5 Ways to Take Care of Your Cat's Paws
Healthy paws are essential for your cat’s happiness and comfort. However, cats, especially the more adventurous outdoor felines, can suffer from scabs, wounds, and hurt paw pads. Here are 5 cat care tips for maintaining healthy cat paws.
Full disclosure, I have tried and tested these tips as my cat has chronic issues with his paws due to FIV. Following these 5 cat care tips helped us get him back to a more comfortable state.
- Be Careful with Chemicals and Cleaning Agents
Cleaning products can irritate cat paw pads just like they irritate human skin. Be mindful when cleaning and do not let your cat step on floors that have been recently treated. Chances are your kitty already avoids these spots whenever you are cleaning, but just to be on the safe side, do not let him walk around until the floors are dry.
- Use Soft Litter Mats
Cat litter usually has small sticky granules that sometimes get trapped between the toes of your cat. They can also stick on the cat paws, especially if your litter clumps. Make sure that you have a soft mat for your cat right in front of its litter box. You may be tempted to buy a mat that traps the cat litter instead. However, these mats can often be rough on your cat’s paws, so consider placing a smaller softer pad above it, immediately in front of the litter box.
- Avoid Paw Creams that Will Cause Excessive Licking
When we first noticed my cat Nemo’s dry paw pads, we decided to buy a crème from the local pet store to treat sore pads. However, this experiment back fired – he spent multiple hours carefully cleaning his paws from the crème, worsening their condition with his rough tongue. Remember that cat tongues feel like sandpaper due to the papillae on their tongues. Excessive licking can cause sores. The only way around it is wrapping the paw with bandage, but this will likely be a temporary solution – your ingenious kitty will quickly find a way to remove it. To sum up, if the situation looks bad enough to warrants the use of medication, even an over the counter crème in a store, take your cat to the vet for a quick checkup.
- Trim Nails Regularly and Provide Scratching Posts
Nail trimming is a regular cat care activity most of us dread dealing with. However, regular trimming is important, because it keeps the quick of your cat’s nails in check. The less often you trim the cat’s nails, the harder it will get. To make the process less unpleasant, use sharp scissors especially designed for cat nail trimming and reward your furry friend with a well-deserved treat once you are done. Providing a suitable scratching post will also help your cat care for its nails on a regular basis.
- Regularly Examine Your Cat’s Paws and Consult with a Vet
It took us a few months to realize that our cat’s dry paw pads cannot be fixed with over the counter cremes and that the flooring didn’t seem to completely solve the problem. We finally went to the vet only to discover that the sore pads were actually common in cats with FIV. After running some tests, we got a positive result for FIV. Our vet prescribed antibiotics which solved the problem with the pads. This treatment along with the day-to-day cat paw care, have helped us enjoy a healthy energetic kitty that can jump around and run freely. Don’t wait to go to the vet if you notice something is off. It may be a sign of a more serious issue that won’t go away on its own.