Why does my cat eat his nails after I trim them?

by Alicia
(New York, NY)

Every time I trim my cats nails, he eagerly and almost desperately eats every single one of them. I'm just curious why he would do this? Is there some nutritional value?


To be honest with you I don't know why cats do this. You may be right they may get some sort of nutrition from them, calcium maybe?

All I know is that every time I take my cats to the vets, if there is a stray nail laying on the floor from a previous nail clipping they pounce on it and try to each it, while the vet is desperately trying to pick up others.

I think if you ca stop your cat eating them, then it may be a good idea. just in case he picks something up from any bacteria on the nail.


Comments for Why does my cat eat his nails after I trim them?

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My cat eats his nail sheds too
by: Anonymous

I would love some info on this as well. When I trim my cats nails he trys to eat the little pieces that shed off. Is this ok, I'm so worried this will cause a block or problem.

Nail Eating
by: Kevin Johnson

Cats have different ideas about what feels good in their mouths than we do, they have different ideas about sensation. For you a crisp apple crunching in your mouth or the bubbles of champagne might feel good, for your cat it's cuticle, and it's pleasurable. One of my cats liked eating fresh vomit from the other cat, another one liked eating wool. Cats are designed to safely eat their prey whole or in pieces and although they eat differently now they're domesticated most can still do so. If you want an alternative for your cat, in some Asian food stores they sell bags of tiny dried fish for a few dollars. They're quite hard but they taste good and they soften in the cat's stomach.

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