My cat has four swollen pads on all four paws. How do I help him?


If this was just one paw it could be caused by an insect bite, a burn,a bone sprain or break etc. but because it is all 4 paws it sounds more serious. You didn't specify if there was any chance that your cat walked on something hot or could have walked on a chemical of some type. Another thing to consider is allergies...has your cat recently been exposed to an item, plant etc. that it is not normally exposed to? You also didn't say whether your cat is having difficulty walking or if it is limping.

For minor burns you could immerse the paws in a mixture of 1 gallon of cold water and a 2% antiseptic solution for 12 minutes 3 times a day. This would ward off infection and relieve soreness. Or, if the cat won't tolerate being in cold water then put the antiseptic solution on a moistened cloth and hold it on the paws.

However, if there is no chance of burns or chemicals then you should probably get your cat to the vet to be examined. More serious diseases and problems are associated with all 4 paws swelling such as pitting edema from hormone problems, autoimmune disorder, or heart disease. These can prevent proper fluid drainage. So, my advice is to get your cat to the vet as soon as you can.

Click here to post comments

Join in and write your own page! It's easy to do. How? Simply click here to return to Questions Invitation.

raw cats paws

by gloria
(elgin il)

my friends cats paws look raw I am wondering if the litter is burning his paws they look very soft and raw


There are a number of possible reasons for your friend’s cat’s paws looking raw and you also said they look very soft. You didn’t mention any cuts or lumps so that rules out a number of paw issues.

Cat paw pads are made of rough, hairless skin that is much thicker than the skin on the other parts of its body. They have numerous nerve endings in each pad and they can detect vibration, temperature and other info with them. Cats also have sweat glands in their paw pads. With all this reliance on their paw pads it’s important to get to the bottom of the problem.

There is a disease known as “Pillow Foot” (plasma cell pododermatitis). With this disease the paw is pink or purplish, severely swollen and the pad feels soft and mushy when pressed. Pillow Foot usually affects more than one paw and many times the cat doesn’t appear too bothered by the condition. The causes of this condition are not well known but it can typically be treated with steroids and or antibiotics.

There could also be an allergic reaction to something being used in the house such as a floor cleaner, a litter that has a drying agent that is too strong for this particular cat, even a pesticide being used in the garden if the cat goes outside. There are other injuries like embedded particles or mosquito bites that may have irritated the cat and it licked the area to the point of being raw and an infection set in. Some cats have a strong allergic reaction to some insect bites. Once the irritant is removed then it’s just a matter of keeping the paw clean and getting it antibiotics or antihistamines.

Eosinophilic Granuloma is an allergy but it usually only affects one foot. If the cat’s body has an extreme reaction to the allergen, its immune system attacks the collagen in its foot causing swelling. If the immune system doesn’t call off its fighters, the inflammation continues. This can be treated with steroids, anti-inflammatories or antibiotics. A vet will have to test to find the source of the allergy.

You asked if litter could be burning the cats paws and I’ve never heard of that happening. However, there could be an ingredient in the litter that this cat has an allergy to so I would suggest starting off with a new brand of litter, bathe the cats paws a few times a day and dry well. If there is a definite improvement then you’ve uncovered what the problem has been. If there is no difference or very little, I suggest taking the cat to a veterinarian to be checked out.

I wish you and your friend’s cat success resolving this issue.

Click here to read or post comments

Join in and write your own page! It's easy to do. How? Simply click here to return to Questions Invitation.


by Jenni
(chillicothe, ohio)

my 9 month old cat is limping, has been for over a week. I can see no injury. He doesn't mind if we hold him, he still wants to go outside and he is still eating. The pad of his paw seems tender to touch. Coud it be frostbite? What can I do to be sure? He holds his paw up, even when sitting.


You mention frostbite so I'm assuming that your cat was exposed to very cold temperatures outdoors. Frostbite symptoms may not be obvious for several days after exposure but they include:

  • skin discoloration (in this case,on the feet)
  • shows discomfort placing weight on the foot
  • blisters (can be fluid filled or blood-filled)
  • ulcers or skin sores
  • sloughing of skin.
In the early stages of frostbite, skin discoloration may be pale, reddish, grey or yellow. In more severe cases, skin may turn purplish or black. Blisters appear in the second degree of frostbite while blood-filled blisters indicate the third degree. Affected areas may require surgery so in this instance, get your cat to the vet immediately.

However, it sounds like although your cat was exposed to cold it may just "have a touch of frostbite", so it should recover with no long term damage. Usually warming the affected areas is reasonably effective and since it has been a week, the paw pad should be almost recovered. Also keep in mind that you should keep your cat indoors during such cold weather because refreezing of frostbitten tissues can cause severe long-term damage.

Other causes for the limping with paw sensitivity can be:
  • Dry or cracked paws which are a sign of an imbalanced diet. Omega-3 is a healthy way to treat your cat's paws and boost the immune system. Great sources of omega-3 are fish oil, salmon or flax seeds and it's also available as a supplement. Dry pads could also be caused by your cat being dehydrated so wet food is the answer. You can also use some topical creams for your cat's paws such as cocoa butter or creams that contain vitamin E.
  • Cats can also become injured if someone steps on them, or if they catch a foot in the door or under furniture. Outside cats can get cuts to the pads or receive insect bits. While these are not unlike cuts to the pads and other minor injuries, bites can result in some minor swelling of the paw. Examine the pad and if there is a cut clean, it with betadine to disinfect the wound. This will protect the paw from infections. Using alcohol or peroxide can dry the tissue and can slow down the healing process but if that's all you have, it's better than nothing. Add some ointment that contains antibiotics and bandage the foot so that the area is protected from bacteria etc.
  • Never, never give your cat aspirin, acetaminophen or other painkillers that are not specifically prescribed for your cat by a vet because they are toxic to cats.
  • Thorns, slivers, broken glass, sharp rocks, burs, pins, even pine tree needles can contribute to damage to a paw pad.
  • Broken nails can cause pain also. A cat's nails retract and a jagged break can cause discomfort.

  • Although you have stated that you can see no injury to the paw, I suggest, since your cat exhibits signs of a wounded paw, that you gently examine it carefully to see if there is a foreign object causing the discomfort. If there is something and it can be easily removed, do so. Keep your cat calm. If you have difficulty keeping him still while you examine the paw, try to have a friend assist you or do what I do. I take a large towel and wrap the cat up like a burrito. Once the cat is under control (the entire time that you are doing this speak soothingly to your pet), slowly get the paw you want to investigate out of the towel and carefully look at it closely. As mentioned above, look for insect bites, cuts etc. If you still see nothing, then keep an eye on your cat for just another day or two...if it continues to favor that paw, I would seek the help of a veterinarian in case there is a small broken bone in the foot.

    Let me know what the outcome is. I hope I've been able to help somewhat.

Click here to read or post comments

Join in and write your own page! It's easy to do. How? Simply click here to return to Questions Invitation.

Having trouble finding what you need? Cat Health Index & Site Map


Do you have a question to ask?...Questions


Do you have a cat story to share?...Simply click here to go to that page!

Share this page:

Copyright@2010-2020 All rights

This website is information only. Consult a veterinarian for medical assistance

Privacy Policy

"Like Us" on Facebook 


"Like Us" here

Take a look at our other website for travel

      Support Pets

250x50 Live & Travel with your Pet

Natural Cat Supplements


Buy Cat Healthcare Supplies Today - Shop over 1,000 Brands at Chewy!