Why Do Cats Like Nail Files?

by Hayley
Why Do Cats Like Nail Files
Are Nail Files Safe for Cats

Cats are well-known for their unique habits and interests. Some felines love to scratch around their food due to their animal instincts and others love the sensation of getting their nails filed. So why do cats like nail files?

This is a very peculiar interest for cats because not all of them love having a nail care day. However, if your cat goes to you whenever you file your nails, and it looks like they are requesting that you also file theirs, then your cat may have an obsession with the same. In this article, we’ll tackle the main reasons behind this cat behavior and what you can do to take care of your cat’s claws properly.

Are Nail Files Safe for Cats?

Nail files are safe for cats and will not harm and hurt their claws and paws. Just like humans, the claws of your feline can be clipped and then later on smoothen. Grooming professionals specializing in cats have amazing tools to safely file their nails.

When you are at home and would love to treat your furry friend to a home spa day, you can cuddle with them while filing their nails and see whether they like it or not. If they love it, you can lightly smoothen their clipped nails to prevent them from destroying your furniture at home.

But, if your cat is not a fan of the same, you need to stop right away because even though it does not hurt them, they may feel irritable and uncomfortable.

Why Does My Cat Like Nail Files?

Below are the major reasons why your cat likes nail files:

They Love the Sensation

Cats love doing things that give them pleasure or where they can feel some sensation. And this can be found in scratching their nails on nail files. Even though they may feel weird at first, after some time, they will love getting their nails clipped and filed.

It’s Similar to Their Tongue’s Texture

Another reason why do cats like nail files is that it is very similar to the texture of their tongue. The latter is very rough and can sharply taste almost anything. This is felines love licking their body not just to clean themselves but also to scratch their furs.

Read also: Why do Cats Knead with Their Front Paws? Here are 6 Reasons

Animal Instincts

Your furry friend at home, even if domesticated, still has that animal instinct and they somehow apply this when they see peculiar things like nail files. Whenever they feel like their claws are being filed, cats feel like they are being prepared for something unexpected and they love that.

Mineral Attraction

There is this theory that some cats lack minerals and they get attracted to nail files because the same as a lot of them. This being said, they love scratching their claws into the nail file to feel like they are getting the minerals. Even though this theory is not yet proven, there is also no opposition to the same.

Marking Territory

Cats love marking territories and inanimate objects like nail files are included. When they use this kind of nail tool, they feel like they are owning the same because they are scratching the same with their claws and paws. You will be able to notice this especially when you try to use nail files on other pets at your house, your cat will try to snatch the same.

Nosy Nature

Nosiness is one of the most popular characteristics of cats and because of this, they tend to enjoy the result of the same. When you use a nail file on your nails, cats oftentimes seek your attention and then focus theirs on how satisfying the nail filing looks.

Read also: How Much Attention Do Cats Need?

Can I Use a Nail File to Keep Cats Claws Short?

Absolutely! You can use a nail file to keep your cat’s claws short. Sometimes, clipping a feline’s claws is one of the most beneficial things to do as their owner.

The reason for this is to make sure that no object in your house will be destroyed. And when you use a nail file on the clipped claws, you will be reducing the risk of cat scratches on your arms and legs when you cuddle with them.

However, you need to make sure that when you file the nails of your cats, you do the same from top to bottom and not side to side.

How Can I Keep a Cat’s Claws Dull?

How Can I Keep a Cat’s Claws Dull

Trim the Nails Regularly

One of the most basic things you can do to keep the claws of your cats less sharp or not sharp at all is to trim the same and file them properly. This is to ensure that those long claws will not be able to scratch you or the furniture inside your house.

Read also: The Best Way to Trim Cat Nails Safely

Buy a Scratch Post

You can’t prevent your cats at home from scratching things because it’s in their nature. But what you can do is to redirect that energy to a scratch post so they can still have fun and do their thing. There are a lot of scratch posts online you can choose from.

Read this too: Top 2 Indestructible Cat Scratching Post Options!

Get Their Paws Groomed

Trimming your feline’s nails at home is sometimes so hard and unmanageable. This being said, you can ensure that you can take care of their claws by bringing them to the grooming salons for professional help. They have skilled professionals that will make you and your cat happy and satisfied.

Put Paw Covers

If your cat is still a kitten, there are paw covers available on the internet that you can buy to prevent them from having a scratching addiction. While they are still young, you need to ensure that they do not develop habits that may harm everyone around them.

Avail of Toys

Last but not least, you can buy toys to distract them from sharpening their nails by scratching various furniture around the house. There are running mice to keep them company and chewing toys to keep them entertained. You can also buy automatic laser cat toys to tire them out and lessen their energy to put their claws out.

Read also: Do Cats Need Chew Toys?

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

The following are the consequences when you don’t trim your cat’s nails:

Overgrown Nails

An obvious situation that will happen when you don’t trim your furry friend’s nails is that they will grow more than they should be. You will not notice the consequence at first but overgrown nails may harm your cat without you even knowing it.

Stuck Cat Nails

When your cats at home have untrimmed nails, they will be able to get stuck on rugs, sofas, or even on your legs when they don’t retract their claws. This will hurt you especially when you are clawed on your legs. It will also be too hard to remove them from getting stuck because of their strong claw grip.

They May Harm Their Paw Pads

As I have mentioned above, your cat may be harmed with their overgrown nails when the same grow inward. The sharp edges of their claws will damage the paw pads of your furry friends and they will feel irritable and hurt all the time.

Where Can I Find Cat-Specific Nail Files?


To make things easy and more affordable, you can order cat-specific nail files on Amazon (online store). There are a variety of fun and basic tools to file the claws of the felines you take care of.

Pet Store

Next is the pet store near you, this is probably the better place to buy this nail-filing equipment when you need them at the moment. Just open your Google Maps and look for a trusted pet store near you.


Lastly, you can find amazing deals not just on Amazon but also off of Craigslist. There are hundreds of postings on this website that are cheaper but still have the same quality. However, you need to make sure that you only give the money when you two meet up or through a retractable online payment.


There are a variety of reasons why do cats like nail files but one thing is for sure, they love the sensation that it delivers.

Make sure to regularly trim and file the claws of your furry friends at home to create a safer environment for them and you inside your home. You also have to remember to take care of your cat like how you take care of yourself.

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