not love his clipper session with the Zen Clipper, he didn't struggle overmuch. Once he realized there was no pinching involved, he relaxed quite a bit. And since every clip did not take off too much, he knew we wouldn't hurt him. That also helped him to relax.

And you can't argue with these results.

Jasper's clipped cat nail

His nail is almost surgically cut, with no splinters or breaks or fractures. And there's no blood on that tip. I didn't hit the quick and make him bleed.

If you're like me and you have a number of pets of different sizes, you will need to purchase many different sizes of Zen Clipper. These aren't one size fits all. And for some people, that might be a bit of an issue.

But, I'm a firm believer in keeping grooming sessions as quick and painless as they can possibly be. If I need four or five clippers to do the job for my furry family, that seems like a small price to pay. You will probably agree, once you try these things.

The Zen Clipper is available on the company's website, and you can also buy the clippers on Amazon. I don't think they're in pet stores quite yet, but this is a relatively new product, so it might hit shelves soon.

What do you think of these clippers? Would you use them? Leave me a note in the comments and let me know!


  1. Mommy doesn't clip our claws as we has doggies and we also go outside and climb trees but she does clip the doggies nails, well actually just Tuiren's, and she says a good pair of clippers is a must.

  2. I'm going to have to look into this! Bear throws such a fit and the vet's reassured me over and over again that it doesn't hurt him to clip his claws (avoiding the quick). Now, after what you said, I'm back to my instinct that something is wrong. I will try these and see if there's a difference!

  3. Jasper is a great model. Those looks like nice clippers. Sorry I don't get to your blog every day, I wish there was a place on here to get new posts by email.