How to Bandage a Cat’s Paw: First-Aid for Cats

If you want to write copy that pulls, you’ve got to pay attention to the details. Here’s a little-known fact about cats: They hate having their paws bandaged and will often attack the person doing the bandaging.

The most common form of injury that cats get is a broken toe. Luckily, it’s also one of the easiest injuries to fix. If you have a cat and you’re looking for an easy way to help them avoid the pain of a broken toe, you’ll love this. The best way to fix a broken toe in a cat is to bandage it. It’s quick and simple to do and you’ll be amazed at how quickly the injury will heal.

Did you know that one of the most common mistakes people make is to just cut a cat’s paw off? It’s true, and it’s easy to see why. It’s hard to tell what kind of injury a cat has sustained.

Why Would a Cat’s Paw Need Bandaging?

How to Bandage a Cat's Paw: First-Aid for Cats

Cat paw injuries are most commonly found in the footpad. The footpad is the thicker section of the cat’s foot that directly meets the ground; it protects the joints in the foot from damage, provides traction while walking or jumping, and cushions the paw in harsh or severely hot or cold conditions.

There are various ailments that might cause your cat’s paw to need to be bandaged.

Torn Footpad

A ripped footpad is the most frequent paw injury your cat may get. If they trip on anything sharp or run across difficult terrain, this can happen. It might also be caused by jumping or falling off dangerous surfaces.

A ripped footpad is distinguished by a gash in the pad that is free of any foreign item or splinter.

Burnt Footpad

When your cat is outside in excessively hot weather, he or she may have burned footpads. They can also occur if your cat jumps up on a hot surface like your stove or wanders through toxic chemicals. Additionally, burn injuries can be caused by extremely cold, frosty, or ice and salt-covered surfaces.

There will be no open incisions on a burned footpad, but there will be redness, singed hair, swelling, and blisters. If any of the skin on your cat’s footpad has become black, it’s a third-degree burn that has to be treated by a veterinarian to avoid infection.

Foreign Object Injury

Your cat may occasionally return home hobbling or hopping, attempting to keep all of their weight off of one foot. A foreign object being trapped in their paw is a common cause of this, which can cause pain or wounds if the object is sharp enough.

Before treating your cat, make sure the foreign item isn’t too deep in their paw; if it is, you’ll need to take them to the doctor to have it removed.

How to Bandage a Cat Paw?

How to Bandage a Cat's Paw: First-Aid for Cats

You can follow this simple guide if you need help bandaging your cat’s paw.

Materials Needed for Bandaging a Cat Paw

Before you begin bandaging your cat’s paw, make sure you have all of the items you’ll need close at hand so you can get the job done quickly. You’ll need the following items:

Pads of gauze

a dish full with ice-cold water

a cotton pad or towel that is clean

Self-sticking medical tape of some sort

Step by Step Guide to Bandaging Your Cat’s Paw

If your cat has a tendency to struggle, try enlisting assistance or covering your cat in a towel before beginning, leaving only their head and damaged paw exposed.

Bring your cat into a tiny, contained space, such as a bathroom. Make sure you have easy access to all of your bandaging supplies.

Take your cat’s damaged paw in your hand and gently swirl it in a basin of cold water. The wound will be cleaned and any dirt will be dislodged.

If your cat has been injured by a foreign item, use tweezers to carefully remove the object, then repeat the cleaning process.

After the wound is clean, softly wipe it with a cotton pad or clean towel to remove any remaining dirt. If you have a burn wound, you should not massage or clean it. To halt bleeding from ripped footpads, apply pressure to the wound until it stops bleeding, then clean it.

Apply a few gauze pads to the bottom of the clean paw to cushion the injury and prevent blood loss.

To avoid slippage, wrap the self-sticking tape around the gauze, starting at the bottom of the paw and looping it around until it reaches the ankle joint.

Check the bandage for tightness once it has been thoroughly placed. Two fingers should be able to fit between the bandage and your cat’s leg. If the bandage is too tight, untie it and try again.

When your cat tries to walk on their foot, the injury may bleed a bit, but this shouldn’t be a problem unless the bleeding lasts more than a few days or is consistently soaking though the bandage.

When Should You See a Vet About Your Cat’s Paw?

How to Bandage a Cat's Paw: First-Aid for Cats

When examining your cat’s paw for the first time, look for any foreign items buried well beneath the skin, huge blisters or black skin, or a very deep wound that doesn’t stop bleeding after 10 to 15 minutes. You will most likely be unable to treat the paw at home in any of these scenarios and should seek veterinarian assistance as soon as possible.

If the paw does not appear to be healing or if you suspect your cat is getting an infection in their paw, you should consult a veterinarian.

Checking for Signs of Infection

These infection indications are crucial to notice; if an infection in your cat’s paw is left untreated, it might lead to a more serious injury or even death.

Lethargy: If your cat is lounging about and refusing to move, they may be suffering from an infection.

Shivering, poor grooming, and unwillingness to eat, move, or drink are all symptoms of cat fever.

A strong, nasty odor emanating from the incision suggests the presence of harmful microorganisms.

Swelling might develop on the site of the injury or in the surrounding region.

Any form of pus or discharge from the injury itself indicates an infection.

If your cat exhibits any of these signs, you should seek medical attention as soon as possible. In order to adequately treat the infection and their original injuries, they will almost certainly require antibiotics and maybe fluids.

How Long Will a Cat’s Paw Take to Heal?

Your cat’s paw should recover completely in 10 to 28 days, depending on the cat and their level of activity. They will have restricted movement at this period, so they should be urged to stay indoors and relax as much as possible to speed up their recovery.

You should not allow your cat to play rough with their bandage or allow them to lick or chew on it, as this will slow down the healing process.

How Often Should You Change the Bandage?

At least once a day, you should change your cat’s bandage. Give the wound a cursory washing and check for any signs of infection every time you change it.

Keep in mind that trash or other environmental elements, such as water or dirt, may seep into the bandage, necessitating more frequent changes. To avoid too many unpleasant bandage changes, try to time your bandage changes after your cat uses the litterbox or returns after a stroll.

Stopping Your Cat From Destroying Their Bandage

Cats, however, do not always appreciate having their paw wrapped in a bandage. Try these ways to keep your cat from removing the bandage if they are constantly fiddling with their paw.

Conclusion

The greatest thing you can do for your cat if they have a paw injury is to investigate how serious it is. If the injury isn’t too serious, you can use your first-aid skills to bandage their paw while keeping an eye on it until it recovers.

Keep an eye out for signs of illness and replace the bandage on a regular basis, and your cat will be back to normal in no time!

FAQ

Bandaging Your Cat: The How Tos
  1. Use long strips of gauze or torn sections of sheet.
  2. Wrap completely around the head, pinning the ears to the side of the head.
  3. Be very careful not to wrap too tightly – you could cut off the airway.
  4. Do not cover the animal’s eyes with the head bandage.
Recovery of Footpad Injury in Cats

Depending on the nature of the injury it can take between 10 days to three or four weeks for the pet to recover, during which time it may have mobility issues. Another factor to consider is litter tray use, since it is undesirable for cat litter to contaminate an open wound or burn.

Most paw scrapes heal on their own, but if your cat’s wound still hasn’t closed after a week or appears swollen and oozy, make an appointment with your veterinarian.
Initially, attempt to stop the bleeding by applying direct pressure to the wound with an absorbent dressing, such as dry gauze, followed by a layer of bandage material or a clean, dry cloth. This will protect the wound during transport to the veterinary clinic and prevent any further contamination of the injury.
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