Excessive paw licking in cats


Do you know too well the spectacle of your favorite feline licking its paws excessively? Have you ever thought about the possible reason or combination of reasons behind this? If so, read the following:

Allergies: When cats have allergies – contact, food, pollen or seasonal – they tend to repetitively lick the itch produced by the allergy in an attempt to find relief from the discomfort they are feeling. Unfortunately, this excessive licking only worsens the rash and makes the situation worse.

Anxiety: When cats are extremely anxious or stressed, they will, like anxious people who bite their nails or bite their cuticles, start licking their paws incessantly to release that stress. If you find that your cat seems too anxious or stressed, make an appointment with the vet. Your cat may then be prescribed anti-anxiety medication to help manage their stress levels and allow them to enjoy a more comfortable and carefree life.

Boredom: As with anxiety, cats can counter their boredom by excessively licking their paws, even if this causes some of their fur to fall out. The cause of this boredom is a lack of satisfying mental and physical stimulation throughout the day. To keep your cat from getting bored while you’re away, make sure they have a variety of matching toys, including puzzle toys, set up a cat tunnel, and provide them with a cat tower to climb. Then, when you return, set aside as much time as possible to interact with her using magic wands and laser lights to make her jump and pounce while strengthening the bond between the two of you.

Fleas: A seemingly invisible infestation of fleas often causes uncomfortable cats to continually lick their paws. If you suspect your cat has fleas, carefully part its fur and examine its skin carefully. Then check several places on his body for fleas or dirt from fleas or both. If he does have fleas, ask your veterinarian to recommend the best and safest feline flea medication to fix this problem as soon as possible.

Injury: Any trauma or injury to a cat’s leg, foot, or pad can cause them to obsessively lick that particular paw. If you think your cat may have hurt himself, try taking a closer look at his paw. If he’s bleeding (some cats cut their paw pads while walking on “no go” surfaces) or if something is wrong (could be a sprain or broken bone), show him as much as possible. quickly as possible by your veterinarian.

Pain: One of the most common causes of obsessive paw licking is pain. And if your cat is in pain, he can literally try to lick it, focusing his attention on the paw in question. Watch her closely for a while for a visible sign of a problem with that paw. Then, if he allows you to touch him, gently move the paw and watch his reaction. If there isn’t, breathe a sigh of relief but keep watching her. If, however, he grimaces, screams, or tries to bite you, contact your veterinarian immediately.

If none of the above scenarios apply to your particular cat, take him and your questions and concerns to your veterinarian for a more specific diagnosis.

Nomi Shepherd

Nomi Shepherd

Nomi Berger is the best-selling author of seven novels, one non-fiction, two volumes of poetry and hundreds of articles. She is a volunteer writer for Furry Friends in Vancouver, WA and also lends her writing skills to animal rescue groups in Canada and the United States. She lives with her adopted Maltese named Mini. For more information about Furry Friends, visit www.furryfriendswa.org or contact them at [email protected]riendswa.org or (360) 993-1097