We, as human beings rely on our legs for support and the most vulnerable part of our legs are our feet. Well, the same goes for our feline friends. The only difference being that their paws are way cuter than our feet. And cats are one of the most active pets out there. Of course they are more likely to scrape their paws, and these scrapes can be really painful or even become infected if not properly treated.
Here are some tips on how to recognize the symptoms of paw scrapes in cats and how to treat them.
Find Out The Cause
The first thing you may ask yourselves is what is the cause for these cat paw scrapes. Well, this is usually the result of physical trauma due to playing on rough surfaces. My sweet cat loves sneaking out and giving me nightmares when the time comes for her to be inspected if she brought home some new ‘accessories’ such as pebbles or other small objects that may get stuck in the paws and cause infections.
Also, automotive fluids such as antifreeze and de-icing chemicals such as rock salt may cause chemical reactions that irritate and in some cases burn the paws, so beware of those as well.
Learn To Recognize The Symbols
Another thing that every cat owner would like to know is: what are the symptoms? Minor injuries usually heal with time. However, if you notice that your cat refuses to put weight on the scraped paw, meows in pain, walks unevenly, then it is time to do something about the wound.
Signs of any serious infection that should be looked at by a vet are swelling, excessive bleeding, or loose skin on the paw.
An important thing to know is how to treat paw scrapes in cats. If the injury is minor than you can simply wash the wound with clean, lukewarm water couple of times per day and protect it form infecting by using a protective sock(DIY using a sock and a medical tape- it’s as simple as that and it saves your cat’s paw from infecting). I recommend that you also use an animal-safe antiseptic spray that you can easily find at the nearest pet supply store.
If the paw has not healed within a week, and your cat is still in pain then it is definitely time to visit the vet. The veterinarian will decide whether or not the cat needs surgery.
How To Prevent It In The Future
When it comes to the well being of your feline friend, the final and most important thing I am going to discuss are the things you do as a cat owner in order to prevent cat paw scrapes.
Regular grooming is key in preventing paw scrapes. Start while the cat is still young, old habits never die! Do not let your kitten play outside, and inspect its paws regularly for any abnormalities. Remember, both adult cats and kittens are prone to scrapes, so I advise that you get your hands on lotions for cracked or worn out paws that are available at pet supply stores.
If you love listening to those tiny paws tapping on your floors, do your best to protect them from injuries.
I know that our cats like the outdoors and we can’t keep them from harm’s way forever, all we can do is do our best to prevent injury, and treat it properly if it occurs. In some cases, we may even need to consult a vet.