Do your cat’s paws fascinate you? Have you ever wondered what lies beneath that tough exterior? Well, we are here to demystify cat paws for you. Cat’s paws are one of the most important parts of its body, so it is necessary to take good care of them.
However, you will be surprised to know many strange and fascinating facts connected to this unique body part cats possess. This guide has collected some of the most interesting facts about a cat’s paws for you.
These facts will help you understand why cats use their paws for certain functions and how you can take good care of them.
They Shield Their Claws
Do you know how old warriors used to keep their swords in sheaths? Well, paws act like sheaths for a cat’s paws. Yes, you heard that right! All kitties have claws that they retract when the need arises.
A cat’s paws keep the claws safe and intact when not in use. Have you seen how sharp a cat’s claws are? If they are not kept in the paws, then those claws can scratch and tear everything that comes within its path.
This is why when your cats do not feel threatened or angry, their claws remain naturally retracted in their paws to prevent them from hurting others.
Cat Paws Release Sweat
An extremely important fact about cat paws is where a cat’s sweat glands are located. As human beings, we have sweat glands located all over our bodies. This is because these glands release moisture whenever we are feeling hot. This moisture then evaporates and lowers the temperature on our skin, acting as a cooling mechanism.
However, cats do not have such glands all over their bodies, and they are only found on cats’ paws. Since they are located on such a small area of their body, they do not provide much cooling effect. However, you may notice that the cat’s paws are slightly moist when stressed, like during a visit to their vet!
They Match the Color of Their Fur
Another fascinating fact about a cat’s paws is that the color often matches its actual fur. So, for instance, if your cat is dark grey, the paws will be in a similar color. However, if your cat is a lighter shade of brown, then the paws are lighter in color as well.
In some unique cases, the cat’s paws are not color-coordinated with the fur but with the noise of the cat! So, if your cat is something of a unique color, then its paws’ color will match that of the nose rather than the fur.
Paws Help to Maintain a Cat’s Hygiene
Cat’s paws serve a crucial function for maintaining a feline’s hygiene. We all know that cats love to keep themselves neat. To do this, they use their tongues and their paws.
Any cat owner can testify that their cat has a very rigid grooming routine in which it “brushes” its fur using its paws. This is because the cat’s paws have a slightly loofah-like texture. This texture helps take out any dirt or insects stuck in your cat’s fur and helps to maintain its hygiene.
This means that cats are so smart that they use their body parts to clean. After all, they do not have access to fancy scrubs and soaps like we do!
They Contain Scent Glands
One strange thing about cat paws is that they contain scent glands. You will often see cats engaging in a “kneading” gesture. This gesture means that your cat gently presses on a surface with its paws. You will see cats doing this with you, their favorite toys, or their favorite piece of furniture. While kneading, cats leave their scent on a particular surface.
Cats are highly territorial animals, and they love to leave their scent on things they like to mark them as their “own.” This is where a cat’s paws come in handy since they conveniently allow a cat to leave its scent on its favorite things.
The Front and Back Paws Have Different Numbers of “Toes”
If you look at your cat’s paws closely, you will see that the back paws only have 4 digits or “toes,” while the front ones have 5 each. This different number of digits on the back and front cat feet is not abnormal!
The fifth toe on the front paw is a dewclaw, which helps your cat during hunting. If you ever look at the paw prints of cats, you will see a faint mark of the fifth toe since it is usually higher up than the other 4 toes on the front paw.
Ensure the Paws Are in Good Shape
Now that you know how important a cat’s paws are in everyday life, you must take care of them. Cat’s paws are one of the most sensitive parts of its body since this is where a lot of its nerves and receptors are concentrated.
Since a cat walks on its paws, this part of its body is also vulnerable to getting hurt. And if they are injured, your cat could be in a lot of pain and discomfort. Regularly checking your cat’s paws will ensure that you catch any problem early on and get it treated before it worsens.
We hope that our guide helped you understand how important a cat’s paws are. They play a significant role in your cat’s well-being and everyday life for a small body part.
This guide was designed to tell you numerous interesting things about cat paws to understand why it is important to be super-careful with them.