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Why Do Cats Chew On Their Nails

Cats can often be seen chewing on their nails, normally whereas grooming. Though nail-biting in people is taken into account to be a nasty behavior and unhygienic, this isn’t the case for cats and it’s truly thought-about to be regular habits.

Generally although, a cat’s nail chewing may grow to be extreme and if so, there’s normally an underlying medical or behavioral purpose for it. Let’s take a better have a look at why cats chew their nails and allow you to resolve whether or not or not try to be involved about your cat’s nail chewing.

What Are Cat Nails Made Of?

To grasp why cats chew and chew their nails, we first have to know a bit extra about cat nails and what they’re made up of. Cat nails are constituted of keratin which is a protein additionally present in hair and pores and skin. The truth is, it’s the identical protein that our personal fingernails are constituted of. In the course of every nail is the fast which accommodates the blood vessels and nerves that offer the nail.

Cat’s nails (or claws) are made up of layers which might be frequently renewing. New layers type from beneath and as this occurs, the oldest and most outer layer is shed, forsaking a more moderen and sharper nail.

This cycle takes a number of weeks to be full and can occur repeatedly all through your cat’s life. Every nail undergoes this cycle at a special charge so your cat will shed her nails on common foundation. Which means you’ll in all probability continuously discover previous claw husks round your family, significantly in case your cat spends numerous time indoors.

Cats require their nails to be in good working situation to allow them to hunt, climb, stability, and defend themselves, so this continuous cycle of renewal is essential.

Additionally Learn: Cat Claw Caps and Covers

Causes Why Cats Chew On Their Nails

There are a number of explanation why cats chew on their nails and normally it’s completely regular habits. Let’s take a better look.

Regular Grooming Habits

Everyone knows that cats are naturally clear animals and can normally groom themselves fastidiously. Your cat will chew her nails and use her enamel to take away dust, litter, and different particles from in-between her toes and round her nails.

This helps to maintain her clear and maintain these sharp weapons in tip-top situation! She may additionally chew her nails to assist take away a damaged piece of claw. That is all a part of your cat’s grooming regime and helps to take care of her excessive requirements of fine hygiene!

Additionally Learn: 7 Greatest Cat Nail Clippers

How Do Cats Shed Their Claws?

dead claw husks

Scratching additionally helps to take away previous, lifeless claw husks.

As we’ve already realized, cat nails renew frequently as they’re shed. Your cat will use her enamel and chew her nails to assist pace this course of alongside. She’ll chew her nails to tug off the previous outer nail husks, revealing these sharp new claws beneath.

Scratching additionally helps to take away previous, lifeless claw husks. Scratching is a pure, instinctive habits and you may assist discourage your cat from utilizing your furnishings and carpets to scratch on by offering her with loads of appropriate scratching posts and/or bins. Some cats choose to achieve up and scratch and others choose to stretch themselves out alongside the bottom to scratch. Some cats will use a mix of each.

Additionally Learn: Greatest Nail And Claw Caps For Cats

When Ought to I Be Involved About Irregular Nail Chewing?

In case your cat is chewing her nails excessively, or greater than she has achieved beforehand, chances are high there’s one thing mistaken. Numerous medical and behavioral issues may result in extreme nail chewing, so it’s necessary to take your cat to the veterinarian if you happen to suspect she is chewing her nails greater than she needs to be.

Additionally Learn: How To Cease Cats From Scratching Furnishings

Medical Causes Of Irregular Nail Chewing

These are only a few of the extra widespread medical situations that would trigger extreme nail-biting in cats.


Pemphigus is a sort of autoimmune pores and skin illness in cats. There are a number of differing types however pemphigus foliaceous is the kind that mostly impacts cats. It ends in pores and skin lesions which might be irritating and itchy, inflicting your cat to chew, scratch, and lick themselves excessively.

Your cat’s claws may additionally seem flaky. Pores and skin lesions could be discovered anyplace in your cat’s physique however are continuously discovered across the nail beds and infrequently look crusty and sore. Your cat will chew her claws in an try to alleviate the discomfort and clear the realm however this will make the issue worse.


Ringworm (dermatophytosis) is definitely not a worm however a fungal an infection that may have an effect on a cat’s pores and skin. It normally ends in patches of hair loss and dry, flaky pores and skin. It might additionally have an effect on the nails and can lead to an infection if left untreated.

Ringworm in cats typically ends in extreme grooming and typically extreme nail chewing if the nails or nail beds are affected. Ringworm is a zoonosis which implies that it may be transmitted to people.

Wash your palms properly after dealing with your cat and keep away from touching any pores and skin lesions in your cat that look suspicious. Seek the advice of your physician if you happen to suppose your cat might need given you ringworm.

