Torn Toenail Average Cost

From 249 quotes ranging from $100 - 300

Average Cost

$200

First Walk is on Us!

✓ GPS tracked walks
✓ Activity reports
✓ On-demand walkers
Book FREE Walk

Jump to Section

What is Torn Toenail?

Tearing a toenail is extremely painful for a cat. Your cat may cry after suffering from this injury. There is a high supply of blood to the base of the nail, so often the affected toenail will bleed for some time. The bleeding may stop for a period of time and then start again. If left as an open wound, the tear can lead to infection, which can develop into more serious health issues. Kittens are prone to tearing their toenails, as they have very high energy and extremely delicate claws. A similar response may happen if a cat's claws are trimmed too short during grooming. Veterinary attention is needed to ensure the wound heals correctly.

Without regular grooming, a cat's claws will grow long and sharp. Once a toenail is overgrown, it can easily get caught or snagged on carpet, furniture, or even tree bark. Generally, when this happens the cat will panic and jerk its paw towards its body. This reaction can cause the nail to tear, either remaining partially connected to the paw or being torn completely off. This is a common occurrence in cats and is generally not life-threatening. 

Symptoms of Torn Toenail in Cats

Often, the only way that you will know something is wrong with the cat is by the presence of blood drops around the home. A torn toenail may bleed sporadically for hours. Other signs to watch for include:

  • Licking paw excessively
  • Crying
  • Jagged appearance of claw
  • Bloody paw
  • Limping
  • Pain when affected paw is touched
  • Swollen paw

Causes of Torn Toenail in Cats

Generally, this issue exists due to poor grooming of the cat. Toenails that are not regularly trimmed will grow long and catch on various materials. Outdoor cats may be exposed to more potentially injury-causing scenarios. Possible causes are listed below.

  • Vigorous play indoors on carpets or furniture
  • Tree climbing
  • Traumatic injury (such as a car accident)

Diagnosis of Torn Toenail in Cats

Take action to stop the cat from bleeding before you arrive to the veterinary clinic or animal hospital. Direct pressure should be applied to the wound for five minutes straight. Your vet may have additional recommendations to aid in clotting. Bandage the paw and bring the cat to a veterinarian. 

Once at the clinic or hospital, the veterinarian will complete a physical examination of your cat. If the cat has sustained serious injuries from extreme trauma, all life-threatening injuries will be identified and treated first. The vet will determine whether the torn toenail is showing any signs of infection or inflammation. Swelling, pus, or seeping blood are all signs that a bacterial infection is present. If this is the case, any exudate will be collected and sent to a lab for bacteria identification.

Treatment of Torn Toenail in Cats

While some veterinarians may advise you to treat and monitor the injury at home, this may not be advisable due to the difficulty of properly removing the affected toenail. A cat experiencing pain will likely bite if it’s injured paw is handled. 

Toenail Removal 

A proper removal of the affected toenail will significantly lessen the chance of infection. Generally, the toenail only needs to be removed from where the tear occurred. The cat may need mild sedation for the veterinarian to properly perform the procedure. Professional nail trimmers work the best for toenail removal, and the wound must be washed afterwards.

Bandaging 

The paw may need to be bandaged until the bleeding stops and the wound starts to heal. The compression can aid the clotting process.

Antibiotics 

If a bacterial infection has been identified, or often for the prevention of such an infection, an antibiotic prescription will be given. This prescription may be from one to four weeks in length.

Recovery of Torn Toenail in Cats

The best way to promote healing is by keeping the wound clean. This may involve changing bandages daily and monitoring the injury for signs of infection, such as swelling or redness. After the bandage is removed, the paw should be regularly washed until healing is complete. Administer all antibiotics as prescribed. Prevent your cat from licking or biting at its paw during this time. An Elizabethan collar may be needed to ensure the cat leaves the wound alone.

The prognosis for recovery is excellent, especially of no infection develops. A new toenail will grow back within several months. It is best to watch the regrowth to verify that the claw is not ingrown or coming in sideways. This can lead to more pain and the development of a bacterial infection. Trim your cat's nails approximately once a month to prevent a torn toenail from happening. Clip only the tips of the nails to prevent hurting the cat. Providing a scratching post to your cat can also greatly help to keep its nails from overgrowing.

