How Dirty Are Your Cat’s Paws?

by Curious Cat People July 24, 2022 5 min read

How Dirty Are Your Cat's Paws?

How Dirty Are Your Cat’s Paws?

Every day your cat’s paws come into contact with the surrounding environment. Dust and pathogens from the surrounding environment or floor can get transferred to his paws. Cats can also inadvertently contaminate their paws while burying faeces in the litter tray. Though cats are meticulous groomers and spend many hours cleaning themselves, you should not ignore the risk of your cat tracking pathogenic organisms around the house, especially after using the litter box. To prevent a parasitic or bacterial infection, you’ll need to assist your cat in keeping his paws clean. 

How Dirty Are Your Cat’s Paws?

How to clean your cat’s paws

Start by removing debris stuck between his paws. Hardened cat litter is common debris found stuck between cats’ paws. Soften the hardened cat litter with a damp rag. Tweezers may be necessary to clean out the debris. Wipe his paws with a cat wipe. Please use cat wipes that are alcohol and paraben-free like this Kit Cat 5-In-1 Cat Wipes. This hypoallergenic wipe is safe for your cat’s body and sensitive areas such as their face and paws.

Sometimes, you may find cat poop stuck on his paws. Dilute some of your cat’s shampoo with water. Soak a piece of rag into this soapy water and wipe your cat’s paws to clean out the poop. Once the debris has been removed, use another piece of clean rag, soaked it in clean water, and wipe to remove traces of shampoo from his paws.

Never use human shampoo or soap on kitty’s paws. Cats’ have very sensitive paws. It is best to stick to hypoallergenic shampoo made especially for the cats’ sensitive skin and paws, like this Tropiclean Essentials Goat's Milk Hypoallergenic Shampoo For Puppies, Dogs & Cats.  

How Dirty Are Your Cat’s Paws?

Keep your counters and tabletops clean

When you have a cat at home, it’s good practice to always clean your kitchen counters and dining table before preparing and serving food, just in case.

The Toxoplasmosis danger

Toxoplasmosis is a disease that results from infection with the Toxoplasma gondii parasite. It is one of the world's most common parasites. Infection usually occurs by eating undercooked contaminated meat, exposure to infected cat faeces, or mother-to-child transmission during pregnancy. The good news is, of those who are infected, very few develop symptoms because a healthy person’s immune system will prevent the parasite from causing illness. However, pregnant women and individuals who have compromised immune systems should be cautious. For these immune-compromised individuals, a Toxoplasma infection could cause serious health problems like brain, eyes, or other organ damage.

Infection can come from your cat jumping on your counter with contaminated paws. Food items that were left on the contaminated kitchen counter can catch the toxoplasmosis parasite and any other pathogens found on the countertop. Give the countertop a good spray of Bio-X 3-in-1 Aerosol Spray (Insect Repellent + Disinfectant + Deodorizer), a multi-purpose disinfectant spray with deodorising properties. You will want to use a non-poisonous spray on your kitchen counter, that is non-toxic for pets and humans. Bio-X is the only product available in the market that is a multi-function, water-based, non-poisonous, and green solution against insects, fungus, germs, and bad odour and is ovicidal and larvicidal.

Wipe down the counter with clean rags, soap, and water before each food preparation. Remember to clean the utensils and cutting boards too. Finally, always wash your hands before eating!  

How Dirty Are Your Cat’s Paws?

Use a litter mat

A cat litter mat is a mat you place in front of your cat's litter box to catch tracked and kicked litter. Cat litter mats come in many shapes, sizes, materials, and colours. Some are even waterproof to further protect your floors.

The litter mat will help to trap any stray litter from your cat’s paws. It is not uncommon for cats to get litter stuck in between their paw digits; this can be uncomfortable and even painful for them. The Kit Cat Litter Trapping Mat comes with flexible fibers that help to dislodge and trap cat litter when your cat steps on it after using the litter box. The litter mat helps to remove debris and keep your cat’s paws clean. Though the litter mat does not provide a fool-proof, anti-pathogen solution, it will help to ease the problems of dirty paws.

If your cat routinely has dirt or poop trapped around its claws, you can trim them. Be sure to use a pair of nail clippers designed specifically for pets to avoid accidentally nipping the quick. Here’s one for cats - Petz Route Curved Nail Clipper For Cats.  

How Dirty Are Your Cat’s Paws?

Use the right litter box

Getting a larger litter box may lessen the amount of filth that your cat tracks on the floor. Some cats may move around and clean their paws after doing their business in the litter box. If the litter box is too small and the cat lacks the space he needs to move around, he will track litter everywhere. He may also refuse to use the box since he feels cramped!

Keep the litter clean

Keeping a clean litter box isn’t just about controlling odours. It’s also essential to your health and your cat’s health. If those paws walk through a filthy litter box and then jump on counters or tables, they are going to leave all kinds of debris and dangerous pathogenic organisms on your counters.

Scoop the litter daily. Remove your cat’s waste from the litter box at least once a day. If you have multiple cats, you may need to do this more than once a day. Top up with fresh litter as needed. You may want to use a 100% eco-friendly cat litter, a healthier alternative for you and your cat. Check out this Kit Cat Snow Peas Cat Litter which is 99% dust-free and non-toxic. This cat litter is created to be eco-friendly and the clumps can be repurposed as organic garden fertilizer.

Remember to wash the litter box regularly, at least once monthly. If you have multiple cats, you may need to wash more often.  

How Dirty Are Your Cat’s Paws?

Sweep and mop often

Litter boxes aren’t the only reason for a cat’s dirty paws. Your floors, too, can be a culprit. Your feline kid may be traipsing through dust and dirt throughout the day. By regularly vacuuming, sweeping, and mopping your floors, you will help him to keep his paws clean.

Don’t forget that indoor cats can have dirty paws as well! Dirty paws can be harmful to you and your cat as many germs can be found on your cat's paws. Clean kitty’s paws after his toilet break, and always disinfect your kitchen countertop before food preparation. Sweeping and mopping the floor regularly will most definitely help to keep his paws clean too.









Katherine Khoo
Katherine is a Pet Nutrition Specialist and GDP’s Pet Wellness Advisor. She is committed to helping pet owners make informed dietary and lifestyle choices in nurturing healthy pets. Katherine is also a practicing Nutritional Therapist (human nutrition) and has been helping hundreds of clients to heal naturally with nutrients.

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