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How Do You Care for Cat Paws?

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by Alexander Thompson
May 24, 2022
4 minute read
TABLE OF CONTENTS
  • Why Care for Cat Paws?
  • Why Are Cat Paws Important?
  • What Makes Up Cat Paws?
  • What Are the Best Ways to Care for Your Cat Paws?
  • How Frequently Should You Cut Your Cat Nails?
  • Conclusion
Like we cannot function effectively without our hands or feet, your cat cannot function properly without her paws. So one of your responsibilities as a cat parent is to help your cat keep healthy paws.
In this blog, we will talk about cat paw care and how to keep your cat’s paw germ-free and healthy.

Why Care for Cat Paws?

Your cat relies on its paws to do most things, whether it wants to defend itself, carry out a reprisal attack, or just randomly with you. That is why you find the cat paws on display more often than other parts of its body.
The level of wear and tear going on in cat feet is high. Therefore, caring for these parts of their body helps them stay healthy and strong.

Why Are Cat Paws Important?

Here are the reasons your cat’s paw is crucial;

Cat Paws for Grooming

According to research, cats enjoy self-grooming, and a considerable amount of their time is dedicated to this every day. Grooming, in this case, goes beyond the usual licking action. It also includes the repeated scratching motion. Your cat requires a good set of claws to do these properly. Scratching without claws will make the entire process painful. It doesn’t matter if you groom your cats daily; they want to scratch their bodies themselves and experience satisfaction and pleasure.

Cat Paws for Climbing

A cat has a few natural instincts, and climbing is one of them. You can punish your cat all you want; it still will not discourage it from climbing. Decongesting your cat makes climbing very painful and unenjoyable for them. The claws are no longer there, so 3grasping anything is impossible. Toenails and claws are not naturally designed for activities like grasping, running, or jumping. So, a cat without paws is almost helpless in situations where it has to run from hostile people, dogs, or cats. Your cat knows all of these, so it rather sits down instead of running whenever it has been decongested.

Cat Paws for Self-Defense

As mentioned above, cats defend themselves more often than we think. If there are no paws, defending themselves effectively against enemies becomes a problem. Once it swings its claws, it discovers its defensive weapon no longer exists. Those tiny, sharp claws often determine whether your cat will win in a life-death situation.

Cat Paws for Hunting

A cat without its paws cannot hunt effectively. Now, you may think hunting is not important to your kitty; after all, you feed it as a proper family pet. But the truth is your cat can only stay as a well-raised pet for as long as it is indoors. What about situations where it finds itself out on the streets or homeless? If there are no paws to hunt in those situations, it may die of starvation. So, predators with sharp claws require adequate paws for self-sustenance, which entails hunting and killing prey for their consumption.

What Makes Up Cat Paws?

There are five claws on each of the front feet of a cat. Similarly, there are four claws on each of the rear feet of a cat. The fifth paw of the front foot is the hanging toe – it extends higher than the other four paws and plays a role similar to the human thumb.
Keratin is the main component of a cat’s claws. It is the primary protein constituting the epidermis of fur hair follicles and rawhides and human nails.
Cat paws

What Are the Best Ways to Care for Your Cat Paws?

You can keep your cat’s paws healthy and strong by following the tips outlined below;

Clean Them Regularly

Your cat will most likely come back with parasite eggs, bacteria, and ground dirt, all hidden in its paws, whenever it goes outdoors. If you don’t dust out this dirt and your cat eats them, it becomes a serious health problem. As a cat owner, you should clean their paws and disinfect the room frequently.

Keep the Claws Well-Trimmed

Leaving your cat’s nails to grow too long can cause a few issues. For instance, it becomes easier to pierce their small meat pads. Likewise, holding them back becomes a problem, and their overall quality of life reduces. That is why you should trim your cat’s nails regularly. It would be best if you also got the right equipment to sharpen the claws, ensuring that the shovels will not be harmed while playing with cats.
Cat claws

Cut the Foot Hair

You do not want to leave your cat’s foot hair untrimmed. Long foot hair impairs effective heat dissipation in cats. It also limits the rate of perspiration in the meat pad, making the cat less stable when running. In addition, your cat will most struggle to lick the foot hair clean if it’s too long.

Moisturization Is Important

The weather gets dry at some point, and this causes your cat’s meat pads to be dry. The dryness causes cracking and peeling or even bleeding in some situations. The solution here is to use hand cream. Note that there are special pet-specific claw creams for cats, and only these should be used.
If your cat’s claws remain cracked and dry after using the claw cream, set up a consultation with a vet. It might lead to small lesions and severe health problems if untreated.

How Frequently Should You Cut Your Cat Nails?

Experts recommend that you trim your cat’s nails every three or four weeks. The importance of a cat’s claws cannot be overemphasized, especially if your kitty friends spend some time outdoors. They require their claws to catch prey, repel an attack, climb trees, and much more.
If yours is an indoor kitty, you must help trim the nails regularly rather than leave it to sharpen its claws without help. You are at the risk of scratches if your cat’s claws are not trimmed on time. That said, do not trim the claws too often; otherwise, it reduces their quality of life.

Conclusion

Your cat’s well-being depends on a few things, including its paw’s hygiene. In fact, paw hygiene is up there alongside coat and oral hygiene on the list of things to do to keep your kitty healthy and strong. The claws are a potential point of contact for dangerous bacteria, so you must keep them clean. In addition, there are a few homemade paw care solutions as outlined above. However, if there is anything out of the ordinary about your cat’s claw health, do not hesitate to consult your vet.
If you keep a dog at home, check here to learn about How Do You Care for Your Dog’s Paws?
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