Torn Toenail Questions and Advice from Veterinary Professionals

Gandolf
Egyptian Mau
6 Months
Fair condition
2 found helpful
Fair condition

Has Symptoms

Cracked nail bed
Dry nail beds

I noticed a really dry nail bed on my cats left front paw but it is only one (he won’t let me see his back ones though) and it is where the thumb would be. He also lost hair right in his ear crease and it is turning a crusty white, could these two be connected, but how can I treat his paw because it seems uncomfortable.

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
3245 Recommendations
Dry nail bed may be due to infection, nutritional deficiency among other causes; without examining the nails thoroughly I cannot say specifically what the cause is. I would recommend having your Veterinarian take a look to be on the safe side especially if the nail is cracked or torn. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

Add a comment to Gandolf's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Baylee
domestic short hair
9 Years
Fair condition
0 found helpful
Fair condition

Has Symptoms

Limping right front paw,sore when t
Limping right front paw, when touchsore
Limping right front paw. No blood.

My cat is limping on his right front paw. Sore to the touch but no blood. Checked the nail bed and it's pink in colour no sign of any infection. Have cleaned it with salted water, but he's reluctant for me to do any thing else as not happy when held, meow's when held.

Dr. Michele King, DVM
Dr. Michele King, DVM
1563 Recommendations
Since Baylee seems painful and is limping and doesn't want to have the paw touched, it would be a good idea to have him seen by a veterinarian, as possible causes may be infection, trauma, a strain or sprain, a fracture, or a tumor. They'll be able to look at him, determine what might be going on, and give him any treatment that he may need.

Add a comment to Baylee's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Lily
Tuxedo cat
2 Years
Mild condition
0 found helpful
Mild condition

Has Symptoms

Small cut between toes

My polydactyly cat has a small split between her extra toe.
Should I just watch it to make sure it does not show signs of infection? What should I do?
I tried putting polysporin on but she wants to just lick it off.

Dr. Michele King, DVM
Dr. Michele King, DVM
1563 Recommendations
Thank you for your email. Without seeing Lily, I'm not sure if the area is a problem for her or not. If she seems to not be bothering with it, and it isn't bleeding or looking red or having any discharge, you may be okay just monitoring the area. If it is bothering her, or seems to be getting infected or sore, it would be best to have her seen by a veterinarian so they can examine her and give her any treatment that she might need.

Add a comment to Lily's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Simba
Orange tabby
4 Months
Fair condition
0 found helpful
Fair condition

Has Symptoms

raw
Bleeding

I just recently got my kitten, and his dew claw are raw and bleeding. He’s a ball of energy and loves to play. I read this might be because of the carpet. How do I treat it ?

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
3245 Recommendations
You should try to limit Simba’s activity and to bathe the injured dew claws as well as preventing him from licking them, you should keep an eye on them but visit your Veterinarian for an examination since this may become a common problem. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

Add a comment to Simba's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Carly
domestic medium hair
6 Months
Fair condition
0 found helpful
Fair condition

I think my cat has torn her nail. The quick looks red but she wont allow me to get a good look at it. There is blood om a toy she was playing with but i initially assumed it was her baby teeth.

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
3245 Recommendations
If you suspect that Carly has torn her nail you should take her in to be examined as I do not think you will be able to get a good look at it. If the nail is torn, your Veterinarian may be able to remove it and give her something for pain and against possible infection. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

Add a comment to Carly's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Orca
American Mediumhair
4 Years
Mild condition
0 found helpful
Mild condition

Has Symptoms

No limping.

My mom cut my cat’s nail too short, so it went into the quick. But she didn’t cut it all the way through. I called my vet but she said to leave it alone, which I did but the little bit of nail got worse and worse. It’s been 2-3 days now, signs of more bleeding then stopping. I cut the little bit of nail that was just pushed out, and now the bottom of the nail feels like a loose tooth, but I’m not sure if it’s the quick or if it’s just blood. He won’t let me touch it, and he screams, but he doesn’t limp AT ALL, and he runs and jumps fine. What should I do.

