Cats are typically very tidy animals: they clean themselves regularly and don’t like to walk through mud or water. However, cats’ paws can be filthy after using the litter box, meaning they track cat litter and feces all over the house. So, how can you clean their paws after they finish their business?
To clean your cat’s paws after they use the litter box, wipe them down with a damp rag. If their paws have hardened litter or poop stuck to them, you may need to use soapy water to loosen and remove the debris. Use a special litter mat and get non-clumping litter to reduce the need for paw’s cleaning.
In the rest of this article, we’ll further discuss the reasons for cleaning your cat’s paws, how to safely do so, and how to help your cat keep their paws clean on their own. Check out the best cleaning cat wipes on Amazon now!
Do Cat’s Paws Need Cleaning After Using A Litter Box?
Cats spend a lot of time cleaning themselves–up to several hours a day. They meticulously groom themselves until they shine, so it’s easy to think you shouldn’t have to clean your cat’s paws.
However, according to the ASPCA, you should clean your cat’s paws at least once a day. At the very least, you should check your cat’s paws from time to time to see if they need a deeper clean if you suspect it is necessary in your case.
Though your cat will do their best to groom themselves, helping them clean their paws can actually help keep them safe. If your cat walks through any harmful chemicals and then tries to lick them off of their paws, they can become sick.
By wiping them off when needed, you’ll help keep your house clean and your cat healthy.
What Can You Use To Clean Your Cat’s Paws?
Wet rags, unscented baby wipes, and soapy water are the best options for cleaning your cat’s paws. You want to avoid anything that would harm your cat if ingested, like cleaners with any chemicals or dyes.
Your cat is almost guaranteed to ingest some amount of whatever you apply to their paws, so make sure to only use safe cleaners. Oftentimes, a rag dipped in water will be sufficient.
Another option is to use wipes specifically designed for cleaning cats. They are typically labeled as grooming wipes. These wipes often have conditioning ingredients, like avocado oil or aloe vera.
Make sure to read the ingredient list to confirm the wipes don’t have any harmful cleaning ingredients.
How To Clean A Cat’s Paws After Litter Box?
Cleaning your cat’s paws is a relatively simple process. Here are the steps to a safe, stress-free paw cleaning experience.
- Make sure your cat is comfortable having its paws handled. To increase your chances of success, you want to make paw cleaning an enjoyable experience for your cat. Spend a little time each day holding and massaging their paws, backing off if your cat becomes uncomfortable. Eventually, they’ll realize it’s not a horrible experience.
- Wipe any loose debris from your cat’s paws. Using a rag dipped in lukewarm water, gently wipe your cat’s paws. This should remove most of the debris, but if it doesn’t, proceed to step 3.
- If necessary, soak your cat’s paws to loosen hardened debris. While you can dip your cat’s paws in soapy water, many cats won’t tolerate this. Instead, try holding a rag dipped in soapy water against their paws for 10-20 seconds. Once the debris is loosened, you should be able to wipe it off.
Do Cats Clean Poop Off Their Paws?
Yes, cats will typically clean poop off their paws.
However, they may not always be able to get all the debris off of their paws, which is why helping them clean their paws is a great idea.
How Do You Get Poop Off A Cat’s Paw?
To get poop off of a cat’s paw, you’ll need soapy water and a rag. If the poop is caked on their paw, and you can’t get it off by wiping the rag on their paw, you’ll need to soak the paw.
If your cat tolerates it, you can dip the paw in a bowl of lukewarm, soapy water for 10-20 seconds, then try wiping again.
If your cat doesn’t tolerate their paw being dipped in water, you can hold a rag dipped in soapy water against their paw for a few seconds to a minute.
This should help loosen the poop and make it easier to wipe or pick off with the rag.
How Do You Disinfect A Cat’s Paws?
Wiping a cat’s paws with water is typically enough to clean them.
However, if you’d like an extra level of cleanliness, you can use unscented baby wipes or a specialized cat shampoo to clean your kitty’s paws.
How Can You Keep Your Cat Clean After Using The Litter Box?
Here are some steps to help your cat keep their paws clean after they use the litter box.
- Find the right litter box. If your litter box is too small, your cat won’t have room to clean its paws before hopping out. Trying a bigger litter box often solves the cleanliness issue, but opting for an enclosed litter box can also help. These enclosed boxes capture some debris as the cat leaves, so less mess ends up on your floors.
- Try using a litter mat. These specialized mats are designed to catch debris as your cat leaves the litter box. While you can also use a bathroom rug, litter mats are more effective because they have an abrasive texture that pries debris from your cat’s paws.
- Buy non-clumping litter. Clumping litter can firmly stick to your cat’s paws, so try experimenting with non-clumping brands to see if a change in litter helps keep your cat’s paws tidy.
Though your cat will do their best to keep clean, sometimes they need a little assistance after using the litter box.
By getting in the habit of wiping down their paws daily and making sure you’ve got the right litter box setup, you can help your kitty keep their paws spotless.
My name is Katie, and I have had different pets at home for as long as I can remember. While I can definitely say I love all animals in general, my heart belongs to cats and dogs. I know you are supposed to choose one or the other, but I could never really decide. I’ve also owned hamsters and fish when I was a kid, and they filled my childhood with very delightful memories.