Consult A Vet About Medication
In extreme cases, ask your vet about medication. A TCA or SSRI may work as well for a cat as it does a human.
Cats are surprisingly vulnerable to anxiety, especially when theres a change to the environment.
Anxious cats can be problematic to themselves and others in the home, so its best to be safe rather than sorry.
How Can I Get My Cat To Stop Licking Her Paws
You can clean your cats paws thoroughly so that they do not feel the need of grooming by their own and this will stop licking their paws.
Keep a closer check on them if you believe their conduct is out of control. Keep track of how often they lick their paws and how long they do it for. Any inflammation or hair loss on their skin or fur should be noted. Check for any symptoms of discomfort in the paw as well.
If you observe any of these changes, make an appointment with your pets veterinarian. This information will assist your veterinarian in determining whether your cat is licking their paws excessively or abrasively.
Your veterinarian will examine your cat throughout the visit. Theyll probably perform a few tests to figure out whats causing their behaviour and how to address it.
Skin cream, oral or injectable anti-inflammatory treatment, adjustments to your cats diet, flea and tick prevention medicine, pheromone therapy, or environmental alterations may be used depending on your veterinarians diagnosis.
Enrichments, or changes to the environment, allow your cat to enjoy additional exercise and excitement within the house. This may be as easy as using a food puzzle to feed them, building cat trees or shelves to allow them to use their climbing tendencies, and having them seek for their toys.
Why Do Cats Bite Their Claws Or Nails
Everyone knows that cats like to clean themselves most of the time, but why do cats bite their claws or nails?
Any cat owner has seen them do it and might not think anything of it, but the answer is interesting nonetheless.
Cats groom themselves by biting at their claws to remove the outer layer of the claw, exposing newer, sharper claws. This is perfectly normal and is nothing to worry about most of the time.
Don’t Miss: Blue Buffalo Wet Dog Food Reviews
Should I Trim My Cats Nails
Generally, you do not need to trim your cats nails, this is advised to leave to your local veterinarian if you are considering doing this. As you will find with dogs, cats have a quip at the center of their nails.
Due to this, is why you do not want to trim your cats nails, as they can easily be cut.
As cats like to take care of their own cleaning and maintenance makes them the perfect pet for many families. Many will find with cats, that there are fewer frequent visits to the veterinarian, except for the usual checkups, worming, flea treatment visits, and vaccinations, which are vital for many animals.
Why Do Cats Lick And Bite Their Paws
Cats lick and bite their paws because he is suffering from infections or allergies in that area. He also does that for grooming purposes.
Symptoms such as licking, gnawing, itching, and self-biting are frequent in dogs. Cats lick excessively, chewing away clumps of hair or excoriating the flesh around the head and face with their claws.
Cats scratch or chew excessively with their paws target regions might include the entire body or particular areas such as the behind, legs, and feet. When symptoms arise in excess, regardless of their shape, they all point to one thing: itching.
The most prevalent cause of persistent or seasonal itching in dogs is allergic skin illness. Skin symptoms such as rashes, scabs, pustules, ear infections, rear rubbing, and simple scratching can occur in both dogs and cats in reaction to an allergen that has been breathed, absorbed, touched, injected , or ingested. And, as we all know, itching leads to skin damage, inflammation, and infection.
Yeast and bacteria thrive in the warmth and moisture provided by inflammation, and will thrive in this environment. These creatures and their detritus cause even more irritation and itching, as well as an allergic reaction in certain cases.
Itching is a common symptom of yeast infections. Almost majority yeast infections in pets, on the other hand, are caused by allergic skin condition. Even yet, its worth noting that pets without allergies might have yeast infections from time to time.
You May Like: Blue Buffalo Adult Food
When Cats Bite Their Claws Because Of Injury Or Infection
If a cat has an injury or infection in a nail bed or surrounding the tissue, it may lick and bite its claws excessively.
Bacterial, fungal, and yeast infections in a cats paw pad, between its toes, or in its nail bed can produce itching, pain, and discomfort. A cat may bite its claws in an attempt to stop these sensations.
If you notice a cat persistently biting the same claw, have a careful look to see if anything is amiss. Examine all four paws at the same time as they could all be affected.
Check all nails, nail beds, paw pads, and in between each toe. Look for patches of missing fur, redness, abrasions, or cuts.
You should also gently squeeze each paw pad as sometimes the cause can be an infection in the nail bed, which might not be apparent from the surface. An infected paw will feel warmer than a healthy one.
A cat with an injured or infected paw may be hesitant to put weight on it, so you should also observe them walking to look for a limp.
If you discover an injury or any other issue with your cats paw, you should take them to a vet for treatment.