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
3245 Recommendations
If the nail keeps bleeding, you should try to put some styptic powder on the nail to stop the bleeding; you can find it in PetSmart (see link below). If it is really bad you should visit your Veterinarian for them to take a look to see if it needs a more serious treatment approach. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM www.petsmart.com/cat/grooming-supplies/nail-clippers-and-caps/21st-centuryandtrade-essential-petandtrade-styptic-cat-powder-5211249.html

Add a comment to Orca's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Cleopatra
moggie
10 Years
Mild condition
1 found helpful
Mild condition

Has Symptoms

Limping
Minor swelling
Bloody cuticle,

My cat is outdoorsy and last night she came home limping in one paw. She has improved significantly overnight, but she's still limping from time to time. She let me have a close look at the paw (she's a very good girl) and I saw that one of her claws is slightly bloody and swollen. I saw no signs of infection and the claw looks okay to me, it's just the cuticle that seems to be damaged. I want to treat her at home as much as I can because going to the vet's stresses her out incredibly and she seems to be on the mend already. Should I do anything to the claw even though it looks healthy? I intend to clean the wound and bandage her paw if she lets me, but as she doesn't lick it any more than regular cleaning I don't want to push it.

Dr. Michele King, DVM
Dr. Michele King, DVM
1563 Recommendations
It isn't a good idea to bandage the paw, as often more damage can be done by the bandage than anything else. If she continues to improve, and limps less, the injury may resolve itself. If it looks like it is getting infected, develops an odor or a discharge, or her limping doesn't improve or worsens, she should have the nail examined. I hope that all goes well for her.

Thank you Michele. I haven't bandaged her yet so I'll refrain from doing it, thank you! I'll continue to keep a close eye on it but not mess with it.

Add a comment to Cleopatra's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Charlie
Housecat
2 Years
Moderate condition
0 found helpful
Moderate condition

Has Symptoms

Limping

Hi my cat came in last night he was limping on his right front paw finally got to look at it this morning and it looks like his nail or the bed around his nail is really really dry is there anything I can do about it

Dr. Michele King, DVM
Dr. Michele King, DVM
1563 Recommendations
Charlie may have an injury or infection, and without seeing him, I can't comment on what might be going on with him. If he is limping on it, it probably hurts, and it might be best to have him seen by a veterinarian if it isn't getting better by tomorrow.

Add a comment to Charlie's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Coco
Not sure
8 weeks
Mild condition
0 found helpful
Mild condition

Has Symptoms

Beginning infection
Damaged claw

My kitten hurt her claw and it seems to be getting infected, how expensive is it to have that taken care of? Or is there anything I can do at home to help it at least until i get paid in a week and a half?

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
3245 Recommendations
It depends on how severe the nail is damaged, if the nail needs to be removed then costs can increase; however you should visit a Veterinarian for an examination to get at least antibiotics and pain relief which should cost around $100 depending on your location and your Veterinarian. When an infection is suspected, you shouldn’t wait around for it to get worse. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

Add a comment to Coco's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Gizmo
Domestic long hair tuxedo
3 Years
Mild condition
0 found helpful
Mild condition

Has Symptoms

Smell

My cat has torn a claw completely out and its infected. Can't get to vet til tomorrow. I have some enrofloxacin. Will this help? I've cleaned all the dried blood and pieces of his claw out. As soon as I cleared all the debris out, a nasty smell was evident.

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
3245 Recommendations
Without examining a patient I cannot recommend the use of prescription medications including enrofloxacin as we don’t have an existing Doctor patient relationship; I also do not know if the enrofloxacin is within its use by date, has been stored correctly, been contaminated or anything else. You should bathe the area with a dilute antiseptic and apply Neosporin to the area, if you have an emergency clinic near by you should go there. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

Add a comment to Gizmo's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Shade
Cat
10 Months
Moderate condition
0 found helpful
Moderate condition

Our cat smashed his foot between two slats in the fence. His leg isn’t swollen, He wasn’t there long—a neighbor was outside. But he is bleeding from two of his back middle toe nails. He is bearing weight. He’s letting us hold him—although he did bite when we helped him out of the fence—out fear/pain we assume. Currently, we’ve used a warm wet washcloth to see what’s up as he is black and fuzzy. The nails are still there; tips are gone, all the way up to the quick. The question is: Vet or no vet? Is this an emergency? And we put a dollop of neosporin on it, it’s covered and he’s still right now, as we’re waiting for the bleeding to stop. Do we keep it covered? How long? And his out door shenanigans are on hold, correct?

