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How to Treat a Burned Cat Pad: 4 Vet-Approved Steps

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By Nicole Cosgrove

Veterinarian holding cute scottish straight cat with bandage

If your cat has burned pads, you need to know what to do. It can be worrying and a bit scary, but it’s important that you get it right. We understand it’s an important decision, which is why we’ll walk you through everything you should do if it happens. Not only that, but we’ll also highlight a few things you absolutely cannot do if your cat has burnt pads!

How to Treat a Burned Cat Pad in 4 Steps

If your cat gets burnt, there are a few things you can do to help minimize the damage. We’ve highlighted the four basic steps you should follow here:

1. Remove the Source

This might seem like common sense, but it’s absolutely the first thing you need to do if your cat has something burning its pad. Whether you need to pick them up, take them out of the room, or do something else entirely, you need to remove the thing burning their pad right away. The most common place for cat paws to get burnt is by them jumping onto a hot stove. Remove the cat from the heat source and turn it off to make it safe.

2. Run Cold Water Over the Area

Applying cold running water to the affected region for as long as the cat will tolerate. Ideally 10 minutes. First, cold water will help remove some of the heat from the affected area. Not only will this help prevent future damage since it’ll cool off the burn, but it’ll also help reduce the overall pain level for your cat and give them some relief.

Credit: com77380, Pixabay

3. Put a Covering on

Once the heat is out of the wound you will need to cover the area to protect it. Using a clean plastic bag or clingfilm/Saran Wrap is useful in this situation. You don’t want to use anything that will stick to the wound. It should not be left on for long and is only to give you time to get to your veterinarian for help.

4. Seek Veterinary Help

If your cat has a burnt pad, you need to seek veterinary help straight away. Burns are very painful and if severe can lead to shock. The vet can properly assess and prescribe treatment after they get a look at your pet. Moreover, if the burns are severe enough, they can keep your cat at the hospital to give pain relief and care.

vet doctor examining cat in x-ray room
Image Credit: PRESSLAB, Shutterstock

What to Avoid If Your Cat Has Burns

Now that you know what to do if your cat has a burn, it’s time to learn what you should avoid if your cat burns their paw. Below are five things that might seem like a good idea at the time but you absolutely should not do if your cat has a burnt paw.

1. Using Ice Cubes

Cold water is good so frozen water must be better, right? This might seem like a good idea, but it’s not something you should do. Not only is ice a bit too cold for your cat, but leaving ice on the area for too long can even lead to more tissue damage. Also running water is recommended rather than standing water so that the water doesn’t heat up with the heat coming from the burn.

Ice Cubes
Image Credit: Bruno /Germany, Pixabay

2. Using Burn Ointments

This is another idea that comes from a good place, but there’s a good chance the ointments you have on hand or for people, not cats. Cats respond differently to different substances, and there might be something in the ointment your cat can’t have. Unless a veterinarian tells you it’s safe for your cat, you shouldn’t put it on them.

3. Compressing the Burn

You’re simply trying to keep the wet cloth on the burn site while you take them to the vet, which would make it seem only natural to wrap it around the area. The problem is that it can disrupt any blistering or other healing steps that start to occur.

vet wrapping cat's injured paw with bandage
Image Credit: VGstockstudio, Shutterstock

4. Something Soothing

People often reach for something soothing to put on a burn and many reach for vaseline or butter. These should not be put on a burn as they can trap heat and add to the problem rather than help.

Final Thoughts

Now that you know what to do if your cat has a burnt pad, if it happens, you can provide first aid and get them to the vet for the care that they need. Don’t just ignore it and hope it goes away because, sometimes, a small problem can turn into a big one if you don’t address it immediately.

Featured Image Credit: New Africa, Shutterstock

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