Cat’s paw: what are the pads for?

The cat’s paws are much more than just feet as they are for us humans and are not only used to move around. Indeed, they are full of mysterious little paw pads that allow the cat to acquire its reputation as a great hunter! Discover their importance and their role for your feline.

To know his prey

Paw pads are ultra-sensitive tactile receptors. In contact with the ground, the cat can feel the vibrations of the ground and thus know the nature of its prey or an object. The pad will give him very useful and precise information about the size of his prey, its temperature, its position and its behavior. Thus, the feline feels the danger or the opportunity to attack skillfully.

A maximum of discretion…

Unlike us, cats move only on the light tiptoes of their feet and thus on their paw pads. This way of walking assures them a finesse and a discretion on all grounds to become a skilful hunter.

Regulating body temperature

Cats do not sweat, since they have very few sweat glands. However, the majority of these glands are located on the cat’s paw pads. Thus, the paw pads play a role in balancing the cat’s internal temperature, which must be between 38°C and 39°C. In a state of stress, these glands can become hyperactive and the body temperature can be disturbed.

A unique communication system

Cats also have glands between their paw pads that release a scented oil that other felines can detect. The cat, by scratching the furniture, the sofa, the trees… Will deposit a little of this scent and leave a scented message to its other congeners and thus show that it has been there!

A good shock absorber

The pads protect the cat from injuries thanks to the fatty tissues, when they fall or when they move on uneven grounds for example. The central or carpal pad will act as a brake, anti-slip and the horny layer ensures the adherence on slippery grounds.
It is therefore easy to understand the importance of the pad for the cat, which provides protection against shocks, insulation of the ground and discretion when hunting! Check the health of your cat’s pads regularly to ensure its well-being!