It is worth noting here that sometimes, excessive claw-biting is actually the result of dental issues. If you have eliminated all claw-related problems, check your cats teeth.
Three Ways To Deal With The Anxiety
Below are some of the ways to reduce the anxiety for your cat
#1 Maintain a constant routine
Cats love being on a routine. It helps them look forward to that activity, and theyll be less anxious.
For example, feed them at the same time daily. Or schedule some time daily to play or cuddling with the cat.
If youll be away for some time, you can leave your cat with mental stimulation toys such as puzzles and cat treats dispensers to keep them entertained.
#2 Reduce Stress
First of all, diagnose why your cat is feeling stressed.
If theres a scary dog in the neighborhood, make sure your cat can access your house or another safe place when she needs to.
For instance, you can consider a tall cat tree since dogs cant really climb on these trees.
If theres a cat within your household that takes her food, feed her in her own space, and make sure the other cat wont ambush her.
Cats also dont like sharing, so always strive to have a tray per cat.
#3 Observe your cat
If your cat is responding to a change of food, try re-introducing the old food and gradually introducing the new food.
If shes anxious because you moved houses, create her a safe room with all the toys, litter trays, feeding bowls, and everything she needs.
Then introduce her to the rest of the house gradually.
If shes scared of other cats or an animal that comes close to the window, cover the windows with curtains.
And shoo the other animals away when they get too close to your windows.
Recommended Reading: How To Train A Kitten Not To Bite
Your Cat Enjoys The Sensation Of Chewing Your Fingers
As I mentioned, a lot of cats really like the sensation of chewing plastic, and who can blame them when chewing on the butt of a pen or the back of a pencil is pretty enjoyable for a large number of humans, too?
When it comes to nibbling on our soft, fleshy fingers, it would make a lot of sense that this sensation is likely one many cats would enjoy.
How to tell if this explains your cats chewing:
Right when your cat starts nibbling on your fingers, give your kitty a nice little chew thing to nibble on instead.
If you hand over a chew toy, yet your feline continues to gnaw away at your fingertips, especially if its more than a quick bite, chances are reasonably good your kittys a chompin because it feels nice to gnaw on your fingers in particular.
Can I change this?
Need to train your cat to stop chewing on you? Shout, No! or Ow! immediately take away your hand, showing your cat youre in pain visibly when he/she bites.
This way your cat will understand his or her action is causing physical harm, and isnt just an okay-for-you, okay-for-them kinda deal.
Once you shout No! to express your physical pain, try to replace the bad, undesirable habit of biting your fingers with a good habit gnawing or chewing on cat toys.
You can do this by immediately handing over a chew toy .
How To Stop Biting Your Nails
To be successful, you have to want to make the change. Habits dont form overnight, and it can take time and patience to break them.
If your first attempt to stop biting your nails doesnt work, you can try other methods. It may take a combination of things to help you completely break the habit, but even cutting down on frequency can be helpful.
Don’t Miss: Is Thieves Oil Safe For Cats
Normal Grooming Process For Cats
Cats love to groom themselves. The cats claws are structured in many layers, and their growth is from the inside towards the outer side. As time passes, the layers of your cats claws can become thick and wear out. Dirt can also get deposited in the nails.
Hence, you can find your four-legged friend biting her nails to get rid of any dirt or dead skin settled in the nails.
Moreover, sometimes, if your cats nail chips off, you can find her biting her nails to pull off the broken nail completely. This ensures that the hanging piece of the nail does not act as a hindrance when the cat is trying to catch something.
Signs Of Cat Overgrooming
If youre not sure if your pet is overgrooming – or just keeping themselves clean – there are a few signs to watch out for. A cat who is overgrooming might:
Repeatedly lick, pluck, chew or bite on an area of skin
Pull out tufts of fur
Have patches of thin fur or bald areas
Have areas of red or broken skin caused by biting – often on their belly or sides
Common areas to look for excessive grooming are in places that your cats can reach easily with their tongue. Their stomach, sides, inner hind legs, as well as their legs, paws and tail may be affected – and often your pet will overgroom symmetrically on both sides of the body.
Recommended Reading: Is Peppermint Oil Toxic To Cats
Brittle And Thick Nails
As cats grow older, their nails tend to become brittle and thick. Brittle nails tend to fall off often. This can be one of the possible reasons why older cats chew and bite their nails.
Apart from old age, your cat can also experience brittle and thick nails due to bacterial infections, tumors, or a high level of growth hormones. If you notice signs like your cat is in pain or has difficulty walking, you should consult a vet without delay.
