Should You Trim the Hair On A Cat’s Paws?

When it comes to pet grooming, the usual thing you may notice is that the guidebooks about the topic would often be about grooming dogs. Dogs are the most preferred pet for many people and in Singapore, there are at least 62,000 canines are currently adopted by many citizens since 2015. Many believe dogs are very affectionate and great as a companion pet.

However, not all people can take care of dogs because of their temperament and needs. Instead, they look into cats as their companion pet. Cats are not as active as dogs, but they do make great companions when they are properly taken care of by their owners.

Unfortunately, while there are some citizens who have cats as pets, getting professional grooming advice in Singapore can be difficult. Cats are not very common in the country due to the current cat ban laws on HDB flats, preventing ownership for those who live in these residences. According to recent statistics, only 18% of Singaporeans own a cat.

So, what should you do for their grooming needs if you do have cats as pets?

Like dogs, cats should always be kept clean and groomed to make sure they don’t get infections and remain healthy. Contrary to popular belief, they can be given a bath too to keep them clean. Some of the grooming techniques and rules used in grooming dogs can also be used in cats; but, there are major differences.

One of them pertains to the hair on the paws of the cat.

In dogs, it is standard to trim the hair on their paws since they tend to get dirty easier. They are also heavier and larger than cats, causing them to be heavy in their feet and their deeper paw pads to dig deeper in the ground. Dogs also sweat a lot, causing their paws to collect more dirt and debris as they walk or run around. In order to keep their paws clean, it is important to trim the hair on their paws.

However, there are dog breeds that should have their paws’ hair trimmed. Two of them are the Pekingese and the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. Both breeds are considered “palace” breeds and as such, their ‘hair slippers’ are left long and brushed. These hair slippers even help them reduce the sound of their nails hitting hard floors.

In comparison, cats are very light with their paws and have shallower paw pads. As a result, they do not attract dirt and debris easily unless the paws are really dirty. Fortunately, paw debris can be reduced with regular bathing.

While some say it is ok to trim the paw hair, some do not because of its features.

It is not a common knowledge that a cat has tactile hairs or whiskers between its paw pads. These whiskers then send a feedback to the cat as they touch the ground. It could tell them if the ground is cold or hot. The fur also doubles as a protective covering for their paw pads, ensuring that it is protected from skin trauma and exposure to the elements. If they are always inside, the fur on her paws will protect him from indoor debris like chemicals and small toys.

Some cat breeds also see a cat’s paw hair as a crowning feature in cat shows. They can be accentuated or fluffed up for these shows and the fluffier and more distinct, the better it will be.

However, there are cases when you should trim your cat’s paw hair and here are some good examples:

  • After your cat uses the litterbox, check out if they carry some of the litter with them as they walk out of the box. If they do create a trail, it means their paw hair is collecting a lot of dirt and require trimming.
  • If you notice your cat tends to constantly lick their paws excessively and pull out the fur, the paw hair may be tickling their paw pads incessantly so it is time to get it trimmed.
  • If you notice your cat cannot balance properly and can’t walk properly, the paw hair may be covering their paw pads. As a result, they can slip in place and ultimately fall off.
  • It is also ideal to trim your cat’s paw hair during winter because it may collect snow and ice crystals. When this happens, walking may become uncomfortable for your pet. The ice crystals may even be sharp enough to damage your cat’s paw pads.
  • If you have a long-coated cat, regularly trimming their paw hair is ideal to prevent possible fur matting.
  • If you notice there are matted areas in your cat’s paw hair, you need to trim it since it may trigger skin infections and affect their walking.

If you do end up trimming the paw hair, make sure you use a small pair of rounded scissors or clippers to cut the fur. You must be very careful when you do clip long paw hair because you may accidentally cut your cat’s feet or paw pads. It is also advisable to trim only up to the pad’s levels so the cat won’t have problems when you trim it all off.

If you remain uncertain as to whether you need to trim the hair on your cat’s paw, you can bring them to a professional groomer in any of Singapore’s top pet grooming spas or salons or book a personal appointment with one to your home. However, make sure they have certified cat groomers because dog groomers may just snip the hair without considering your wish. If you get a cat groomer, they would be able to determine if you need to get it trimmed and if they do, they will ask you if you want it trimmed.

Remember, you need to consider if it is appropriate to trim the tuffs because they may play a second purpose for your cat. If you cut them haphazardly, you may give your cat a disadvantage and it ultimately affects how they move.

About the Author Kally