Cats’ paws often go unnoticed during our regular pet care routines, yet they are an essential part of their overall health. Dry, cracked paws not only cause discomfort for your cat but can also lead to more serious issues if overlooked. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to help dry paws on cats.
1. Maintain Hydration to Prevent Dry Paws on Cats
Proper hydration plays a vital role in your cat’s health overall, including the health of their paws. A lack of sufficient water intake can lead to a decrease in the overall moisture content of the body, which may manifest in various ways, including dry, brittle, or cracked paw pads.
A damp cloth can help, but it isn’t sufficient on its own. Ensuring your cat drinks enough water throughout the day helps keep their paw pads moisturized and healthy. Drinking enough water also promotes the body’s innate resistance to pathogens, helping to maintain optimal health. There are several ways to increase your cat’s water intake, including providing fresh water at all times, feeding wet food, which has a higher moisture content, and using pet fountains, which some cats prefer over still water.
2. Avoid Hot Surfaces to Prevent Cracked Cat Paws
Avoiding hot or sharp surfaces is crucial to preventing dry and burned paw pads in cats. Exposure to rough surfaces or those that are too hot, especially with bare paws, can be detrimental. Cats’ paws are sensitive and can easily get dry or even burned when they walk on hot pavement, concrete, or other hot surfaces, particularly during the warmer months. The heat from these surfaces can cause the moisture in their paw pads to evaporate, leading to cracked paw pads. If the surface is hot enough, it can even lead to burns that need treatment from your veterinarian. Therefore, it’s essential to ensure your cat avoids walking on hot surfaces whenever possible.
If your cat does need to cross hot pavement or concrete, consider using protective paw wax or puppy booties specifically designed for pets. Cat booties are difficult to find, whereas puppy booties may still fit the average sized cat and they’re available in most pet stores. As an alternative, try to limit their outdoor activities to cooler times of the day, such as early morning or late evening, when the sun is less likely to heat surfaces.
Always check the temperature of the surface with your hand before allowing your cat to walk on it. If the temperature is high outside and the sun is scorching, consider keeping your cat indoors for the day. Of course, keeping a cat indoors is easier said than done, but it could prevent damage to their paws if you can find a way.
3. Invest in a Humidifier for Healthy Cat’s Paw Pads
A humidifier can play a significant role in preventing dry paws in indoor cats, particularly in environments with dry air. Dry air can pull moisture out of the skin, leading to dry paw pads. By adding moisture to the air in your home, a humidifier helps maintain a more optimal level of humidity, preventing excessive dryness. This can be especially helpful during the winter months, when indoor heating systems can significantly reduce indoor humidity.
In addition to benefiting your cat’s paw health, a humidifier can also help animals achieve a soft, silky, shiny, and healthy coat.
It’s important to balance humidity levels appropriately, as too much humidity can encourage the growth of mold and mildew. It’s also crucial to regularly clean and maintain the humidifier according to the manufacturer’s instructions to ensure it’s working effectively and to prevent the spread of bacteria or mold.
4. Maintain a Balanced Diet to Prevent Dry Cat Paws
A balanced diet with a coat cat food formula plays a crucial role in cat paw care, including their overall wellness. The right nutrients promote skin elasticity and paw pad health. Essential fatty acids like those found in fish oil, particularly Omega-3 and Omega-6, are vital for maintaining skin health and helping maintain normal moisture content of skin. They help to keep the skin cells of the cat paw pads healthy, hydrated, and resilient. Also, vitamins like A, B, and E can support skin health.
Adequate protein intake is also vital, as the amino acids found in protein are essential for the repair and maintenance of skin tissue. In addition to a balanced diet, ensuring your cat has access to fresh water at all times can help keep their paws (and the rest of their skin) hydrated from the inside out. If you’re concerned about your cat’s diet or if they have persistently dry cat paws, it’s always best to consult with your veterinarian or nutritionist to rule out any underlying health issues and to discuss the best diet for your individual cat.
Raw feeding, when done correctly, can provide cats with a diet that closely mimics what they would eat in the wild and is rich in essential nutrients that promote overall health, including the health of their skin and paw pads. High-quality raw diets are often rich in omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, often due to the natural fish oils found in the fresh seafood. Additionally, raw food diets can promote proper hydration, another key factor in maintaining healthy skin and paw pads, as they typically have a higher moisture content than some other forms of pet food.
