Why Are My Cats Claws Turning Black [Causes and Treatment]



Why Are My Cats Claws Turning Black

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Cats are known for their beautiful fur and claws, but when those claws begin to turn black or another color, it can be a reason for concern. Even though this discoloration is typically not a problem, but pet parents should be aware of certain causes.

Usually, a cat’s black nails could indicate an infection or a fungal issue. If the claws look dry and brittle, they may have picked up a fungus from the environment or even another animal in the house. In some cases, blackened claws could be caused by dead tissue that has not been appropriately relieved due to trauma or inflammation. This is particularly common in older cats as their nails become weaker over time.

In these instances, treatment will likely involve cleaning the area with an antifungal cream or medicated shampoo. Besides, your vet might suggest dietary changes to help improve immunity against infections and fungi.

In this guide, we also talk more about why are my cat’s claws turning black, its causes, and the solutions. So without wasting time, let’s begin.

Why Are My Cats Claws Turning Black?

There is a possibility that cats’ claws will turn black the outer layers of their nails can become brittle, causing dark patches and discoloration over time as they age. This can be a normal part of cat aging. However, as we mentioned earlier, there are other causes cat owners should keep an eye out for changes in the color and texture of their cat’s claws because it could indicate a more serious underlying issue.

Alternatively, if a cat has injured its nail bed by scratching somewhere too hard or too frequently, that area can also darken with time due to the accumulation of blood under the nail plate. If your cat’s claws are turning black due to injury rather than age-related wear and tear, then this is something you will need to discourse immediately.

Symptoms and Causes of Black Inside Cat Claw:

Why Are My Cats Claws Turning Black
Credit: Cat World

The mysterious causes of a cat’s claws turning black can be alarming for pet owners. It’s essential to understand the potential underlying reasons why this discoloration may occur, as it could indicate more serious health issues.

There are two primary causes that are connected to cats’ claws turning black: 

  • Fungal Infection: The first cause is a fungal infection, which is caused by dermatophytes and other microorganisms that grow in hot, humid environments. These infections usually lead to redness and itching around the area where the nail has changed color. 
  • Accumulation of melanin: this is the second cause when there is too much exposure to ultraviolet radiation from sunlight or indoor lighting fixtures. In addition, long-term use of certain medications or even poor nail hygiene can also contribute to darkening nails in cats. Fortunately, nail discoloration due to these causes do not usually cause any problems for your feline friend.

As mentioned, the first reason a cat’s claws turn black is a fungal infection. This means that your cat may have an unhealthy immune system, which is why this form of nail discoloration affects both the claws and the skin around them. However, some cats with strong immune systems can also develop fungal infections on their nails despite this rule. 

Secondly, this condition is caused by bacteria, which can be treated with antibiotics. If your cat’s claws are turning black and there is no sign of a fungal infection or bacterial overgrowth, then you need to take your pet to the vet as soon as possible.

How Do You Get Rid of Fungus on a Cat’s Nails? Black Inside Cat Claw Treatment

Claw health reflects how healthy your cat is overall. While some cats may have naturally darker claw beds, color changes can indicate an underlying issue. If your cat’s claws are turning black, it is essential to investigate the cause and the appropriate treatment options available.

As we mentioned before, the claws’ blackening can be caused by several things, including infection from bacteria or fungus, fungal infections such as ringworm, or even trauma resulting from scratching furniture or walls. In some cases, the discoloration may also be due to a diet deficient in specific vitamins and minerals that help keep nails healthy. 

In all of these cases, your veterinarian will likely recommend tests before recommending a treatment. If your cat is scratching excessively and the nails are turning black, this may be a sign of an underlying medical condition. Blackened claws may also indicate that your cat has been exposed to toxins or chemicals.

Black Inside Cat Claw Prevention

Prevention is vital when it comes to keeping cats healthy and happy. It is essential to be aware of changes in your cat’s claws, as this could indicate an underlying health issue or lack of necessary care. One such change is the discoloration of a cat’s claws from white to black. Although there are many causes for why this might occur, understanding why it happens can help you take preventative steps to keep your cat’s claws healthy and white.

Antibiotics, Surgery, Lifestyle Changes

Antibiotics, surgery, and lifestyle changes are all important factors to consider when it comes to discoursing why your cat’s claws may be turning black. The dark discoloration of the nails can indicate a variety of medical issues that require immediate attention from a veterinarian. It is essential for owners to understand the underlying causes of their pet’s condition to determine the best course of treatment.

Depending on the severity and type of issue causing the problem, antibiotics may be specified by your vet to help clear up any bacterial or fungal infections. Alternatively, surgery might be necessary if an injury or abnormality affects one or more claws. 

In addition to these interventions, it is important for cat owners also to consider making modifications to their pet’s lifestyle that could help reduce future problems with their claws. The first step to helping your cat with claw problems is to understand what could be causing the pain. 

The most common causes of feline claw issues are injury, infection, and genetic conditions. Claw injuries are often caused by a cat getting its nails caught in something or overgrown claws breaking off and tearing into the nail bed. This can be painful, so the best response is to remove any broken pieces of the claw that could be causing pain.

How Much Does It Cost to Darken Under Cat Claw Treatment? 

As a cat parent, you must know the cost of caring for your pet. This includes unexpected costs, such as medical treatments, if your cat’s claws start to turn black. While many cat owners are unaware of the cause behind this strange phenomenon, underlying health issues often require treatment.

Without proper medical attention, this type of infection can lead to more costly treatments, such as surgery or antibiotics. In addition to these possible expenses, owners may have to purchase particular products like claw clippers or specialized cat grooming tools to ensure their cats’ nails stay healthy and free from infections. Many cats are also susceptible to changes in their environment, especially when they feel threatened in some way.

Vet Visits, Medications, Supplements

These are essential for cats’ health. Regular vet visits allow the veterinarian to assess your cat’s general health and recommend any necessary treatments or vaccinations. Medications can be prescribed when needed to address a specific issue or condition, such as fleas or ear mites. 

Supplements may also be suggested if your cat requires additional nutritional support. All of these elements play a role in keeping cats healthy, but they can’t always prevent unexpected changes in appearance, like claws turning black. If this happens to your cat, it is essential to take them to the vet immediately for an evaluation and treatment plan.


You may notice that the cat’s claw’s color can change for various reasons. In most cases, it is normal, and nothing to worry about because cats’ claws serve many purposes, and the color can vary due to age or injury. 

However, if your cat’s claws suddenly turn black over an extended period, and the nails appear thicker and more bulbous than usual, then it is essential to talk with your veterinarian to determine the cause and receive proper treatment. As always, deterrence is vital when it comes to taking care of our feline friends!

Cat Claw Health & Care

Cat claws are essential to a cat’s health and well-being, but it can be concerning if its claws begin to turn black. This could be a sign of something serious, so it’s important to understand the causes of this change as well as what you can do to keep your cat’s claws healthy.

There are several reasons why your cat’s claws may turn black. One cause is a bacterial infection; the other possible causes include poor nutrition, lack of grooming, or even trauma from scratching furniture or other objects in the home. 

In rare cases, the discoloration may also be due to a fungal infection or cancerous growth on the nail bed. Hopefully, our this why are my cats claws turning black guide helped you understand the causes and treatment of everything in depth. 

You can stay with us to get more of this cat-related crucial information and explanation.

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