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How to Care for Your Cat’s Paws

November 1, 2015
Just like our own hands and feet, a cat’s paws are of essential importance to her. As a loving cat owner, it’s your job to keep these critical body parts healthy! Learn how below from your Georgetown, IN veterinarian.

Regular Paw Checks

Once a week or so, give your cat’s paws a quick once-over. Look for any visible wounds, scratches, abrasions, or bald patches. Also check between the toes; it’s very easy for small objects like pebbles, burrs, or bits of plastic and metal to get stuck there. If you find something embedded, remove it gently if possible. If it seems stuck, don’t force it—call your veterinarian for professional help.

Scratching Posts

Scratching posts are essential items for cats. Not only do they allow your cat to get out her frustrations and satisfy her natural clawing instincts, they help blunt the claw tips by shedding the outermost layer, preventing the claws from getting too sharp too quickly. Visit your local vet’s office or pet supply store to pick up a scratching post.

Nail Trims

While scratching posts help dull the claws, every cat will need the occasional nail trim to prevent long, sharp claws from getting snagged in carpets or fracturing painfully. Always use a feline-specific trimmer, as trimmers designed for dogs—or worse, humans—may cause injury. Keep a styptic pen or powder on hand in the event you snip too far and cause bleeding. If you’re uncomfortable performing your cat’s nail trims yourself, set up an appointment at your local animal hospital to have professionals take care of it.

Paw Wipe-Down

Does your cat go outside? Be sure to wipe down the paws when she comes in, as various chemicals, grime, and other detritus can stay on the paws and be ingested by your pet. It will also save your carpets and furniture from getting dirt tracked on them! Use a large, soft towel to give each of your cat’s paws a quick swipe.

Seasonal Hazards

Here in Indiana, it can get hot in the summers and very cold in the winters. Keep your cat’s paw care in mind during these seasons—asphalt can heat up to unbearable temperatures when it’s hot outside, potentially burning a cat’s paw pads. Road salt and chemical ice removers can irritate the paws in the wintertime. Contact your Georgetown, IN animal hospital for more advice on caring for your cat’s paws.

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