Owning a cat means assuming the responsibility of caring for her, and this includes caring for her paw pads. Why is it so important to maintain your pet’s paw pads? Think of her paws as your hands and feet, which are very important parts of your body. In your cat’s case, it is also essential to keep her paw pads as healthy and clean as possible.
Cats use their paws all day long, and they use them to walk across all kinds of surfaces, including dirty ones like their litter box. Sometimes, they may even walk across surfaces with harsh cleaning chemicals or rough and rocky grounds with sharp items. Depending on the weather, they also use the same set of paws to move across hot or cold surfaces. These surfaces can be harmful and damaging to your cat’s paws.
Your cat would naturally clean her own paws by licking them, which is fine but can be extremely dangerous if she has walked upon harmful or toxic substances. Hence, regular cat paw care should be given to your pet to keep them not only clean and safe (for licking) but also to look out for issues like small injuries, cuts, and cracks that can lead to more serious conditions like infections. Whilst every cat is genetically unique, they all need regular paw care.
Helpful Tips to Care for Your Cat’s Paws
1. Regular maintenance
Regular maintenance is necessary to keep your cat’s paws and paw pads clean and healthy, but take special care to inspect them as often as possible. This way, you can look for small cuts and tiny injuries that you might have not noticed the last time you cleaned her pet’s paws.
This is especially important if you notice anything out of the ordinary, such as your cat limping or avoiding to put pressure on a particular paw as this may mean her paw was injured in some way. Cats can be good at hiding their injuries, so make sure to pay close attention. At the same time, because she might not be feeling a hundred percent well, try to do your best to be as gentle as possible when handling her paws.
2. Paw inspection
It is also best to start young to make her accustomed to the idea of letting you clean and take care of her paws. It is a good idea to get into the habit of always massaging your kitty’s paws, which is not only a way to bond but also a smart way to detect any debris that could cause a minor injury to her paw pads.
Make it a point to include the massaging of your cat’s paws into your daily routine, and even more if she just came from a walk outdoors. Inspect your cat’s paws right away and look for foreign objects, scratches, and sores. If you find something stuck in the paw pads, use a pair of tweezers to remove it. If it is not possible, or if the debris is stuck too deeply, call your veterinarian.
3. Paw cleaning
During the inspection, or after doing it, clean your cat’s paw pads by using a soft cloth to wipe them. This way, you are able to remove not only the physical debris but also the traces of harmful chemicals. In addition, make sure to also wipe the areas around the paw pads and between her toes.
4. Cat claw trimming
There are nail scissors especially made for trimming cat claws. Use these scissors to trim just the tips of your cat’s claws and avoid the part of the nail that contains veins and sensitive nerves.
5. Dry cat paw pads
In case your cat’s paw pads have become irritated, dry, or cracked, your veterinarian may recommend moisturising them with food grade oil such as olive oil or coconut oil. You want to make sure to choose only edible oil and avoid petroleum jelly or lotion as your cat will definitely lick her paw pads. You might also want to confine her to a small space to keep her from walking all over the house with oily paw pads.
If your cat is prone to getting dry or irritated cat paw pads, it might be because of the condition of your outdoor area, such as hot concrete, salted pavement, rocky roads, and more. In this case, the best solution to prevent your cat’s paws from getting irritated in the future is to keep her indoors.
Find out more how to help your cat live a healthier life through a cat intolerance test and find out what your cat is intolerant to. A healthy cat is a happy cat!