Paw of Chartreux cat with claw injury
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Nail Disorders In Cats: Symptoms, Causes, & Treatments

Nail disorders in cats, sometimes called dystrophies, can refer to a range of medical conditions that affect a kitty’s claws and the area surrounding them.

They can have a range of underlying causes, but the two most prevalent disorders are onychomycosis (a fungal infection) and paronychia, which causes inflammation.

If you see signs that your cat is suffering from issues affecting their nails, then you must consult your veterinarian for a proper diagnosis and treatment. Here’s what you should know about the symptoms, causes, and treatments of nail disorders in cats.

Symptoms Of Nail Disorders In Cats

Nail disorders in cats can produce a variety of symptoms. Some of the most frequent symptoms include:

  • Claws turning an abnormal color, including redness
  • Inflammation and swelling around the nails and claw
  • Problems being able to walk normally
  • Tending to lick the paws more than usual
  • Nails looking deformed

Causes Of Nail Disorders In Cats

Cat in a veterinary clinic hairdresser cutting nails.
(Picture Credit: fotoedu/Getty Images)

The causes of nail disorders in cats can be any of a number of things. Some of the most common causes include:

  • Bacterial infection
  • Parasites
  • Suffering trauma
  • Fungal infection
  • Congenital issues
  • Improper nail clipping

When it comes to these disorders, the two most commonly diagnosed issues are onychomycosis, which is caused by a fungal infection, and paronychia, which results in inflammation of the affected area.

Veterinary Treatments

If you worry that your cat is developing a nail disorder, then your veterinarian will want to closely examine your cat’s nails and the surrounding area.

If only one specific nail seems like it is being affected, then there’s a chance that a trauma is behind the issue. Where most of the nails are affected, an underlying medical cause may be at play.

Skin scrapings can help determine the precise problem with your cat’s nails.

When it comes to treatment, the recommended course will depend on the underlying condition. In some cases, vets might suggest a surgical removal of part of the nail. Other cases might warrant the use of topical antibiotic treatments.

In general, you can reduce the chances of your kitty developing nail issues by carrying out good nail maintenance at home. Your vet can show you how to safely and effectively keep your cat’s nails in healthy condition.

Has your cat ever developed a nail disorder? What steps did your vet take to treat your kitty’s problem? Tell us all about it in the comments below.

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