Don’t you love the cat’s paws? They’re cute and they’re rather fascinating the way they work, the things they do, the damage they cause…Oh, well, let’s don’t go there. Have you ever had a cat indoors that didn’t contribute to damaging a piece of furniture in your home?
If you’re like most cat people, you have at least one scratching post and maybe a few sisal fabric rugs, and cardboard scratchers. We have three cat trees—one is huge and solid wood, plus scratchers of various types for our cats, including two large pieces of carpet that they enjoy clawing and that can take the abuse without incident. But Olivia still wants to claw my favorite chair. Isn’t it always your favorite chair? I have large swatches of double-sided tape up on one side of that chair—but it’s actually like closing the barn door after the cow escapes. It still needs to be reupholstered.
I know a Maine coon cat who has clawed the heck out of the legs of an antique dining room table. It’s some sort of soft wood and even though this cat has access to the out of doors, she comes home at night and claws on those table legs.
But clawing is different from kneading. A cat will use claws (or not) to knead her bed before curling up—even if that “bed” is your lap. But there’s more to a cat’s paw than her claws. I adore their little paw pads (beans)—especially when the paws are white or creamy-colored and the pads are dark brown or black. CUTE. I also like furry paws—where tufts grow between the toes.
But a cat’s paws aren’t designed to be cute, they’re the cat’s tools. Cats use their paws to groom themselves, to play, to dig (in their litter box, dirt or to try digging a toy out of a box or from under a piece of furniture). They use their paws (with or without claws) to play. And those claws come in handy when the cat does any climbing. Cats sometimes need help getting out of a tree, however, because of the way the claws are positioned and designed.
Did you know that a cat sweats through her paws? When she is overheated or stressed, her paws may become moist as a mechanism to help her cool down.
Here’s a site with information on how to care for your cat’s paws. It covers tips for trimming claws to massaging the paws. And they recommend trimming those tufts of fur that grow between their toes. Who knew? https://www.wikihow.pet/Care-for-a-Cat’s-Paws