What happens if cat nails are not trimmed?

  • Date: October 9, 2022
  • Time to read: 4 min.

If cat nails are not trimmed, it can cause physical discomfort and health issues for your feline friend. Unkempt nails can become caught on fabric and carpet, potentially leading to pain, infection, and other health problems. In addition, long nails can cause your cat to have an uneven gait that can lead to joint pain over time. Regularly trimming your cat’s nails can help keep them healthy and happy.

Effects of Untrimmed Cat Nails

Cats are known to be independent and fastidious animals, but they still require some basic grooming and care. One important aspect of cat care is trimming their nails. If a cat’s nails are not trimmed regularly, it can lead to a number of negative effects.

Physical Discomfort

When cats’ nails are not trimmed, their nails become overly long and can curl around, leading to discomfort for the cat. This can be especially uncomfortable for cats that have a habit of scratching furniture or carpets. The long nails can also get caught on fabric or carpets, leading to pain and discomfort for the cat.

Inability to Walk Normally

Cats rely on their claws for stability and balance when walking and running. Long nails can cause the cat to be unstable, leading to them having difficulty walking or running. This can lead to the cat tripping or stumbling, and can even lead to injuries if the cat is unable to correct itself.


Long nails can lead to infections in the paws. Bacteria and fungi can enter the nail bed and cause infections, which can be painful and uncomfortable for the cat. Furthermore, the long nails can make it difficult for the cat to groom itself properly, leading to further infections and skin irritation.

Behavioral Issues

If the cat is in pain or discomfort due to long nails, they may become irritable and aggressive. This can lead to behavioral issues, such as excessive scratching or biting. This can be especially problematic if the cat is not used to being groomed or handled, as it can lead to further anxiety and stress.

Injuries to People

Long nails can also be dangerous for people. If the cat is not used to being handled, they may become aggressive and scratch or bite. This can lead to infections or wounds for the person. It is important to keep the cat’s nails trimmed, especially if it is around children or people who are not used to handling cats.

In conclusion, cats’ nails should be trimmed regularly to avoid negative effects. Trimming the nails is not only important for the cat’s comfort, but also for the safety of people around them. Furthermore, it is also important to ensure that the cat is used to being handled, as this will make it easier to trim the nails and reduce the risk of scratches or bites.

## Common Myths About Cat Nail Trimming

Myth: Cat nails don’t need to be trimmed.

Fact: Cat nails should be regularly trimmed because they can become overgrown, making it difficult and uncomfortable for cats to walk. Overgrown nails can also get caught on carpets and furniture, possibly causing injury.

Myth: Trimming cat nails is painful for cats.

Fact: When done properly, trimming cat nails is not painful for cats. It is important to use the right tools and to be gentle when trimming a cat’s nails. Most cats will become used to having their nails trimmed if it is done regularly.

Myth: It is okay to use human nail clippers to trim a cat’s nails.

Fact: Human nail clippers are too big and bulky to be used for trimming a cat’s nails. They may also be too sharp and can cause injury. It is best to use a pair of cat nail clippers specifically designed for trimming cats nails.

Frequently Asked Questions

What happens if cat nails are not trimmed?

If a cat’s nails are not trimmed, they can grow too long and become uncomfortable, leading to issues such as pain and difficulty walking or jumping. Additionally, if the nails are left untrimmed, they can become caught on things like carpeting, furniture, and clothing and could cause the cat to become stuck or injured.

How often should cat nails be trimmed?

It is recommended that cat nails are trimmed every 4-6 weeks, depending on the individual cat’s rate of nail growth. Some cats may need more frequent trimming, while others may need less. It is best to monitor the length of the cat’s nails and trim them as needed.


Cats need their nails trimmed regularly to avoid physical discomfort, difficulty walking, infections, behavioral issues, and potential injuries to people. To do this, it is important to ensure the cat is used to being handled and groomed. This will make it easier to trim the nails, and reduce the risk of scratches and bites.

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