Velvet paws: what do you have to look out for in your cat’s paws?

Cats take care of their paws and claws themselves. So, you only need to give your cat a helping hand in exceptional cases. Old or sick cats, in particular, may need a bit of help. We recommend using a soft flannel dampened with lukewarm water to clean your cat’s paws. There are also paw care products available. With all paw products, it is important that they are absorbed quickly. Otherwise, the cat will see the cream, ointment or spray as dirt and immediately start licking it off.

If your cat's paws have come into contact with toxic substances – for example tar or other chemicals – you should also help your pet to clean their paws before they ingest the toxic substances by trying licking them off. Applying the ointment to a cat's paws is not exactly easy, because your cat is very sensitive on its paws and doesn’t like them to be touched at all. 

So our tip is that it’s best to apply creams and ointments to the cat's paws when the cat is napping or distracted by cuddling. This allows the paw care product to be absorbed a little bit better. 

Correct care for dry paws

Particularly in winter, outdoor cats often get dry and cracked skin on their paw pads – caused by road salt and gravel that’s gritted when the streets are icy. The salt dries out the skin, it becomes cracked and this can lead to inflammation as it’s now easier for bacteria to get in. Natural creams help a lot with dry paws. It is particularly important that they are natural because otherwise harmful additives are ingested by the cat when they lick their paws. 

What to do when your cat's paws are sore?

Cat paws can swell for a whole range of reasons, such as an injury or inflammation. Watch how your cat moves, whether it puts weight on its paw or limps. Is the swelling severe or not too pronounced? Are all their claws still in place? It is best to have the swelling looked at by a vet and explain to them your observations of how your cat is dealing with the swollen paw. 

Since cats also sometimes take routes that are full of thorny bushes or other obstacles, outdoor cats are more likely to come home with cracked paws. Cats lick their paws thoroughly, but bacteria can also get into the sensitive paws via the cat's tongue. To prevent the inflammation from spreading further, we strongly recommend a visit to your trusted vet for assessment and treatment. This way, the inflammation can also be treated with medication and your cat’s paws can heal well.

Tip: If you see an injury or inflammation on your cat's paw, keep calm. Otherwise you will pass on your anxiety to the sensitive cat. Talk reassuringly to the cat - with lots of petting. If the cat lets you catch them, you can also give first aid to the injured paw. With creams (such as Bepanthen), bandages and gauze pads. You can then take your pet to the vet.