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How to Care for Your Cat’s Paws

You’ve probably noticed that your cat uses her paws for just about everything—walking, climbing, scratching, jumping, landing, grooming, and much more! You’ll want to keep the paws in great shape for your cat’s overall well-being. Use these tips from a Central Indianapolis vet.

Regular Paw Checks

Every week or so, sit down with your cat and give her paws a general once-over. Do you see dirt or grime? Clean the paws up if your cat hasn’t gotten around to it herself. If you notice any cuts, scratches, blisters, or swelling, ask your veterinarian for professional help. If there are foreign bodies stuck in between the toes, try removing them gently. Never force the object, though; bring your cat to the vet if something’s really stuck.

Keep Nails Trimmed

If your cat’s claws get too long, they can easily get caught or tangled up in fabric or carpet. Keep your cat’s nails trimmed with a cat nail trimmer, available at pet supply stores and vet’s offices. Just clip the very tip of the nail to blunt the claw. If you cut too far down, you’ll snip the quick, which is the vein running into each nail. Ask your vet for a demonstration if you need help.

Consider the Paw Pads

An often-forgotten aspect of our cats’ paws is the pad on the bottom. Don’t forget that hot asphalt in the summer can easily burn the pads, and road salt and anti-ice products can irritate them during the winter months. Avoid these surfaces whenever possible to keep your cat’s paw pads healthy.

Let Her Scratch

Your cat has a natural urge to scratch things, and scratching helps rub off the outer layer of the nail, keeping them from getting too sharp or long. Provide a good-quality scratching post for your cat. You can find these at just about any pet supply shop.

Watch for Behavioral Signs

Cats aren’t very good at showing pain, but if you know what to look for you can stay one step ahead. Watch for signs of discomfort like licking or suckling at the paw. In addition, an obvious limp or favoring one leg should require veterinary attention.

Your Central Indianapolis veterinarian can tell you more about your cat’s paws and how to keep them healthy for a lifetime. Call the office today!

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