Why Do Cats Like Nail Files? [ Know The Reasons Here ]

We have all accepted that cats have weird quirks of their own, and there is no way of determining which cat would like which treatment.

One of those attractions is nail files, and there is no apparent reason why they like them.

There is no way of telling whether your cat would like them or not. But if it does, you might be wondering the reason it is doing so.

There could be quite a few reasons that can attract a cat to the elusive feeling of nail files.

The sound of nail files is attractive to the cats. Sometimes, they can also find the much-needed minerals from the nail files.

We will explore the reasons for which a cat can like nail files in this article.

Along with it, we will answer some of the most common questions that you can have while filling the nails or about the cat’s claws in general. So, let us start by figuring out why your cat is attracted to nail files.

Why Do Cats Like Nail Files?

It is quite hard to say the definite reasons for any of their behaviors. But we can guess the probable reasons behind their quirks, and we will do just that in this case as well.

There is no hard and fast rule regarding some of their obsession with nail fillings. The most we can do here is to consider the possibilities, and here are some of them.

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One of the most popular theories regarding their liking towards nail filings is finding the minerals from the nail.

It is a fact that nails have important calcium, iron, manganese, zinc, and phosphorus. Cats are also exceptional in acting on their instincts.

There is no clear opposition to the claim that cats are attracted to nail files because they can find these minerals on the nail files.

Even if you do not use nail files on your cat’s claws, there will be some minerals left on the files whenever you use them for yourself.

It is not very absurd to think that the cats like your nail files because of their minerals.

Scratching Sensation:

Cats used to file their nails on tree bark in the wild. House cats have the same need to scratch their nails whenever they want.

So, we buy things like scratching posts, cat trees, etc. It is a soothing sensation for cats. The cat may find the same feeling while scratching nail files.

We all know that cats are prone to their inherent instincts.

They often tend to scratch different surfaces for their comfort.

If the cat finds more pleasure by scratching on the nail files, you should know better. If the cat is using the nail files, you should ensure that they are safe in the activity.


You won’t believe that some think that the texture of nail files is similar to a tongue6.

While it is a weird consideration, it might not be very far from the truth.

The texture of the nail files may be driving your cat into using the nail files. When the cat is licking the nail file, it is probably doing so because it feels like another cat’s tongue.

Is It Safe To File Cat’s Nails?

In terms of safety, nail files are safe for cats. However, it is a slow process if you are filing your cat’s nails.

If you have prior experience of trimming cat nails, you must know how difficult it is to trim nails in most cases.

Cats generally do not like when you touch their paws. So, it is quite hard to file a cat’s nails.

Moreover, it is much faster to trim your cat’s nails with a nail trimmer specifically made for the cats. In this way, the cat will not get irritated when you complete filling the cat’s nails.


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Why Do Cats’ Nails Split When Cut?

The splitting of cats’ nails after cutting is a unique look at how the nails grow old. We have all seen how snakes shed their old dead skin periodically throughout their lifetime. If you understand the logic, the splitting of cats’ nails should not be a surprise.

You have to understand that when you see the nail split in half, you see the old nail getting separated from the new nail.

As the cat uses the nails to scratch surfaces, it gets dull and becomes loose with time.

When it is time to cut their nails, the old nail has become too loose, and the new nail has grown underneath it.

At the trimming time, you are cutting both a new nail and an old nail together. As the bond between these two types of nails is not that strong, you observe them split.

If you see that the nail is splitting in two, there is nothing to worry about here. It is completely natural for it to have old nails separating from the new ones.

If you are not happy with the finished nails after cutting, as this process often is, you can always wait for the old nail to fall off by itself.

You can do so by increasing the number of scratching posts you have at home. It happens because scratching is the best way for the cats to get rid of the old nails.

If you wonder if nail splitting can ever become a problem, the cut is not clean.

If you are cutting the nail and do not see the outer layer coming off completely, there is a chance of cutting the nails too deep.

In those cases, the trimming can become painful for the cat. You can check whether the cat is okay by pressing gently on the paws. If the cat responds naturally, you are good to go.

Why Does My Cat Like Nail Dust?

As we have mentioned previously, nail dust has various kinds of minerals in it.

Nail dust has calcium, manganese, potassium, zinc, iron, etc. If you are not providing enough minerals in their regular food, cats tend to find a different way to achieve that.

You will often see leaving the nail files accessible would attract the cats to lick them.

Whether it is because they are trying to gather the minerals in nail dust or just the texture of the nail files, it is not very clear.

However, if you find an excessive tendency to eat nail dust, you should ensure that the food has enough minerals. In this way, they will not turn to nail dust for minerals.

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Ways To Keep Your Cat’s Nails Dull:

Keeping your cat’s nails dull is good for both you and your cat. It makes sure that the cat is not scratching you excessively; it is also extremely comfortable for cats.

There are primarily three ways you can keep your cat’s nails dull. Those are as follows:

Trim Nails:

Trimming nails is probably the safest way of keeping the nails dull. However, the process might not be so easy for all the cats. Cats, in general, do not like when you touch their paws.

So, the process of trimming their nails becomes tougher and tougher.

Practice and patience make the process bearable. However, if you cannot go through the trimming unscathed, it is best to go to a professional cat groomer or vet for trimming the nails.

Scratching Posts:

Scratching posts are a necessity for cat owners.

Without a scratching post, the cats will not fulfill their craving to scratch their nails. If you don’t want your cat to scratch anything of value, investing in some scratching posts is best.

There are several types of scratching posts available at your disposal.

Buy one which is appropriate for the size, weight, and age of your cat. If you want to invest in something better, there are cat trees as well. These are amazing in keeping your cat busy and giving them a place to rest and sleep.

Nail Caps:

Nail caps are also a great way to keep them dull for the sake of you and them.

It is just a covering on their nails, which are not sharp. As a result, they won’t destroy any furniture or wall while fulfilling their wish to scratch anything and everything. On the bright side, they look adorable with colorful nail caps.


Cats’ behaviors are hard to contextualize in general because of the various reasons it can be possible. However, minerals, the scratching sensation, or the texture itself could be the reason for which your cat likes nail files. Whatever the reason, you can always refer to this article for some useful tips for cats’ nails.

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