I have a friend with a hefty-size tabby cat. His name is Buddy. I'm guessing he weighs eighteen pounds. (So he has 5 x 18 pounds of potential wrestler in him, as compared to human muscles.)
For several years now, ever since he was a little guy, I've been clipping Buddy's claws every few weeks to keep him from shredding the furniture.
He's very used to the procedure because I always spend several minutes giving him loves and rubs before and after I do the clipping.
Still, he gets warier and warier as we go along.
So I massage and pet him and speak loving words to him every few clips.
Usually we get all the way through, but not always.
Today I succeeded.
If Buddy gets agitated, there is zero doubt.
His ears go back, his tail thrashes and, if I insist, I can count on getting bitten (hard!) and gouged by his remaining sharpeners.
So I don't insist. I just do my best to get through the entire exercise every time. 95% of the time, we do.
I don't believe in manhandling cats. You can get away with manhandling dogs.
As pack animals with leaders, they're accustomed to being laid down on their sides or bellies and expected to stay put as a show of submissiveness. And you can do that easily without hurting or stressing them out.
A firm, low voice is sometimes all it takes.
Once in a while, it might involve taking the scruff of their necks, at which time they'll usually hunker down and submit to your ministrations of their own accord.
Dogs are extremely forgiving and bounce right back from being corrected or bossed around.
But trying to out-wrestle a cat does two things: it upsets, aggravates and can injury both parties, and a cat never forgets it when he (or she) has been manhandled.
You can pretty much forget ever having a trusting relationship with a cat if you ever treat them like an underling.
Cats expect to be treated as equals. (Heck, some cats seem to regard humans as below them!) They want to feel like they have control of their own bodies and fates, just as we do. So violating their trust is a cardinal sin.
Don't do that...