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Why Does My Cat Love Nail Files? (Is It Normal?)

If your cat loves nail files you may be looking at it and wondering why this is happening. Is this even normal?

Why does my cat love nail files?

Cats like nail files for a few reasons: The texture, the feeling it gives them, or lack of minerals. Cats enjoy grooming and keeping their nails sharp so these nail files work well for them even if it seems weird to us.

So now you know why. But, can your nail clippers also be used on them? What material are these files usually? Could you use these nail files on your cat? Keep reading for these answers, and so much more…


What are nail files?

Why does my cat love nail files?

Nails being filed.

To make sure we are on the same page let me clarify what a nail file is, according to Wikipedia, a nail file is a tool used to file down or tidy up the sharp edges on a nail after they have been cut or clipped.

If you see your cat using it it may seem weird because they were never intended for cats to use them. But, now you know why they use them and exactly what they are.

What are nail files made of?

Nail files can be in several forms including an emery board, metal, glass, crystal, etc. The classic nail file that comes to most people’s minds is an emery board. But, as you have learned there can be various types.

The chances are your cat will be attracted to the emery board version but there is a chance they could like different types. Either way, don’t be surprised.

Can nail files be used on your cat?

Nail files can be used on your cat. One of the reasons for this is because their nails are similar to human nails (more on this later). This means that they are just as effective on their nails as ours. In fact, you could probably use it after clipping their nails (Click here to see if clipping or grinding is better).

The reality is nail cutting is done by some owners but not always required. But, the decision to do this is your choice.

What are cat nails made from?

Cat nails, or claws as they are really called, is keratin, which is a hard type of protein, according to Wikipedia. This keratin is hard enough to help them hold their prey or defend themselves from predators much like large cats.

If you have ever wondered what cat nails are made from now you have a good idea. And, as I said earlier they are quite similar to human nails. Human nails, like cats, is also made of keratin. Which is, coincidently used for human hair and part of the skin.

How do you keep a cat’s claws dull?

If your cat nails are a problem for you or have a need to make them dull there are a few options such as the following:

01. Trimming their nails

As I have discussed in this article you can trim your cat’s nails. And, also file them down after to keep them from being too sharp. The reality is its good practice to trim your cats’ nails to avoid problems.

02. Using a cat scratching post

A scratching post (Click here to see my best one) is a good way to allow your cat to groom its nails on its own. The benefit is they can help themselves and also keep themselves entertained while they use it.

03. Nail caps

Cat nail caps (Click here to see the reviews, on Amazon #Ad) are another option to make your cat’s nails dull. They are an artificial attachment that creates a barrier between their nails and your furniture, for example.

Can I use human nail clippers on my cat?

Human nail clippers can be used on cats. However, there are a few different types. And, a couple of them are better to use on a cat. The three types are the standard nail clipper, a scissor style, or a guillotine variation. The first two types are best for cats.

It is better to use dedicated cat nail clippers (Click here to see the reviews, on Amazon #Ad) rather than reusing your own. But, at least you understand that it is possible to use them if you want to.

What happens if you don’t trim your cat’s nails?

If you do not trim your cat’s nails they can become out of control. In extreme cases, they can curl over and grow into your cat’s paw. This would obviously cause a lot of pain and is easily avoided by trimming them.

You may wonder, well what about wild feral cats? Well, they will find other methods to keep them trim like using an object to grind their nails against to maintain them. This is an instinct that cats have.

The problem with domestic cats is they rely on their cat owners a lot. Or, if they decide to get creative on their own, they could use your furniture to help maintain their nails, are you with me?

How often should I clip my cat’s nails?

It is recommended to trim your cat’s nails every couple of weeks. It may be a bit tricky at first. But, once you get the hang of it it should become easier. However, if you have a real problem with it you can ask your vet to do it for you.

It may seem like a bit of a hassle t trim your cat’s nails. But, think of it like this, would you prefer that its nails get out of control, cause a health issue, then you have to pay to resolve it? A bit harsh but that is the trade-off.

Is it normal for cats to lose their nails?

It is not normal for cats to lose their nails. But, it is normal for them to constantly shed layers of their nail. Over a few months, the surface layer will lose blood supply and strip away. This will path the way for the newer sharper nail underneath to breakthrough.

This is why you often see cats enjoying cat scratch posts, or worse, destroying your furniture. It is because they want to strip off this outer layer.

Why does my cat pull at her nails?

Cats pull at their nails because they want to strip away at the older outer layer to make way for the newer, sharper layer underneath.

As stated above, their nails grow from the inside. This means that the older nail is always on top. And, your cat will instinctively want to expose the sharper, newer nail to help them hunt, grab things, etc.

Why do some cats have brittle nails?

Brittle nails can be caused for several reasons such as old age, infections, tumors, etc. Some of these infections are avoidable by correctly trimming their nails. One big problem that causes these infections is trimming the nails too low.

If you have noticed that your cat’s nails are brittle you may have been wondering what might have caused this. So, now you have an idea of what might have caused it. If in doubt it’s best to speak to your vet to clarify the root cause of the problem.

Lindsey Browlingdon