Why Cats Bite Their Nails
Displacement behaviors, and their more ingrained derivatives, compulsive disorders, arise out of conflict and other anxiety-promoting situations. You only have to look at the person next to you at the traffic lights to understand the sequence. The light is red indicating that the driver must stop. But the person wants to go. This situation represents a conflict. The result is often that people displace into grooming grooming their hair, picking their teeth, or biting their nails. Check it out next time you’re stopped at a light.
Displacement grooming is common in cats, too. Many anxious cats will take to grooming themselves in a variety of anxious situations. Often times, this grooming is directed toward the cat’s coat, but sometimes it involves the cat’s nails, perhaps depending on which neural pathways were most frequently activated when the cat was young.
Recommended Reading: How Much Should A Cat Eat Daily
Do You Need To Clip Your Cats Nails
This brings up a very good question many first-time cat carers have should you cut your cats claws?
Or will your cat take care of its nails by biting or chewing at them?
In other words, is it better to trim your cats nails or let your cat take care of them as needed?
In most cases, your cat will automatically bite or chew at its own nails as the need arises. As Vetwest Animal Hospitals highlights, outdoor cats in particular generally do not need nail trims because their lifestyle keeps their claws naturally maintained.
But it is still important to check, especially if your cat stays indoors much of the time or full-time.
For example, if your cat lives an indoor-only lifestyle, they may need a scratching post or the occasional nail trim to keep their claws well maintained.
Sometimes a cat may have medical problems such as arthritis that can make biting or chewing at the nails or using a scratching post more difficult and painful.
And cats in their golden years may become less diligent about a basic foot and nail hygiene.
This is why, as Washington State University College of Veterinary Medicine explains, it is important to learn how to trim or clip your cats nails just in case your cat needs help.
Alternately, you could have your feline veterinarian or cat groomer do this for you as needed. If you are not sure what to do, you might ask your veterinarian or groomer to demonstrate the technique for you and let you practice with their supervision.
Nibbling Out Dirt Thats Collected Under Claws
Just as we get muck wedged under our nails, our feline friends collect dirt around their claws, especially if they dig in a garden.
Even walking around can embed unwanted debris beneath their nails. Cats resort to biting and chewing their claws to clean out this dirt.
You may not witness your cat biting and cleaning its claws in this way. Some cats tend to find a private spot to groom themselves, so their owners might never witness them chewing dirt from their nails.
You May Like: Is Blue Buffalo Good Cat Food
To Express Her Affection For You
Your cat may be nipping at you to show her affection and fondness. She may gently nibble or bite you although you are not petting her or while lying beside you in your bed. Cat behaviorists note that love bites are reminiscent of a cats kittenhood when their mothers lick and nibble them while grooming them. When cats do this they will start by licking and eventually gently nip at you in a way that does not break the skin.
How To Stop A Cat From Digging Their Claws Into You
There are a couple easy ways to help prevent this behavior. A quick and easy solution is to just put a blanket in between you and your cat. Therefore, when their claws wont actually penetrate your skin.
Another solution is to get your cat a scratching board. This will help them get all the scratching out of their system before they come to you. My favorite cat scratching board is the Coching Premium Scratch Board.
Recommended Reading: Is Egg Yolk Good For Cats
Due To Underlying Medical Conditions
Besides grooming, there are various bacterial or fungal infections as well as injuries that might drive the cat to pick at its paws and bite them all the way to the nails. These conditions include:
Pemphigus: a genetic autoimmune disease that is extremely common in cats. It attacks the skin and causes irritation around the paws, face, and behind the ears of a cat.
Ringworm: They cause skin irritation in various parts of the cats body, including its paws
In addition to diseases, exposing the paws to the harsh chemical might also cause irritation that drives the cat to chew on the nails.
Moreover, aging, hormonal disturbance, and specific medications can all cause the nails to become too hard or too fragile, both of which push your cat to chew excessively on them.
Concurrent Symptoms Of Anxiety
There are other signs of anxiety or frustration that would help you identify this as the cause of the excessive nail-biting. These include:
- Excessive vocalization.
- Abnormal litter tray behavior and an upset tummy.
- Excessive grooming. Some distressed cats will groom so much that they create bald spots or even lesions.
- Loss of appetite.
You May Like: How Often Do Cats Lose Whiskers
Reduce The Cats Stress
Since stress is one of the main factors that drive cats to develop this habit, fixing the problem from its source is always the ultimate solution.
Try to keep the cats day as smooth as predictable as possible by setting a fixed schedule for food, playtime, and sleep. This will help the cat to feel safer and more secure.
This will help you find the main source of distress throughout the cats day. Additionally, there are various methods that you can implement to help them feel less stressed.