Should you trim the fur on cats’ paws? If you have a cat that grows fur between its paws, you may wonder if you should let it be or trim it. So let’s figure this out.
You should not trim the fur on your cat’s paws unless it creates a problem for your cat, meaning it is matted and filthy, preventing proper walking. For example, cats may have whiskers amongst their paws and legs, and it is essential not to cut them out.
The fur between paws is growing to help cats be more silent and isolate them from cold and other functions. In other words, it is a natural event for cats to have fur amongst their paws.
Let’s examine the situation.
SHOULD YOU TRIM THE FUR ON CATS’ PAWS TO MAKE THEM LOOK NICE?
If you wonder if you should trim the fur on cats’ paws so they look nice, the answer is a definitive NO. Do not trim cat fur between the pads, even if it becomes long unless it is essential.
Let’s take a step back to this: why do cats have turf amid their paws? It is not just because their fur grows uncontrollably. It is actually something that cats have developed over the generation to protect their paws from cold environmental hazards and make their steps as silent as possible while approaching prays.
Even in the house, this fur can protect the paws from contact with the floor and temperature, whether hot or cold. You could think about it as their shoes or slippers.
You can see this cat fur phenomenon amongst their paws with cats with long furs, like Maine Coon and other long-haired cats.
The other point to consider is whiskers growing on cats’ paws and legs. Those are necessary for cats to move around and understand what is happening around them.
A cat’s whiskers — or vibrissae — are a well-honed sensory tool that helps a cat see in the dark and steer clear of hungry predators. Whiskers are highly sensitive tactile hairs that grow in patterns on a cat’s muzzle, above its eyes, and elsewhere on its body, like the ears, jaw, and forelegs.From Livescience.com
There may be whiskers near the fur; therefore, you must pay attention to this possibility if you have to trim it.
Therefore if the question is, should you trim the fur on cats’ paws? The answer is no unless the fur is matted, infected, or in another emergency. It may be that it got stuck into something, or there is another reason to trim it.
If you get into an emergency requiring trimming and are unsure where the whiskers are, let the vet do it for you.
CAT BREEDS WITH TURF OF FUR BETWEEN TOES
What type of cat breed has the unique situation of having fur growing visibly between their toes? Logically cats with long hair are in this category; having long hair, they will grow fur between paws, some longer and some a bit less.
Here is a list of cat breeds that can grow turf of fur between toes:
The above are the types of cats that might have fur between their toes.
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HOW TO CLEAN CAT PAWS
If the fur under your cat’s paws is quite long, it is a good idea to help your cat clean it from time to time, they still use the litter box, and something can get stuck in the fur and the paw pads.
You can use a soft, damp cloth to clean the cat’s paws and fur. You can use water at first or another natural soap to remove it fully during the cleaning.
Your cat may not be very inclined to let you touch his paws. If so, you can do one paw at a time with many patients; maybe give him a treat after each paw is cleaned.
Should you trim the fur on cats’ paws? The question is not if you should trim the fur on cats’ paws but clean it first without trimming.
WHY DO CATS HAVE TURF OF FUR ON THEIR PAWS?
Cats have tufts of fur on their paws, also known as “tribal tufts,” for several reasons:
- Insulation: The tufts of fur on the paws help insulate the feet and protect them from the cold.
- Improved sensation: The tufts of fur on the paws help cats detect and respond to their environment, as they are highly sensitive to touch.
- Better traction: The tufts of fur on the paws help improve traction and stability, making it easier for cats to climb, jump, and navigate their environment.
- Protection: The tufts of fur on the paws can help protect the skin and pads from rough or sharp surfaces, such as rocks or gravel.
- Hunting: The tufts of fur on the paws can also help muffle a cat’s footsteps, making it easier for them to stalk and ambush prey.
These tufts of fur are unique to each cat and can vary in length and thickness based on breed, age, and individual characteristics. However, they play an essential role in helping cats navigate and respond to their environment.
HOW TO TRIM CAT PAW FUR?
If you have to trim your cat’s paw fur, you should know what steps to follow. Trimming a cat’s paw fur requires patience and a gentle touch.
Here are the actions to take:
- Gather supplies: You’ll need a pair of sharp, rounded-tip scissors, a comb, and treats for rewards.
- Get the cat used to handling: Spend time handling and massaging the paws so the cat is comfortable with the process.
- Find the right time: Trim the paw fur when the cat is relaxed and calm.
- Start small: Trim small amounts of fur at a time to avoid over-cutting and causing pain.
- Trim the tufts: Carefully trim the tufts of fur between the pads, avoiding the skin and paw pads (and whiskers).
- Comb the fur: Use a comb to ensure the fur is smooth and free of tangles.
- Reward the cat: Give the cat treats and praise after each session to reinforce positive behavior.
It’s essential to take your time and move slowly during the trimming process to avoid injuring the cat. If you’re not comfortable trimming the paw fur, consider seeking assistance from a groomer or veterinarian.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Can you trim the fur on cats’ paws?
As we have written above, unless necessary, you should try cleaning the fur first. Then, if you have to trim it, you can use rounded scissors or a safe trimmer for cat and dog fur.
Should you cut cats’ hair?
Cats do not need haircuts; they are used to living with their fur and need it. However, if it gets matted and tangled and you see it requires a cut, it is best to remove the matted parts only. Otherwise, there are professional groomers. If you want to adventure into grooming your cat yourself, you may get a pet grooming kit and start using it to groom your cat.
Do all cats have tufts of fur on their paws?
Not necessarily. As listed above, most cats with long hair are likelier to have fur turf on their paws. On the other hand, cats with short hair aren’t growing that much fur.
Why will my cat not let me touch his paws?
Cats rarely let you touch their paws, much less play around with them. Cats use claws to protect themselves from others. So they would not trust people to come too close to them. If your cat trusts you, he may let you touch them for a bit, but even trusting cats may still be weird about it.
I have been with my cat for two years now, and still, he won’t let me hold his paws. Sometimes when he sleeps, he lets me touch his paws, and I can hold them for a while. But if he is awake, he is really annoying on this subject. There is no way he let me do anything with his paws. I hope your cat is easier going.
Does coconut oil help matted hair?
Using coconut oil can be an alternative to cutting matted fur between your cat’s toes or matted fur around his body. You can drop some coconut oil over the matted hair and let it be for 5 minutes, then groom your cat fur. The fur should be fine.
How do I stop my cat’s fur from matting?
The only way to prevent your cat from fur to mat is to brush it often. Your cat does most of the grooming daily for himself, but he may need some help to keep everything under control if he has a lot of hair. Help him out by brushing his coat and removing dead hair.
Should you trim the fur on cats’ paws? Before doing it try other solutions as listed above. If you have more questions or want to add something, write it in the comments below.