5. Regular Grooming Even for Indoor Cats to Prevent Dry Paw Pads
Regular grooming plays an essential role in maintaining your cat’s overall health, including the health of their paws. During grooming sessions, pay particular attention to your cat’s paws. Gently inspect each paw for any signs of dryness, cracking, or other issues. Keeping their paws clean can help prevent dryness caused by dirt or irritants. When bathing your cat, you can use a moisturizing cat-friendly shampoo to prevent their skin and paws from drying out.
It’s also a good time to trim their nails if necessary, as overgrown nails can cause discomfort and may lead to changes in how your cat walks, potentially increasing the stress on dry cat paw pads.
6. Provide Comfortable Bedding To Help Dry Cat Paws
Comfortable bedding plays a significant role in maintaining the health of your cat’s paws. Exposure to rough surfaces can contribute to the dryness and cracking of the paw pads. On the other hand, a soft, comfortable bed provides a gentle surface for your cat’s paws, reducing the potential for wear and tear that could contribute to dryness.
Quality bedding can help to maintain a stable temperature for your cat’s body, which can prevent their paw pads from getting too cold and drying out in cooler conditions. In addition to this, a good bed also provides a safe space for your cat to rest and recover, which is important for overall health and wellness. It’s a good idea to provide a few different resting places for your cat in different areas of the house, so they can choose the location they feel most comfortable in.
7. Paw Massages For Your Cat’s Paw Pads
Paw massages can significantly aid in improving the condition of your cat’s dry paws. Massaging your cat’s dry paw pads increases blood circulation to the area, which in turn promotes healthy inflammatory pathways and stimulates natural oil production, helping the oil be distributed throughout the skin.
This practice also allows you to spread a cat-safe moisturizer more evenly and ensure it’s well-absorbed into the skin. In addition to physical benefits, paw massages can be a comforting bonding experience between you and your cat, which may reduce stress levels, further contributing to better overall health. However, keep in mind that not all cats are comfortable with their paws being touched. Always respect your cat’s boundaries and introduce any new activity gradually, watching their reactions and stopping if they show any signs of discomfort or distress.
8. Apply Coconut Oil and Other Natural Moisturizers for Cracked Cat Paws
Utilizing natural moisturizers can be an effective strategy for addressing dry cat paws. Ingredients like coconut oil and shea butter are well known to provide much-needed moisture to dry and cracked paw pads.
When applying these natural moisturizers, it’s important to do so sparingly to avoid making the paws too slippery, which can affect your cat’s balance and mobility. Additionally, it’s crucial to remember that cats groom themselves and will likely ingest any substance applied to their paws, especially if you notice excessive licking along with their cracked paws. Therefore, any product you use should be safe for ingestion and preferably formulated specifically for cats to ensure safety.
9. Earth Buddy Paw & Skin Balm for Dry Paws on Cats
When applied to your cat’s paws, a CBD-infused balm can help soothe dry, cracked pads by providing the necessary moisture. CBD supports a normal inflammatory response, leading to comfort and relief for your cat. It’s important to ensure that the CBD balm you choose is specifically formulated for pets, as these products are designed to be safe for cats and dogs.
Earth Buddy offers a full spectrum hemp extract balm with full transparency about what it contains. In addition to these qualities, the full spectrum hemp extract, organic coconut oil, organic mango butter, and organic beeswax found in Earth Buddy Paw & Skin Balm may help with:
- Paw softness: The ingredients in CBD skin balm provide much-needed hydration to dry and cracked paw pads, helping to maintain the normal moisture content of skin potentially leading to healthy paws.
- Supporting normal inflammatory pathways: Full-spectrum hemp extract and organic coconut oil could provide support for animals with sensitive skin by supporting a healthy inflammatory response.
- Discomfort: Full spectrum hemp extract may help with occasional discomfort, which could provide relief from dry, cracked paws.
- Antioxidant benefits: The ingredients in the paw and skin balm contain antioxidants, which may help protect body cells and tissues in your kitty’s paw pads.
- Soothes irritation: CBD skin balm and coconut oil provides essential fatty acids, making it a great choice for paws that are raw or irritated from dryness and dry skin.
- Barrier protection: Applying a CBD balm can provide a protective barrier on your cat’s paws, helping to protect outdoor cats from harsh environmental elements like hot pavement or cold surfaces that can cause dryness and cracking.
- Enhances comfort: By addressing dryness, discomfort, and inflammatory response, CBD skin balm can help maintain optimal health.
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