Nail Mattress An infection

Nail mattress infections can develop in cats for a lot of causes. They normally manifest as a swelling of the pores and skin across the nail mattress, typically accompanied by a sticky discharge. Nail mattress infections are painful and are another excuse that your cat may be chewing her nails excessively.

Thick Brittle Nails In Older Cats

Older cats typically develop thick nails which might be extra brittle. That is typically resulting from a hormonal imbalance and normally isn’t an excessive amount of to fret about. Your cat may chew her nails extra typically in an try and take away items as they flake away.

Older cats don’t are likely to scratch or groom themselves as a lot, so maintain an additional shut eye in your older cat. She may want her claws often trimmed for her to maintain them in good situation.

Additionally Learn: The way to Safely Trim Cat Nails – A Step by Step Information

Behavioral Causes Of Irregular Nail Chewing

If medical issues have been dominated out by your veterinarian, it’s possible that your cat’s irregular nail chewing is all the way down to nervousness. Some cats are naturally extra anxious and these cats might have a predisposition to extreme nail chewing.

Anxious cats are sometimes additionally predisposed to different obsessive-compulsive dysfunction behaviors akin to over-grooming. Some breeds are extra liable to all these behaviors than others, akin to Siamese and Burmese cats, however any cat can exhibit anxiety-related behaviors.

Extreme claw chewing in cats will also be brought on by boredom and lack of ample psychological stimulation. Or, it may be that there’s a supply of stress inflicting your cat’s nervousness. Sources of stress in your cat may embrace issues akin to loneliness, a brand new cat within the neighborhood, noisy constructing work, or a brand new child within the family. It’d even be that one other cat in your family is making your cat really feel unsettled.

What Can I Do To Assist?

cat chew nail

To scale back boredom, you should definitely spend a while every day taking part in along with your cat.

The very first thing to do is scale back stress in your cat as a lot as doable. You are able to do this in a number of alternative ways. Firstly, guarantee there are sufficient sources for the entire cats in your family. This consists of meals bowls, water bowls, litter trays, and sleeping areas.

The golden rule is that at the least, it’s best to have one in every of each useful resource per cat in the home, plus one additional. You would additionally think about getting a Feliway plug-in pheromone diffuser in your cat. These are designed to assist your cat really feel joyful and protected of their surroundings.

To scale back boredom, you should definitely spend a while every day taking part in along with your cat. That is particularly necessary in case your cat doesn’t go outdoor. You would attempt utilizing feather teaser toys that your cat can chase and catch, or wind-up mice.

Catnip toys are sometimes a favourite, though keep in mind that not all cats are delicate to the consequences of catnip. In case your cat spends numerous the day on her personal, you’ll be able to go away her with toys she will get pleasure from by herself. These don’t must value some huge cash – many cats love an empty cardboard field!

In case your cat remains to be chewing her nails excessively regardless of your greatest efforts, then converse to your veterinarian who will be capable to refer you to a professional pet behaviorist. Generally, behavioral modification medicines may be wanted to interrupt the behavior.

Ought to I Reduce My Cat’s Nails?

Most cats shouldn’t want their nails reducing as they may normally maintain them in tip-top situation when grooming themselves and thru using scratching posts. Generally, older cats may want common nail trims to stop their claws from catching on carpets, or from curling spherical and rising into their pads.

You shouldn’t lower your cat’s nails in the event that they go outdoor as a result of they may want them to defend themselves towards predators. Ask your veterinarian if you’re not sure.

Additionally Learn: Declawing Cats: What You Have to Know


Nail chewing in cats is normally a very regular habits and most cats will chew their nails as a part of their grooming routine to take away dust or previous items of nail.

Generally although, cats will chew their nails excessively and that is normally an indication of an underlying medical situation or behavioral drawback. You already know your cat greatest so if you’re involved that she is chewing her nails greater than is regular, then converse to your veterinarian to get her checked over.

Additionally Learn: Why Do Cats Sit On Your Chest? 10 Causes Why!

Ceaselessly Requested Questions

Is it regular for my cat to chew her nails?

Sure, it’s regular in your cat to chew her nails. Cats chew and chew at their nails as a part of their regular grooming routine. Nonetheless, in case your cat is biting her nails excessively, this may very well be an indication that one thing is mistaken and it’s best to take her to the veterinarian to get her checked.

Why does my cat chew and pull his nails?

New nail varieties in layers from the within out, so previous nail will flake away from the floor of the nail. Your cat will chew and pull at his nail to take away these items of the previous nail, revealing a pointy, new nail beneath.

Does my cat have nervousness?

A number of behaviors may point out that your cat has nervousness. These may embrace sudden adjustments in habits, over-grooming, extreme vocalization, restlessness, hiding, or decreased urge for food. It may be troublesome to find out whether or not some cats have nervousness so converse to your veterinarian if you’re not sure.



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