Why Do Cats Bite Their Nails, Is It Normal?

why do cats bite their nails

Do you have a cat at home? If yes, then you would know that cats love to bite their nails. But do you know why do cats bite their nails? Is it normal for them? In this blog post, we will answer all your questions about cat nail-biting!

We will talk about the reasons why cats bite their nails, and we will also discuss whether or not it is normal for them to do so.

So, if you are curious to know more about this topic, keep reading!

A cat’s normal behavior includes grooming, playing, and sleeping. However, if you notice your cat biting his nails too often then it could be a sign of anxiety or stress. In cats, abnormal nail-biting is usually caused by boredom or frustration from not getting enough exercise. But, things are not that simple.

Let’s figure it out!

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Why Do Cats Bite Their Nails?

In general, cat biting is a result of normal grooming.  Biting the nails is a way for cats to remove dirt, debris, and loose pieces of the nail. In some cases, biting nails can also be a sign of anxiety or stress in cats. When a cat becomes stressed, it may start to groom itself excessively which can lead to nail-biting behavior.

Here are some reasons to consider in this regard:

Ringworm Infection

One of the most common reasons for a cat to start biting its nails is an infection caused by a fungus known as ringworm. Ringworms can cause cats to itch all over their body, including their feet and toes. Biting nails may be one way that cats try to relieve the itching sensation.


It is an autoimmune disease that causes painful sores to develop in a cat’s mouth. The condition can also be transmitted to humans, so it is important to take precautions when dealing with affected pets.

Symptoms of pemphigus include abscessed wounds on the gums or tongue that are sensitive to touch and bleed easily. Moreover,  cats with the condition often have a bad odor and will sometimes refuse to eat or drink.

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If you suspect that your cat has pemphigus, take him to the veterinarian for an official diagnosis. Treatment typically involves antibiotics, painkillers, and special diets. In severe cases, surgery may also be necessary.

Nail Injuries

Another common reason for cats to start biting their nails is if they have suffered an injury to one or more of their nails. If a nail is damaged, it can be painful and cause the cat to feel discomfort when walking or standing. In some cases, a cat may bite its nails as a way to provide relief from the pain.

Anxiety Or Stress

As mentioned earlier, one of the most common reasons for cats to start biting their nails is anxiety or stress. There are many things that can cause a cat to feel anxious or stressed, such as changes in routine, moving homes, new family members or pets in the home, and loud noises like fireworks.


Cats can also be allergic to certain substances, such as pollen or dust mites. These allergens can cause a cat’s skin to become itchy and irritated, which may lead them to bite their nails in an attempt at relieving the itching sensation. Cats with allergies often have red eyes and may also be sneezing and coughing frequently.

Nail Problems In Old Cats

Nail-biting could also be a sign of arthritis in cats. Arthritis is a condition that causes inflammation and pain in the joints, which can make it difficult for them to walk or stand comfortably. 

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As with humans, older pets are more likely to suffer from arthritis than younger ones. If your cat has started limping or having trouble getting up or down, it may be a sign that he is suffering from arthritis and you should take him to the veterinarian for a diagnosis.

What Can You Do To Prevent Nail-Biting In Cats?

Excessive nail-biting is one of the most common problems in cats.  It is a sign of stress, boredom, or frustration. If you notice your cat biting his nails too often then it could be a sign of anxiety or stress.

The best way to prevent excessive nail-biting in cats is by giving them lots of attention, love, and affection.

Here are some ways you can prevent nail-biting in cats:

Observe the Interaction Between Multiple Cats

If you have multiple cats in your home, it is best to observe their interaction.

Your cat may be biting his nails due to the stress of living with other cats. If this is the case, then give him more attention and affection so that he does not feel stressed out by being around other felines all day long. Moreover, other cats may be aggressive towards him for some reason.

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Sometimes cats bite their nails because they are stressed out by other cats in the house, especially if these felines have been bullying them or causing fights between themselves. 

If this is happening at home then it may help to separate all of your pets into different rooms with access only through doors so that everyone gets their own space to play and relax without having other felines around all day long.

Encourage Fun And Play

Give your cat toys and play with them, especially when you are not at home or during the night; this way they can have fun instead of feeling bored while being alone in one room by themselves for hours on end every day.

If you are not able to be at home with your cat during the day, try leaving him some toys that he can play with. Interactive toys, like a scratching post, for example, are great for keeping cats entertained and can help prevent them from biting their nails out of boredom.


Regular exercise and playtime with your cat will help him stay active. This will also keep him busy so that he won’t have time for biting his nails. Regularly take your cat outside or play with him indoors to help keep his mind off of nail-biting.

Pay Attention

Reduce stress in a household by giving the cat lots of attention and affection. This will make him feel more secure and confident, which can reduce anxiety or stress that may be causing excessive nail-biting behavior.

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Try not to leave your cat alone for long periods of time or put him in situations where he feels uncomfortable. This can make nail-biting worse and lead to more problems down the road.

You should also take into consideration that cats may have different personalities and preferences when it comes to playtime activities, so keep this in mind when planning out how you’ll spend time with your feline friend each day.

If you notice any changes in your cat’s behavior, such as increased anxiety or aggression toward other pets or humans, take him to the vet immediately for a checkup so that they can treat whatever is causing these issues before it gets worse!

Final Words

There are a number of reasons why cats may bite their nails, but in most cases, it is simply a result of normal grooming behavior. If your cat is biting its nails excessively or if you notice any other changes in its behavior, it is important to consult with your veterinarian to rule out any underlying health issues.