What Happens If You Don’t Trim Your Cat’s Nails? Explained!

What Happens If You Don't Trim Your Cat's Nails

Cats are fascinating beings. As they are known to be the oldest pets existing, they have many human-like behaviors and approaches in themselves. This can be considered as a reason for them being so fascinating and attractive to humans.

What Happens If You Don’t Trim Your Cat’s Nails? Short answer, not trimming your cat’s claw will allow them to scratch the furniture extremely roughly; their nails can also injure other animals or children.

If you have a cat pet you might be familiar with the “Claw problem” that occurs with the cats.

And if you are planning to have a cat or just curious to know about them more, then it’s a thing you would love to know about them.

What Happens If You Don’t Trim Your Cat’s Nails?

At least once in your lifetime, you might have seen a cat scratching surfaces or defending themselves with the help of their claws and many more.

And I can bet, if you have seen that, you must have thought about the power that they hold in their claws and what’s so special about them.

Let me take you on the tour of knowing the facts hiding behind their claws!

  1. Cats claw grow in a curve, and sometimes it can lead to the harrowing situation as they don’t grow back into their toe pads.
  2. Not trimming their claws can lead them to hurt children, other animals around them and even themselves as your cat have a habit of licking their toes.
  3. Also, long cat’s nail can lead to lousy injury while you are petting them or playing with them. Also, it can be hazardous to older people.
  4. Long and sharp claws allow your cat to have a better grip and effortlessly climb and jump on things.
  5. Long nails can encourage your cat to scratch furniture badly as they get stuck into furniture like sofa, cushion, bed sheet etc.

What Do We Know About The Cat’s Claw Anatomy?

Cat’s Claw Anatomy

Cat’s claws are very sharp. The claws in their front part of the foot are sharper than the ones that are at the hind part of the feet.

They can also extend their claws whenever needed and mostly they do it while climbing, hunting or self-defense. The claw in the upper part of the foreleg is also called the dewclaw.

Unlike humans, cat’s claws are directly grown from the finger like a thing that they have, specifically called phalanges.

Also Read:- Why Does My Cat Attack Me And No One Else? Explained!

Are Cat Nails Essential For Them?

Are cat nails necessary? Of course, like any other cat has claws which are essential for them. Do you know that cat’s nails are retractable? Which means your cat can draw back their nails when whenever they feel to do so.

Cat nails are necessary and mostly used for:

  • Climb trees
  • Hunting their preys
  • Marking territory
  • Scratching
  • Self-defense

However, their claws are not like dogs, which means they more likely to take it out when necessary for scratching, hunting, climbing. Etc. And their nails don’t usually touch the ground while walking.

Do Cats Trim Their Own Nails?

It’s not actually trimming, but yes, as a part of their normal behavior, cats do bite and chew down their nails.

Do you know that cats are ingenious animals and they do rough scratch walls, post and other concrete things to sharpen and remove the outer layer of the nails?

However, if your cat has big nails, then it could be an issue as your cat may like to roam and play with other animals.

In that case, trimming your cat’s nail is beneficial. Although, your cat may not let you trim their nails. If this is the case with your cat, then you should practice it instead of keep pushing it.

Another option is if you are afraid of trimming your cat’s nail, then you can always ask your vet to do so.

Why Trimming Their Nails is Necessary?

As we have seen above, cats’ claws are directly grown from their phalanges. It is quite obvious that it is very painful if their nails are cut.

Another thing that we have seen is, why scratching is necessary for cats and why do they do that. After knowing that claws and nails are important for cats, why are we discussing the necessity of getting rid of them?

Reasons Why You Should Do It Occasionally.

It could be painful

Cat’s claws when growing up, get rounded from the edges which can curl and grow into the footpads.

And we can imagine how painful it can be! It is one of the reasons why their nails should be cut.

Ingrown nails are another painful thing that happens with cats and to prevent that cutting and trimming of their nails regularly is necessary.

To save your furniture

If you have a pet cat, it becomes essential to maintain equilibrium between your furniture and your cat.

Because of the scratching habits that cats have, the furniture at our homes suffers a lot.

It’s necessary to trim their nails to prevent our furniture from getting damaged.

Defending Mechanisms

Another reason is the defending mechanisms of the cat. Whenever they sense any danger and want to protect themselves, one of the most popular methods they use is scratching.

They scratch people’s faces and it’s the most dangerous when you have visitors frequently.

Mostly, cats are friendly creatures but who can answer for their mood swings?

Does It Make Any Difference Between Indoor or Outdoor Cats?

The answer is yes. If a cat is outdoor, it doesn’t need trimming especially, the more the cats walk, the easier it is to shed their claws off automatically.

While, if the cat is indoor, the “Claw management” becomes a thing for their owners to do regularly.

We have already seen the necessity of trimming the claws. Let’s see how to get going with it.

How Often You Can Do This Trimming Thing?

Doing this as regular as every 10-15 days would be ideal. Usually, trimming should be done every 15 days at least.

We can always get an indication that the cat needs trimming when their nails start to get stuck in the blankets or bed sheets have started to look scratchy.

You also need to know that many times they need the motivation to cooperate with this. The best thing you can do is to assure them that you will treat them.

You can make a practice of trimming their nails and then giving them their favorite food every time you do that.

That will make them believe that if they are cooperating with you, in the end, they will be rewarded. That develops a sense of trust which is indeed necessary.

How To Trim The Claws of Your Cat?

The first and foremost thing is, getting your cat habituated with the claw thing. Before getting directly into nail cutting, it would be better if you slowly start treating their claws gently building friendly communication between you two.

If you are having a groomer for your cat, it would be better to introduce them to it first, give some time to your cat for getting comfortable with them and then carry on with the process.

  • Keep anti-septic with you to use in case of nail bleeding.
  • Use suitable types of nail clippers. Such as:
  • Scissor Style
  • Pliers style
  • Battery-operated
  • Electric operated
  • Guillotine type

What Can You Do If Your Cat Don’t Let You Cut Their Nails

Getting your cat used to the grooming sessions and especially trimming is a tough task and can be quite challenging for you.

Also, keep in mind that sometimes they will not cooperate and won’t let you even touch their claws, they will try to defend themselves, after all, it’s all a hurting process for them.

In that case, you can ask another family member or any of your friends to take a hold of the pet while you do the trimming.

So whenever it gets difficult with them, you will have you back. Moreover, the best thing a pet parent can do is to understand their pets whole-heartedly and try to build the best communication between the two of you.

Cats are lovely beings, we all know that. They are fascinating in a way that is still unexplored but yet interesting.

Bonus Tip

You can make use of cat caps. They are the caps that are usually glued to the claws of the cats.

These caps are used to protect furniture from the cat’s claws. Whenever you see that the trimming thing is not quite possible on some days around, this is the alternative you can keep with yourself.

It will reduce and even eradicate the chances of your furniture getting damaged by your cat!


So, it becomes necessary for your cat to get their claws trimmed regularly but another thing is that it depends mostly on the lifestyle of them.

For an indoor cat, we can say that regular grooming sessions are needed especially for their trimming, but at the same time, if the cat is outdoor, it finds its way through it.

We have tried to dig deeper into the frequently occurring questions and that’s how we have come up with this topic “What happens if you don’t trim cat’s nails”?

Hope it was a fun read for you and informative too! Now go, and trim your cat’s nails! If you haven’t yet!

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