How To Care of Your Cat's Paws

Cat on sisal scratching post

Part of being a responsible cat owner is to check your cat’s paws.  Cats have the reputation of being clean animals.  However, this should not stop you from checking your kitty cat’s feet once in awhile to see if they are clean and healthy.  Red swollen paws, obsessive cleaning, limping or favoring one paw are signs that your cat is experiencing paw problems.

Care for your cat’s paws by following these tips:

  1. If you are a stickler for cleanliness and your cat goes out of the house during the day, check your cat’s paws at least once a day before turning in.  Wipe all four paws gently with a damp towel.
  2. Cats instinctively sharpen their claws as they climb up trees.  In the absence of a tree, they will claw at anything that can help them keep their deadly weapons in tip-top condition.  It’s best to provide your cat with her own scratching post.  This way you can save your sofa or other furniture from utter destruction.
  3. Cat claws are for climbing and for gripping things. There is really no need to trim your cat’s claws especially if your cat regularly grooms herself.    Should you, for some reason, need to trim your cat’s claws, use a special cat nail clipper.  You can buy these at your local pet store.  Don’t use your nail cutter.  Remember that cats can be sensitive about their nails.  Hold one paw and gently give it a squeeze.  This will make her extend her claws.  Make sure to only trim off the white tip of her claw.  Do not trim beyond the point where her nail curls.  Otherwise, you might hit a vein and cause it to bleed.
  4. Longhaired cats have fur that grows in their paw.  If you notice that your cat is cleaning her paws excessively, the long fur may be causing her some level of discomfort or annoyance.  Some cats even attempt to pull these out.  Using a pair of scissors, trim the fur in her paws.
  5. If your cat loves the outdoors, she can get splinters or foreign objects (like foxtails, burs and sticker paper) caught in between her paws.  Use tweezers to remove these.  Remember to be gentle.
  6. Cuts on a cat’s paw are not uncommon.  Thorns, broken glass, sharp rocks and burs are some of the things that can cause lacerations on her feet. Wash your kitty’s paw with antibacterial soap.  Larger cuts are for your vet to take care off.
  7. Make sure your cat’s paws do not emit any unusual smell or odor.  Her paws should also be free from excretions or any other irregularities like infections.  If you notice anything out of the ordinary, bring your cat to her vet as soon as possible.
  8. In the winter, make sure to wipe your cat’s paw clean after each foyer outside.  This is to remove both ice crystals as well as road salt from her paws.  Road salt can cause dryness.   Ask your vet what moisturizer he can recommend for your feline’s furry feet.

Cats that obsessively clean their paws may be feeling pain or discomfort at some level.   Make sure to check her paws immediately and act accordingly.  But even without the obsessively cleaning, make it a habit to inspect your cat’s feet once in awhile.    Doing this is part of providing your furry friend with the right loving care she truly deserves.


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