My Cat Hurt Its Paw. What Do I Do?

2 min read
Jan 09, 2022

Does your cat have a hurt paw? Cat paw injuries can range from mild to severe, with insect bites, broken paws, and muscle strains potentially to blame. No matter what is going on, it is important to get your cat to the vet so they can receive a proper diagnosis and treatment.  

Here’s what you need to know about cat paw injuries and how you can help your cat.  

Symptoms of a Paw Injury 

If your cat hurts its paw, you might notice some of the following symptoms:

  • Limping 
  • Swelling 
  • Licking or biting the paw 
  • Warmth 
  • Pain with touch 
  • Pus or blood 

If your cat is limping, or has a swollen or bleeding paw, you can try getting it checked out further. If your cat refuses to put weight on the leg and is displaying symptoms like crying, a decreased appetite, or visible bruising, this might indicate a broken paw.
Causes of Cat Paw Injuries 

In some cases, he or she might have stepped on something sharp. This can be especially relevant for outdoor cats. Cats will often swat at or play with bugs, as well. This may result in a sting from a wasp, bee, spider, ant, or scorpion. These stings could cause a serious allergic reaction in your cat.

If your cat's hurt paw is broken or fractured , it may have been caused by leaping from a high point and landing wrong, or by something heavy falling on their foot. A muscle strain, ingrown toenail, or torn ligament can also cause pain for your cat. These are all injuries that could potentially be covered by pet insurance for an active policyholder.

What to Do if Your Cat Hurt Its Paw 

Is your cat showing injury symptoms? You can try gently examining his or her paw. Not all cats will like this — especially if they’re in pain. Assessing any visible damage or symptoms (such as bleeding, swelling, and whether there is a foreign object stuck in the paw pad) is important as well. If your cat doesn’t seem to improve within 24 hours, take him or her to your vet to get checked out.

How to Treat your Cat's Injured Paw 
If you have chosen to take your cat to the vet, be as careful as possible getting them there. You don’t want to make the injury worse. Consider placing a soft blanket inside your cat’s carrier for him or her to sleep on while in the car. 
Your vet may examine the injured area and might take X-rays to make sure there isn’t a break or fracture. Once your vet has a better idea of what’s going on, they’ll recommend a course of treatment. This may involve rest, pain medication, or a cone collar so your cat can’t lick or chew their paw. Surgery might be required for severe injuries

You’ll probably need to keep your cat still and quiet for a few weeks to let the paw injury heal. A large dog crate might help with this. Treating paw injuries can be a challenge for active, curious cats with a mind of their own. But it’s essential to help your pet heal. 

You can try to prevent paw injuries by discouraging your cat from playing with bugs, or jumping from high places (especially for kittens or senior cats). But sometimes, these things still happen. That’s why it’s important to be prepared with a pet insurance policy.

Consider Investing in Cat Insurance

Looking for more ways to protect your kitty?  Consider investing in a cat insurance policy with MetLife Pet Insurance.1  Get your free quote today.

Pet Insurance Can Help Protect Your Cat's Paws

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Nothing in this article should be construed as financial, legal or veterinary advice. Please consult your own advisors for questions relating to your and your pet’s specific circumstances.

1 Pet Insurance offered by MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions LLC is underwritten by Independence American Insurance Company (“IAIC”), a Delaware insurance company, headquartered at 485 Madison Avenue, NY, NY 10022, and Metropolitan General Insurance Company (“MetGen”), a Rhode Island insurance company, headquartered at 700 Quaker Lane, Warwick, RI 02886, in those states where MetGen’s policies are available. MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions LLC is the policy administrator authorized by IAIC and MetGen to offer and administer pet insurance policies. MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions LLC was previously known as PetFirst Healthcare, LLC and in some states continues to operate under that name pending approval of its application for a name change. The entity may operate under an alternate, assumed, and/or fictitious name in certain jurisdictions as approved, including MetLife Pet Insurance Services LLC (New York and Minnesota), MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions Agency LLC (Illinois), and such other alternate, assumed, or fictitious names approved by certain jurisdictions.

2 Provided all terms of the policy are met. Application is subject to underwriting review and approval. Like most insurance policies, insurance policies issued by IAIC and MetGen contain certain deductibles, co-insurance, exclusions, exceptions, reductions, limitations, and terms for keeping them in force. For costs, complete details of coverage and exclusions, and a listing of approved states, please contact MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions LLC.