Dr. Michele King, DVM
Dr. Michele King, DVM
1563 Recommendations
If the nails stop bleeding, you should be fine to monitor those nails for infection and pain. Shade will need to stay inside for a few days while you keep an eye on him, and you should take him to see a veterinarian if he is limmping or the nails seem to be getting infected. It would be best to not wrap the foot, as more damage can happen with a bandage than without.

Thanks a bunch!

Add a comment to Shade's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Poster
Tabby Cat
7 Years
Mild condition
0 found helpful
Mild condition

Has Symptoms

Pain trimming nail

Hi. I looked at my cats claws in the back. One side all the nails are very short, almost in the quick, if not already. I think its from him climb in our fences. On the other paw, there is one really long nail that looks like it's about to fall out. It is pulled sideways, and defiantly painful because when I tried to trim it he freaks out. I usually don't look at the back nails, but I guess I should be. Should i see a vet about the nail coming out?

Dr. Michele King, DVM
Dr. Michele King, DVM
1563 Recommendations
Poster probably should see a veterinarian to have that nail looked at. It may be from a trauma, but those nails that are broken can be incredibly painful, similar to yourself if you pull a nail off or cut it too short. They can look at the nail, possibly give him sedation or pain medication, and remove the injured part of the nail without hurting him.

Add a comment to Poster's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Charlie
Ragdoll
1 Year
Mild condition
0 found helpful
Mild condition

Has Symptoms

Limping, broken toenail

We let our cat be outdoors occasionally and tonight he came in limping. After taking a look at his paw, it seems he tore his nail. There wasn't much blood and whatever bleeding there was, stopped before he came inside. It looks like it's torn up on the bottom side of the nail. So far no infection and the limp is minimal. We put hydrogen peroxide on the toe and gave him some leftover amoxicillin from his last visit to the vet (2 weeks ago). Should we just watch and wait or do something more?

Dr. Michele King, DVM
Dr. Michele King, DVM
1563 Recommendations
If that is the only sign of problem with his foot and leg, you may be fine to keep it clean with antibacterial solutions, and monitor it for improvement. If it doesn't seem to be resolving, or he continues to limp, it would probably be a good idea to have the foot examined by a veterinarian to make sure that there isn't more going on.

Add a comment to Charlie's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Charlie
Ragdoll
1 Year
Mild condition
0 found helpful
Mild condition

Has Symptoms

Torn toenail

I couldn't find a place to post my follow up questions.
Here is my original post: We let our cat be outdoors occasionally and tonight he came in limping. After taking a look at his paw, it seems he tore his nail. There wasn't much blood and whatever bleeding there was, stopped before he came inside. It looks like it's torn up on the bottom side of the nail. So far no infection and the limp is minimal. We put hydrogen peroxide on the toe and gave him some leftover amoxicillin from his last visit to the vet (2 weeks ago). Should we just watch and wait or do something more?

Follow up questions: I see that it says to trim the toenail at the tear to avoid infection. Our cats tear is at the base of the nail so we would have to cut the whole nail off. Is it safe to cut off the whole thing? And how long should we expect him to have a limp before being concerned? Thanks!

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
3245 Recommendations
In follow up to my colleague’s answer: if the tear is near the base of the nail (or nail bed) you shouldn’t try to clip this at home because the quick will bleed and will be very painful for Charlie. In this instance, you should visit your Veterinarian earlier to have the nail examined and treated since I wouldn’t recommend you trying to resolve this at home. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

Add a comment to Charlie's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Maria
mixed
3 Years
Fair condition
0 found helpful
Fair condition

Has Symptoms

Meows when nails are examined
Doesn’t use scratch post as much
Nails visually look chipped

My cat was stuck in a yard with high concrete walls for about 20h, and when I finally got her out her back paw nails were completely destroyed but not bleeding thankfully (probably from trying to get out), she doesn’t have a limp, but they’re shredded to bits.. Front paw nails are not as bad. Just kinda worried and I don’t have money right now to go to a local vet.. Will she be okay?

Dr. Michele King, DVM
Dr. Michele King, DVM
1563 Recommendations
Nails do grow back after trauma, and if she is not bleeding or limping, she will probably grow those nails back normally. Watch her feet closely for signs of infection or pain, and she should be seen if anything changes.

Add a comment to Maria's experience

Was this experience helpful?