CattyCorner: Why Do Cats Go Crazy For Nail Files & Emery Boards?

Greetings, my pawsome human minions.

Forrest Wisewhiskers here, back at it and bringing you the answers to your most burning cat questions. Today, I come to you with a query born of my mother’s annoyance.

As she was filing her nails, I hopped into her lap to help because her emery board is a rough little stick of paradise where most cats and myself are concerned. And when mother had the nerve to snatch the file from my paws to continue work on her nails, she huffed at me, asking, “Forrest, why do cats love nail files?”

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Nail Files Make Are a Gritty Treat

Not all of us go crazy for a nail file, but a good majority of cats do. I am one of the cats who fall to pieces over one of those crunchy, flippy sticks. I mean, really, those things fly through the air in some wild ways when you flip one out of your paws. Talk about a delight to chase!

Rough Textures

When you’ve got an emery board between your teeth or in your paws, that rough, gritty texture just feels so weirdly good. Cats love scratching to sharpen their nails, and while we don’t hold them all fancy like people, a nail file can also help us achieve the perfect point on a claw’s tip. This thought applies to both emery boards and metal nail fines. Which, here I feel I must offer some advice. If your kitty is nuts for emery boards, stick to using them instead of pointy metal nail files, which could increase the risk of injury if it falls into feline paws.

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Fish Glue

I’ve also heard tell that emery boards are made with fish glue. And that’s precisely what it sounds like, an adhesive made with fish oils. Called Seccotine, this fish glue dries flexible, making it an ideal adhesive for bendable emery boards. Which I believe, because have you ever taken a whiff of an emery board? So deliciously stinky…which brings me to another reason cats go crazy for nail files.

You in Powder Form

When you file down your nails, it creates a powder, and, in the feline opinion, that’s just you in powdered form. And since one of our very favorite scents is you, our dear minions, of course, we want to snort you up! Maybe it’s gross to you, but that’s love to a cat!

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Mineral Deficiencies

And my cat cohorts won’t be pleased with me telling you this possible reason for nail file obsessions as it may land them at the vet. But I’m all about helping my fellow felines live their best lives, and sometimes that requires a visit with the doctor. So, if your cat can’t stay off the emery board and displays symptoms of malaise such as fatigue, loss of balance, or dull, brittle fur, make an appointment with the vet because your cat might have a mineral deficiency.

My nutrient levels are fine, so mom needs to learn to deal with my love of the emery board. I like it for so many reasons. But my enjoyment of the file pales beside my passion for food. To be honest, a food bowl filled to the brim is my raison d’être, so to my mom and all the cat parents out there, don’t forget to feed the cat.

Feature Image: @eevee_butterbean_toast/Instagram & @nortonthedevonrex/Instagram

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