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How to protect your cat’s paws this summer

grey tabby licking his paw in the sunset
© Bonsales - Shutterstock

For those who like hot weather, summer is definitely the best season. And cats sure love the hot weather! But that doesn’t mean it’s good for them.

By Justine Seraphin

Published on the 25/07/2021, 17:00

While cats may love basking in the sun, the hot weather can actually be quite dangerous for them. In fact, with their thick fur coats, they’re more susceptible to heatstroke than we are! However, heatstroke is not the only danger your cat may face if they enjoy the outdoors unsupervised. 

As the weather gets hotter, so does the pavement. In fact, a pavement in 25°C weather can reach temperatures of 50°C + within just a few hours. If you don't have a concrete thermometer, place your hand on the pavement and leave it there for 5 seconds. If it's too hot for you, then it's too hot for your cat!

How to keep my cat’s paws safe from the hot pavement

A pavement which is 40°C + to the touch can cause serious skin damage and burns to your pet’s paw pads. Luckily, there are a few things you can do to make sure this doesn’t happen to your cat. 

1. Keep your cat inside

If your cat is already an indoor cat, then great! But if your cat is an outdoor cat, you’re going to have to adjust their routine a little. It isn’t safe for your cat to go outside during a heatwave. Firstly, they may bask in the sun too long, to the point where they could be putting their life in danger. And secondly, if they walk on the hot pavement, they would suffer serious injuries! Only let your outdoor cat outside during the coolest parts of the day, i.e. the morning and the evening. Avoid letting them out during the hottest parts of the day, between 11 AM and 5 PM. 

2. Provide a pavement-free zone for your cat to play in

If your cat can’t resist the urge to go outside, you could build a catio in a shaded and grassy area of your garden. This would allow your cat to go outside, but also provide you with peace of mind knowing that your cat can’t walk onto any sizzling pavement.

3. Apply paw wax to your cat’s paw pads

Not all cats like to be touched on their paws, but paw wax is a really efficient tool in protecting your cat’s paws. They give paws an extra protective layer, and will prevent your cat’s paws from burning or cracking. You should re-apply the balm every day, or as needed.

Why are my cat’s paws peeling?

Peeling paw pads could mean a variety of different things, and damage from a hot pavement is one of them. Usually, a peeling paw pad isn’t anything serious, but you should consult your vet for advice anyway. If the peeling is indeed due to dryness, then your vet may recommend that you rub vaseline or coconut oil on your cat’s pads every day. You should probably keep your cat indoors or in a protected catio until their paws are fully healed.

Why are my cat’s paws hot?

Cat paws can often seem very hot to us because in general, a cat’s body temperature is higher than a humans. Cats also sweat through their paws. As an area of heat release, it isn’t unusual for their paws to feel hot, so there isn’t any reason to worry if their paws feel warm to the touch. However, if your cat is starting to show other signs of discomfort such as panting, drooling, restlessness, lethargy, vomiting, or diarrhoea, it could be a sign that your cat is suffering from heatstroke. Consult a vet as soon as possible if this is the case.

Watch out for the signs of heatstroke in cats

By following these simple tips, you’re sure to spend a safe and enjoyable summer with your pet!

Frequently asked questions

Is Vaseline safe for cat paws?

Why are my cat’s paws pink and black?

Why are my cat’s paws swollen?