If your cat has been biting their paws a lot, this post will show you likely reasons why and what would make each of them more likely.
So, why does my cat bite their paws? Likely reasons why your cat bites their paws are that your cat is grooming itself, has an injured paw, is anxious or is actually trying to clean their nails.
There are actually a number of possible reasons why your cat bites their paws and it might be due to a combination of reasons. However, there are some things you can consider to help figure out the main reason and there are some things you can do about it.
Why does my cat bite their paws?
Below are likely causes and what would make each of them more likely.
The most likely reason why your cat bites their paws is that your cat is actually grooming itself. Your cat might bite their paws to remove dirt or debris from their paws or to deal with tough parts of their fur.
It could also be the case that your cat has an injury on their paw. This would be more likely if your cat has started doing it suddenly, your cat has been limping, bleeding from the paw or showing other signs of having a paw injury. In this case, the best option would be to take your cat to a vet.
Sometimes cats will start doing things such as biting their paws when they are anxious and it might be why your cat has been doing it. This would be more likely if your cat does it more in situations when it is more likely to be anxious such as when other pets are around that it does not like.
To clean their claws
It is also possible that your cat has been doing it to clean their claws. Cats claws grow in layers and cats sharpen their claws by removing the outer layer. It could be the case that your cat bites its paws to help remove the outer layer of its claws.
Another possible cause is that your cat has fleas. This would be more likely if your cat has started doing it suddenly, you have been seeing fleas in the house and if your cat has been biting other parts of its body a lot as well.
Things to consider
Below are some things to consider to help figure out the main cause.
If your cat has always bitten their paws
If your cat did not always bite their paws, it would help to consider what else happened when your cat first started doing it. If your cat started doing it suddenly, it might be due to things such as fleas, an injury, or something causing them to be anxious.
If there is a certain time that your cat tends to do it more
If your cat tends to do it more at a certain time, it would also help to consider the timing. For example, if your cat tends to do it when a dog is around, it could be the case that your cat is anxious. Whereas, if your cat does it at random times, it would be more likely that your cat is grooming itself or sharpening its claws.
How to get my cat to stop biting their paws?
Below are some options you have when dealing with the behavior.
Get a scratch post
If your cat does not currently have a scratch post, it would be more likely that your cat has been doing it to sharpen their claws. In this case, it could help to get your cat a scratch post since it is a preferred way for cats to sharpen their claws.
If your cat seems to have been doing it due to an injury on their paws, it would also help to take your cat to a vet for a checkup. By doing so, you should be able to get expert advice tailored towards your particular cat and to rule out injury as a likely cause.
Limit reasons why your cat might be anxious
It would also help to limit possible reasons why your cat might be anxious such as by allowing your cat to stay in a different part of the house.
Deal with fleas
If it seems like fleas might be the cause, it would help to deal with fleas. You can read here to see how to do so.
Let your cat do it
If it seems like your cat is just grooming itself, it would likely be normal behavior and the easiest thing to do would be to allow your cat to simply continue doing it.
Why is my cat pulling on their claws?
If your cat pulls on their claws, it would be likely that your cat is either kneading or cleaning their claws. If your cat pats their paws up and down and purrs, it would be more likely that your cat is kneading.
Why does my cat lick and bite their paws?
The most likely reason why your cat licks and bites their paws are that they are grooming themselves.