Cat Paw Care Tips

Have you ever considered all that your cat’s paws do for her? Everything from scratching, running, jumping, climbing, and playing is accomplished with these important body parts! Here, an Upper Arlington vet offers some tips on great at-home care for your feline friend’s paws.

Consistent Paw Checks

Give your cat’s paws a thorough once-over on a regular basis, especially if your pet spends time outdoors. It’s easy for small objects like burrs, pebbles, or twigs to get stuck in between the toes. Also look for any scratches, swelling, or bleeding. Remember: cats can be rather good at hiding their discomfort!

If you do notice something amiss, let your veterinarian know. He or she will tell you if you can take care of the problem at home or if you’ll need to visit the clinic for professional help.

Scratching Posts

A good scratching post—or several—are essential for a cat’s health. Scratching posts allow your feline friend to exercise her natural clawing desires while helping to blunt the tips of the nails, keeping them from becoming too sharp. Plus, they offer an acceptable scratching outlet for those times when your cat gets into a clawing mood. A scratching post can go a long way toward saving your furniture, purse, or shoes!

Nail Trims

Nail trims are also essential for cat paw health. While scratching posts can keep the tips of your cat’s nails blunted slightly, your pet will occasionally need full-out trims. Purchase feline-specific nail trimmers for this occasion. Take care to only snip the tip of each claw; if you cut too far, you’ll nick the blood vessel that runs into each nail, causing bleeding. Keep a styptic pencil or powder on hand to stop the blood flow if this occurs.

Paw Pad Care

In the summer, a cat’s paw pads are subject to burns from hot surfaces like asphalt, which heats up drastically when the sun beats on it for long periods of time. In the winter, chemical ice removal products and road salts can irritate the pads, and cats may ingest these products when licking themselves. Be sure to avoid these seasonal dangers to save your cat’s paw pads; check your cat’s pads every time they come in from the outdoors.

Would you like more tips on keeping your cat’s paws, claws, and paw pads in great shape? Contact your Upper Arlington veterinarian for further advice.