Most people love looking at and playing with their cat’s feet, and if you have ever done so, you might have noticed a cat paw pad callus has developed on your cat’s paw.
This is not uncommon, but it can be a cause for concern, especially if you have never encountered it before and you aren’t sure what has caused it – calluses can look quite odd and may feel strange if you touch them.
Don’t panic, however, because in general, a paw callus isn’t very serious, and there’s usually plenty that you can do about it anyway.
Usually, older cats have much tougher paw pads than kittens, and a kitten will need time to develop tough skin on the pads of its feet; they usually have very soft skin to begin with.
Obviously, the pads of the feet get a lot of wear and tear as your cat moves around, climbs, and plays, and this can leave calluses, just as it can on the feet of a human.
While you shouldn’t be too worried by them, you should note them and pay attention to their occurrence.
If your cat seems to be developing a lot of calluses or there is no clear explanation for them, it’s a good idea to book a vet visit. Often, calluses are benign, but it’s better to be safe and make sure your feline friend is healthy.
What Causes Calluses On Cat Paw Pads?
Usually, calluses will be caused by general wear and tear to the cat’s feet; cats have fairly soft skin on the undersides of their feet, and with no fur to protect the pads, they can get scuffed, worn, and damaged by their environment – and this will lead to calluses.
A callus is the skin’s way of protecting the body from something that is abrasive; it is a thicker layer of skin that forms when the previous skin has been rubbed away, and its purpose is to prevent further damage from occurring in that area.
Calluses can be caused by rough terrain, an abrasive surface that the cat walks on, or sometimes because of very low or very high temperatures causing skin damage.
If your cat goes outdoors, it is much more likely to suffer from the kind of skin damage that can lead to calluses than if your cat is permanently kept inside, but even an indoor cat can get calluses if it regularly walks on a rough surface, or if it walks in a slightly unusual way and puts extra pressure on one part of its foot.
It’s a good idea to keep an eye on any calluses that develop and make sure they stay small and aren’t red or inflamed.
In some cases, cats can develop a callus-like growth on their pads that looks like an extra claw, and this is known as horned paw. It’s caused by the overproduction of keratin and may require a vet’s attention.
Is It Common For Cats To Have Calluses On Their Paw Pad?
It’s relatively common for cats to have calluses on their paw pads, particularly if they spend a lot of time outdoors and your area suffers from temperature extremes.
For an indoor cat, it is much less common for calluses to develop, although they may do so if the cat is growing up from kittenhood and becoming an adult, because its pads will harden as it begins to walk around more.
Overall, calluses are a reasonably normal thing, but they are worth keeping an eye on.
If your cat seems to get a lot of big calluses, it may be wise to check what it is doing and whether anything is scratching its paws. If something is damaging its paws, try to remove the item or prevent your cat from walking on it.
Most cats have the sense to avoid things that injure their feet, like radiators or rough surfaces, but some will walk on them and damage their paws.
Don’t be too concerned by small calluses and occasionally hardness in the foot, but do look out for anything that indicates your cat is in pain, such as limping or whining. A hard callus may cause discomfort if it is pressing on a softer part of the foot, and this might require some treatment.
How To Treat Cat Paw Pad Calluses!
Often, you can safely ignore calluses because they will not hurt your cat and they are not a sign that anything is wrong in most cases.
If your cat has got them because it has been walking in the snow or on a hot pavement, they should heal fairly quickly, and if they are a result of a rough surface, they will probably harden enough to protect the pads, but no more.
If you are concerned about the paw pad calluses, the best thing to do is set up a video call with a veterinarian, because this will ensure you get professional advice for your cat.
Discuss your concerns and show them the calluses, and explain how you think your cat got them and what is worrying you.
The vet should be able to give you guidance on how to treat them, which may involve trimming the calluses or putting a cat-safe moisturizer on them.
It’s likely that the vet will recommend a product, and you should never put other products on your cat’s feet, as it will lick its paws and could ingest something harmful. You should similarly only trim calluses if you have been shown how to do so by a vet, or you might injure the cat.
Cat paw pad calluses are rarely anything to worry about, but if you are concerned, it’s a good idea to get in touch with a vet promptly, because they should be able to advise you on the best treatment methods. Your cat may develop calluses as a result of walking on hard surfaces or ones that are very hot or cold, but in rare cases, calluses can be a symptom of a disease. Getting your cat checked over by a vet is the best solution and will give you peace of mind.