In this period in which hygiene is very important, washing our hands is essential. But our furry friend cannot do the same: let’s see how to clean the cat’s paws at best.
Although it has been made official that it is not possible to have contagions from animals for the Coronavirus emergency, the hygiene of our furry friends is fundamental and every precaution is useful. Cleaning the cat’s paws on his return home, but also simply in his daily life, is important and should be done methodically and regularly. Think of how many times he goes into the litter box and walks into it, digs and covers his needy, and then walks around jumping on the furniture, maybe in the kitchen or on the table, and then he jumps into his arms. This makes us understand how important the hygiene of our cat’s paws is, in order to avoid possible problems for its health and ours.
Not exactly 100%, but clean
Cats bathe alone, we all know it, and often the belief we have is that the cat is totally clean by simply licking itthe. In fact, the fact that he walks on the floor or outside, perhaps in the dirt, or in his litter box, should trigger a small alarm bell.
Once the cat cleans its paws after passing through the litter box, we can in fact already be confident that we will not find any type of residue under its paws. But unfortunately it is not possible to be completely sure that the cat has cleaned its paws, before jumping into our arms. In fact, cats clean themselves on average during the middle of the hours they are awake, cleaning themselves and the other cats in the house. Sometimes, they even spend even more time on this activity.
Although the cat is so busy cleaning up, the best thing is not to rely only on its self-cleaning. We are committed to keeping the spaces where we eat and prepare food clean, as the best thing is to always clean all areas of the kitchen before preparing food. Most of us probably do it anyway, regardless of pets!
The danger of toxoplasmosis
Toxoplasmosis is a disease caused by bacteria found in the cat’s stool – but also in some meats, unpasteurized milk, unwashed fruit and vegetables. This disease can cause flu-like symptoms in some people, and birth defects in case a woman becomes infected when she is pregnant for the first time.
If kitchen furniture, knives or cutting boards come into contact with something that has the bacterium, we may be infected. Because this happens when a cat jumps on furniture with contaminated paws – but also when contaminated fruit touches a cutting board, for example – we should always wash the kitchen surfaces frequently. In addition, pregnant women should always wash their hands before eating, but this is a practice that should always be followed by everyone.
How to clean the cat’s paws
If the cat has dirty paws, perhaps with soil, or excrement, or dust stuck under the nails or between the fingers, it will not always be able to clean them completely on its own. We use a clean dry cloth, a cotton swab, or veterinary wipes for cats, and we’ll take care of it.
First of all, let’s avoid giving too much importance to it. If the cat is used to contact, we simply take the paw gently and clean it quickly. If, on the other hand, the cat is nervous and grumpy, it is better to wrap the cat in a towel or blanket, with the dirty paw sticking out, to clean it easily.
To ease problems with litter and dirty legs, a good purchase can be a litter mat. Let’s look for one with angled edges, which are specially designed to help the cat remove dirt in its paws. We place the mat out of the litter box, so that the cat has to go over it when it comes out.
If we live in a particularly cold or hot area, our cat’s bearings, although normally capable of adapting, may not be able to give good insulation against extreme temperatures. The bearings can then become dry and split, if we do not hydrate them.
We use a fast and penetrating absorption emollient, for example vaseline, applying it 2-3 times a week, for a few weeks in case of dryness. This type of product can also resist the natural feline instinct to lick its legs. Olive oil is another good moisturizing agent, while cortisone cream and tea tree oil are not suitable for cat paws.