About 3 weeks ago I noticed my cat limping. Went to the vet once, then the emergency vet a few days later when limp got worse and behavior changes were noticed. At the vet they sedated her and ran tests, found everything was normal. While sedated they clipped her nails (I have never clipped her nails before). Since taking her back from the vet (it’s been almost 2 weeks) she’s been obsessively chewing and biting her nails, specifically this one nail. I was so worried she has an infection I took her BACK to the ER, just to be informed it’s due to the clipping and she now developed a habit and needs to wear a cone for a week.

My baby is so traumatized from the vet visits. The cone freaked her out and she got off in one day. So I am just trying to watch her literally 24/7 to stop her from biting her paws. My question is, has anyone heard of this habit forming? Do you think it’ll stop when her nails grow back out? Do I need to force her to wear a cone, please tell me there’s other options.

  • 1
    Honestly, it sounds a lot like this time my cat did something to his toe. Not sure if he dislocated it or what. The vet didn't even seem a hundred percent sure because the toes bones in cats are very small, so it's kinda hard to tell, so they said. I'd tell you to get a second opinion, but you've already had multiple vets look at your cat.
    – Kai
    Commented Aug 16, 2022 at 13:52
  • Does your cat regularly use a scratching post / scratching mat? And have you noticed a difference in how much your cat scratches? If the vet hurt your cat (by cutting the claws too short or pulling on a claw) I'd expect that your cat scratches less often. However, if they cut at a weird angle your cats claw may get caught in rugs or the fabric on a couch, which might increase her scratching to get rid of the inconvenience. And here's some help for the cone as well as alternatives to a cone
    – Elmy
    Commented Aug 17, 2022 at 12:27
  • Thanks for the responses. Yes she does scratch on my various chairs and scratching posts like usual. It looks like her nails are peeling off causing her to bite. I’m just worried this will become a permanent habit. Or if I can just let her do it until her outter nail pieces shed off. I’m afraid she will lick her paws raw
    – Alyssa
    Commented Aug 17, 2022 at 22:30
  • 1
    @Alyssa The peeling off is the natural way how it should be. Cat claws are build in several, thin layers. The innermost layer is the freshest and the outermost one is the oldest, reaching all the way to the tip. By scratching the outermost layer is removed from the claw, exposing a new layer and sharpening the tip. Maybe you can help her by wiping her claws with some water. That should soften the layers and make them separate easier.
    – Elmy
    Commented Aug 18, 2022 at 5:57


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