What's the Cost To Remove My Cat's Ingrown Nail?

Four minutes
Nov 14, 2023

Many healthy cats love to dart around, jump onto surfaces, and scratch at anything within reach. However, an ingrown claw may slow your kitty down. Ingrown claws can be incredibly painful, and they could also cause an infection, lameness, or swelling in your cat’s paw.

A cat’s ingrown nail removal costs between $50 to $100. The price depends on if you take your cat to an emergency vet, your regular vet, or a cat groomer, as well as the severity of their ingrown nail.1

Let’s jump into how to identify a cat's ingrown toenail, potential health risks, and how regular grooming can help prevent this condition.

Identifying Ingrown Claws in Cats

So what exactly does an ingrown nail look like in a cat? Typically, they’re not hard to spot. Look for nails that curve all the way in and touch the toe pad. When a cat’s nail grows too long and embeds itself in the pad of their paw, it can cause this condition.2

Here are some other symptoms that may point to ingrown nails:

  • Bleeding from the paw
  • Fluid or pus around the nail or paw
  • Limping
  • Lethargy
  • Biting or licking their paw

Pain Relief Doesn’t Have To Cost a Lot

Pet Insurance Can Help

Health Risks of an Ingrown Cat Claw

An ingrown cat nail can be incredibly painful to your kitty. What’s more, this condition can pose a serious danger to their paws. Since cats walk over everything with their paws, they inadvertently collect dirt, bacteria, and fungus on them. If a nail punctures their paw pad, then these germs and dirt can get under the skin, causing sores or infections.2

If your cat’s paw has an infection, it may be swollen with yellow or green discharge. Not only will your cat need to have the claw removed from the pad, but they’ll also need antibiotics to fight the infection.2

How a Vet Removes Ingrown Cat Claws

Cat ingrown nail treatment can be relatively straightforward for a vet, but it can be painful for a cat. Don’t worry, though. The vet may choose to put your cat under anesthesia, so they don’t feel anything.2

Your vet will start by trimming the fur and sterilizing the paw area. Then, they’ll clip the actual nail and carefully remove it from your cat’s paw. Once they remove the claw, they’ll clean the wound. If it’s a deep puncture, they may suture your cat’s paw to help it heal. They’ll then bandage it up and put a cone on your cat, so they can’t lick their paw as it heals.1

Grey cat getting their nails clipped by owner

Recovering From Ingrown Nail Removal

As with any injury, follow your vet’s instructions about giving your cat any antibiotics or painkillers as they recover.2 They may schedule a follow-up appointment with you, or just give you instructions to remove the bandage and clean the wound yourself.

Keep any food and water bowls down low to discourage your cat from jumping and putting too much stress on their injured paw. Your cat should make a full recovery in about 1 – 2 weeks.2

Preventing Ingrown Claws in Cats

Prevention is key when it comes to cat ingrown claws. While declawing your cat may sound like an obvious solution, it may also widely be considered an inhumane practice. Instead, consider prioritizing regular grooming.

Keep your cat’s nails trimmed and the fur around their paws clean. If you’re not comfortable clipping their claws yourself, you can always take your cat to your vet or a groomer. Either way, routine claw clippings every 2 – 3 weeks can prevent ingrown nails.3

You can also provide a scratching post or walk your cat on abrasive surfaces, like cement, to help keep their claws worn down.

Other Cat Nail and Paw Conditions

Ingrown nails aren’t the only kind of nail and paw injury. Cats can pick up fungus through their paws, get an infection, get cancer in their paws, or break bones in their paws. If your cat hurts their paw, try to keep them off their feet and give your vet a call.

Here are two other common nail and paw conditions to watch out for:4

  • Paronychia — a nail infection that makes the nail bed swell
  • Onychomycosis — a fungal infection

Does Pet Insurance Cover Cat Ingrown Nail Removal?

To answer this question, let’s take a look at a real-life example. Killian had an energetic and curious kitten’s personality, which turned lethargic when his paw started hurting. He had a nail infection that made him limp and meow in pain whenever he put weight on the paw. His vet put him on antibiotics, which quickly healed the infection. Two weeks later, he was back to his usual self, sprinting around the house and climbing to the top of the refrigerator.

The vet exam and antibiotics cost just over $300. MetLife Pet covered over $250 for the family, so they could focus their energy on helping Killian recover.5

MetLife Pet Insurance comes alongside you to help you cover the hassle and stress that vet bills bring, so you can provide your cat with the best medical care possible. A cat insurance policy can help you lessen your financial worry, potentially making pet insurance worth it for many pet families. Get started with a free quote today.

We Can Help Cover Vet Bills While You Focus on Your Cat’s Care


 Dr. Hunter Finn

Dr. Hunter Finn is an integrative veterinary expert first, and social media star second. America’s favorite veterinarian owns Pet Method in McKinney, Texas, where he cares for pets while prioritizing their emotional well-being. When he’s not at his clinic, he’s starring in viral videos on TikTok (2 million followers) and Instagram (500K followers) — where he’s been known to snuggle puppies and conquer the latest dance trends.

**As with any insurance policy, coverage may vary. Review our coverage and exclusions.

1How Much Does Cat Ingrown Nail Removal Cost?” Best Cat Adviser, 2023

2 “Cats & Ingrown Nails: Spotting Them & What You Should Do,” Hills Pet Nutrition, 2022

3 “How to trim cat claws,” The Humane Society of The United States

4 “Claw and Nail Disorders in Cats,” Wag!, 2021

5 All claims paid amounts are based on MetLife internal claims data from October 2022. Story altered for illustrative purposes.

Coverage issued by Metropolitan General Insurance Company (“MetGen”), a Rhode Island insurance company, headquartered at 700 Quaker Lane, Warwick, RI 02886, and Independence American Insurance Company (“IAIC”), a Delaware insurance company, headquartered at 11333 N Scottsdale Rd, Ste 160, Scottsdale, AZ 85454. Coverage subject to restrictions, exclusions and limitations and application is subject to underwriting. See policy or contact MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions LLC (“MetLife Pet”) for details. MetLife Pet is the policy administrator. It may operate under an alternate or fictitious name in certain jurisdictions, including MetLife Pet Insurance Services LLC (New York and Minnesota) and MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions Agency LLC (Illinois).

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