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Cat Paw-Care Tips

September 1, 2014
Have you ever thought about all the things cats need their paws for? Walking, running, climbing, scratching, and grooming are just a few! Make sure these essential body parts of your cat stay healthy with these tips from a local vet.
The Daily Check

Every day, do a quick once-over of your cat’s paws. If there are any obvious scratches, sores, or wounds, get your cat veterinary attention. If there is a foreign object stuck between your cat’s toes—twigs, burrs, or small stones are rather common—try removing it gently with tweezers. Call your vet if you can’t seem to get the object out.
The Daily Wipe

Remember to keep your cat’s paws clean. This is especially important if your cat spends time outdoors. When she comes in, use a soft cloth or towel and wipe down all four paws. This will remove dirt, grime, and chemicals as well as giving you a chance to check for foreign objects. Plus, it will keep dirt off your furniture and carpets!
Provide Scratching Posts

Scratching posts are essential for your cat to shed the outer layers of her claws, keeping them blunted a bit. They also allow your cat to relieve her natural clawing desire and save your furniture from scratch marks! Try setting up several scratching posts around your home for your cat’s use.
Nail Trims

Cats also will also need regular nail trims in addition to their own scratching. Purchase cat-specific nail trimmers from a pet supply store or vet’s office, and cut just the tip of each nail. If you cut too far down, you’ll snip the quick, a blood vessel running into each nail. Keep styptic powder or plenty of gauze pads on hand in case you do cut it—the bleeding should stop momentarily.
Remember the Paw Pads

Don’t forget about the pads on the underside of your cat’s paws. The paw pads can easily be burnt by hot asphalt in the summer, or irritated by cold metals or concrete in the winter. Try to avoid having your cat step on these surfaces if possible.

Ask your veterinarian to recommend great paw-care products, and ask about other easy tips for keeping these essential body parts healthy.

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