Should You Moisturize Cats’ Paws?(Best Tips & Practices)

Paws are one of the most important, yet most neglected, areas of a cat’s body. While we often brush our kitty’s coat and check their teeth, it’s easy to forget about the pads on the underside of their paws.

It’s important to moisturize your cat’s paws if they become dry, cracked, or irritated. Just like in people, keeping the skin moisturized helps it work well and stay healthy. Be sure to only use moisturizers that are safe for your cat to lick. 

In the rest of this article, we’ll further discuss the necessity of moisturizing your cat’s paws, how to do so, and the safest products to use on your furry friend’s paws. Check out the best cat paw butter options on Amazon now!

Do Cats’ Paws Need Moisturizing? 

Yes, your cat’s paws may occasionally need to be moisturized. If your cat’s paws are dry and cracked, they’ll be uncomfortable for your kitty to walk on.

Just like in people, cracked and dehydrated skin can be painful. Applying a safe moisturizer will make your cat’s paws feel great again.

Is It Normal For Cats’ Paws To Be Dry?

In many cases, it’s normal for your cat’s paws to be dry. However, you should intervene only if you can see it causes your cat some discomfort while moving around.

If your kitty spends much time outside, it’s even more common. Here are some reasons your cat may suffer from dry paws:

  • Excessive licking
  • Extreme weather fluctuations
  • Unusually dry air conditions
  • Spending time walking on rough surfaces (like pavement)

Many of these causes of dry paws are exacerbated by spending time outside. If your cat is always inside, they’ll be much less likely to experience big weather fluctuations or rough surfaces.

In rare cases, dry paws can be caused by a diet too low in protein. If you suspect this might be the case with your cat, give your veterinarian a call to discuss whether a change in diet is right for your cat.

What Can You Use To Moisturize A Cat’s Paws Safely?

The most important thing to consider when choosing a moisturizer for your cat’s paws is safety. Cats love to lick their paws, especially when they feel like they are wet.

When you put moisturizer on their paws, they’re almost guaranteed to try to lick it off.

Because of this, it’s important to only use moisturizers that are safe for your cat to consume. Food-grade oils, like olive or coconut oil, are great options to consider.

Can You Put Vaseline/Lotion On Cat Paws?

No, you shouldn’t put Vaseline or lotion on your cat’s paws. Because these substances have harmful chemicals, they may make your cat sick if ingested.

While lotions are wonderful at moisturizing people’s skin, they are a dangerous choice when it comes to kitty paws.

Can You Put Coconut/Olive Oil On Your Cat’s Paws?

Yes, coconut and olive oils are safe to put on your cat’s paws. Because these oils are safe to ingest, you can apply them to your cat’s paws without worry.

Is Paw Butter Safe For Cats?

Yes, paw butter is safe for use on cat’s paws. Most paw butters are created with all-natural ingredients. Here are some of the most commonly-used ingredients in paw butter:

  • Cocoa seed butter
  • Avocado oil
  • Shea butter
  • Olive oil
  • Coconut oil
  • Beeswax

Since these substances are safe for consumption, they won’t hurt your cat if ingested. However, you should always check the ingredient list before you buy paw butter to use on your cat.

What’s The Best Way To Moisturize A Cat’s Paws?

Believe it or not, moisturizing your cat’s paws isn’t always as simple as slathering the moisturizer on their pads!

Because cats can be finicky, it’s important to go slowly and make it a positive experience for your cat.

  • Get your kitty comfortable. Ideally, your cat will be lying down so that their paws are easily accessible. If they are happily snoozing on your lap, it’s the perfect time to try moisturizing their paws.
  • Keep yourself safe. If your cat is uncooperative or upset, you should try to calm them down. However, some cats simply refuse to be contained. If this happens, you should consider wrapping a towel around the cat’s body (making sure they can breathe, of course!) to keep everyone safe.
  • Wipe any debris off of your cat’s paws. Make sure your cat’s paws are clean before applying the moisturizer so that it can be easily absorbed into their skin.
  • Give treats liberally throughout the process. Don’t be afraid of a little bribery here–if giving your cat treats will make paw moisturizing more pleasant, go ahead. With regular practice, your cat will begin to look forward to their moisturizing time because they know they’ll get lots of yummy treats!
  • Warm the moisturizer in your palm before applying it to your cat’s paws. If the moisturizer is warm, it will better absorb into your kitty’s skin. This helps you get more bang for your buck, since you’ll need less moisturizer to get the job done.
  • Apply the moisturizer quickly. Even if your cat is enjoying the experience, they still won’t want to lie in your lap for half an hour having moisturizer applied to their paws. Stay relaxed, but try to get the moisturizer applied as quickly as possible, so your cat can get back to their normal routine.
  • Massage the moisturizer into each pad. The more the moisturizer soaks into your cat’s paws before you turn them loose, the less it will end up tracked across your floors. Massage the moisturizer into their pads just like you’d do with lotion on your skin.
  • Leave your cat in an easy-to-clean area after moisturizer application. To make cleanup a breeze, try leaving your cat in a bathroom or small, enclosed area for 10-15 minutes after moisturizing their paws so that you have a smaller area to clean up.

Final Thoughts

Cats don’t always need their paws moisturized, but it’s a great tool to use when your kitty’s paws get unusually dry.

Do your best to make it a positive experience for your cat, and they’ll be glad to have a spa treatment every once in a while.