There are many things to love about your cat. You probably love the way your cat cuddles up next to you, plays with the toys you have around the house or yard, and welcomes you home when you have been away for a while. If you take some time to really look at your cat, you will probably become amazed at how intricate its paws are. These truly are special. You might be interested to know that those paws actually serve quite a few useful functions for your cat. For one, they have a series of nerve receptors located all over the paw itself. These are effective in allowing the cat to remain balanced while hunting. Just take a look at a cat who is ready to pounce on a mouse and you will understand the importance of this. At the same time, all of these nerve receptors combine to create a lot of sensitivity. Cats need to take care of their paws, but they do not always possess the resources to do that. This is where you, as the owner, can come into the picture.
Your Cat’s Paw Explained
The pads on each paw are very soft. You need to know that they are very are sensitive to certain feelings such as pressure and pain. This is especially important to remember when the temperatures heat up outside. Because cats like to explore the great outdoors no matter what the weather might be like, it is important to bear in mind the reality that even a few seconds of their paws making contact with extremely hot pavement can result in permanent nerve damage. While it is nice to recommend that you keep your cat indoors when it is hot, this is not always practical. Your cat likes to get outside and play. Your role in this process, then, is to coach them how to do this safely and give them the ability to come safely back inside without burn paws. Here are some tips to help you do just that.
Help Them Toughen Up Their Paws
Outdoor cats will naturally have tougher paws than indoor cats simply because they have already adapted. If you have an indoor cat, you will just need to work a bit hard to get your pet to this point. One way to do this is to get them a scratching post that they can use inside. This should be a rough post that they are encouraged to scratch their paws on with regularity. Once they do this for a few months, their paws will eventually begin to toughen up. While it is still dangerous to be on the hot pavement, a tougher paw will give them much better protection when they do go outside than they would otherwise have.
Grass Is Great For Your Kitten
While cats may possess the foresight to stay off the hot pavement when at all possible, kittens do not always have the instinct. You can help them providing them a grassy area to play on as much as possible. This might not always be available, but it is then you should be using it. You can make a contained space outside that is designed only for your cat. Ideally, it will be grass, but there are other surfaces that reflect that will be equally as useful. You may even consider installing a patio area that is just for your cats. This is a space where they can play at their leisure outside, without you having to worry about the hot temperatures and what that can do to their paws. The key is to prevent any type of access to the hot pavement if at all possible.
Find a Resting Area That Is Free of Any Pavement
Just like humans, cats benefit from shade. Of course, if they do not have any then they will stay go outside and play anyway. This is when their paws will suffer the most, so you will want to do what you can to encourage them to stay in the shade. To do that, you will want to focus on creating shady areas in your outdoor spaces. Cats also like to lie around. Unlike dogs who tend to stay as close to their owners as possible when they are home, cats are often comfortable on their own. To help them, create their resting area outside that is away from the hot pavement. There are some great cooling pads that you can find. Cats love these, they are not expensive, and they will really do wonders for their paws.
Paw Wax Helps
Think of how vaseline can soothe cuts and burns on your own skin. Well, wax can help a cat’s paws stay healthy and free of those nasty blisters that can result from prolonged exposure to hot surfaces. A bit of warning here is that your cat may not really like the feeling of the wax on their paw, but they will eventually get used to it. You can also put this on in the winter if you live in an area that has a lot of ice, which brings salt, on the sidewalks and pavement.
Check and Clean Their Paws
Finally, do not make the mistake of just focused on the fur on your cat. While they love to be groomed, there are other areas that you want to pay attention to as well. Their paws are one of them. You should visually check each paw every day to see if there is any debris stuck in there. This can be painful, so get rid of it for the benefit of your cat. You also want to check for any burns or other damage to the paws. Put soothing lotion on it and do not hesitate to take your cat to a vet if the damage looks extreme.