Pause for paws…
Here’s how to heal your kitty’s cracked heels and sore paw pads.
- If you have a cat who goes outdoors, she can often hurt her paws on a rough stone or wire if they jump over a fence.
- Indoor cats can also damage their paw pads by jumping on sharp objects, chewing the pads and between toes if they are left alone too long and become stressed or accidently damaging them by playing with a child’s toy made of wood that is a little splintered.
- Any contact with hot water can lead to blistering and painful paw pads.
- A scraped and sore paw pad can be healed by using a baby’s sock that is tied on with a flat bandage. Do not use cord or you can cut off the circulation by tying it too tight. Remove the sock every few hours to make sure the pad is healing – never leave it on for too long as infection can occur.
- If a paw pad is bleeding, wrap a bandage fairly tight around the whole foot. It is not necessary to use a tourniquet unless there is a great deal of blood gushing out. In that case, taking your cat to the veterinarian is very wise so he can check if a blood vessel has been damaged. Tourniquets can be quite dangerous unless loosened every 15-20 minutes to relieve the pressure.
- Cracked and sore paw pads can be soothed by gently rubbing in cod-liver oil. The cat will probably lick the oil off but it won’t harm him. Just keep a close eye on your cat and replace the cod-liver oil on a regular basis for 2-3 days to help soften the pad. The best idea is to be alert to your cat and regularly check your cat’s paw pads, legs, ears and tail as she can get up to all sorts of mischief and need attention.
(Joan E Henderson is based in Australia and she has judged furry felines in many other countries including USA, Bermuda, Malaysia, South Africa, Hong Kong, Philippines and New Zealand).