Doesn’t a cat look cute when rubbing its face with its paws!

They look adorable. But do you know these pinky and softy paw pads have the ability to show the health status of cats?

Have you ever noticed the color of the paw pad? My cat’s paw pad is pink in color but my breathing stopped when I saw my kitty’s pad black instead. It was nothing serious but old age which changed the color of the pad. The paw pad of a cat can often turn red, white, pink, or black forecasting the particular body condition.

But, what is the natural color of the paw pad, why does it change its color, and which color shows which condition? Let’s dust off all the confusion through this article!

Can cat's paw pad change color?

What Should Be The Color Of The Cat’s Paw Pads?

What Should Be The Color Of The Cat’s Paw Pads?

The color of the paw pad generally depends on the fur color of the cat.

That is why a black cat has a black pad. A ginger cat has a pink pad and a grey cat with grey pads while a cat with multiple colors has different pad colors.

Bombay cat is all black in color due to which its paw pad is also of black color.

Can Cat’s Paw Pads Change Colors?

Yes, a cat’s paw pad can change color. The reason could or couldn’t be a serious issue. Sometimes it’s due to age and sometimes due to health problems.

Sometimes the cat pad might change color due to growing age. With the age, the pad can turn black.

 A reaction to certain things or allergy, trauma, or stress can also be a major reason behind the change of color. But in such cases, the paw pad can retain its natural color back in a few days or a week.

An injury, disease, or hereditary can also serve to be the reason behind the change of color in the paw pad. In such cases, the cat should be rushed to the vet as soon as possible as this change could be the symptom of any underlying health problem.

Why Are My Cat’s Paw Pads Different In Color?

The sudden change in a cat should not be ignored. If your cat’s paw pad color is looking different then there could be a serious underlying issue.

The following can be the medical condition due to which the cat’s paw pad color changes;

Why Are My Cat’s Paw Pads Different In Color?

1. Paw Pad Injury

Notice if your cat is continuously licking its foot, or if there is a foul smell coming from the foot of the cat.

Also check for any sign of bleeding, limping, and fever. Your cat may have gotten something sharp like glass or stone in her foot. The injury could also be a burn, bite, or growing claws.

In such cases, you should consult a vet for a proper diagnosis and treatment. The injury is curable and your cat may retain back its natural color soon.

2. Plasma Cell Podedermatitis

It is also known as pillow foot.

Is your cat’s paw pad swollen or balloon-shaped and spongy with a tint of purple color? If yes, then your cat might be suffering from plasma cell pododermatitis.

This condition occurs due to infiltration of plasma cell which produces antibodies to fight against the infection.  The reason behind this condition is still unknown but some believe it can be due to allergy.

It might take months to get cured but once cured the color will become natural.

3. Vitiligo

Vitiligo is the depigmentation of the skin. In this condition the skin color lightens.

In this condition, the dark paw might become pink in color and the area near the nose, mouth, and anus can also change. this occurs due to problems in melanin production. Melanin is a pigment that gives color to the skin.

This non-contagious condition is not painful.

Including stress and toxin, the following can be the reasons behind vitiligo;

  • Hereditary

Vitiligo can be genetic and so the genes can be passed on to the offspring hence making it affected by vitiligo. Siamese is the breed of cat that is the carrier of vitiligo, making them appear white in color. This can also affect the upcoming generation.

  • Auto-Immune Diseases

In autoimmune diseases, the immunity system of the living being is against the body. It affects the melanin-producing cells, hence causing vitiligo.

  • Neurological Diseases

This is an utterly painless and temporary condition. The skin color lightens up hence affecting the areas of eyes, mouth and, paws. In such conditions, the cat should be kept in sunlight for better production of melanin. The depigmentation will stop in time.

4. Old Age

Like humans, cats can show certain symptoms of old age. The black paw might be one of the symptoms. If your cat paw pad changes color to black then it can be due to old age.

Does Cat’s Paw Pad Change Color With Age?

Yes, a cat’s paw changes its color to black with age.

With age the amount and production of melanin decrease hence, changing the color of the paw. Though some cats like Bombay cats have black fur which makes their paws black in color.

The red rashes or scaling should not be ignored and confused with old age.

Why Is My Cat’s Paw Pad Black In Color?

Why Is My Cat’s Paw Pad Black In Color?

Cat’s paw might turn black due to normal old age. The grey or pink color might change to dark color. The scales and redness on the paws can be serious issues.

In conditions like a puffy pad, infections, kidney problems, and immunity problems the paws might turn black.

These conditions are followed by difficulty in walking and inactive routine or body.

The cat should be rushed to the vet.

Some breeds of cats like domestic shorthaired and longhaired and Bombay cat have natural black fur hence giving the paw black color.

Why Is My Cat’s Paw Pad White In Color?

A cat with a white paw pad might be suffering from anemia, Infection, or hypophosphatemia.

Anemia is a condition in which the hemoglobin count is not enough in the body.

Due to this, the cat might seem to become lethargic, weak, and dehydrated. In such cases, the cat should be rushed to the vet or it can be deadly. Other symptoms include bloody urine, stool, and nose. This could be due to the deficiency of iron and other nutritional imbalance.

Insufficient phosphate in the body is also the cause of whiteness on the paws this condition is called hypophosphatemia. This generally happens with a diabetic cat.

Infections and toxins are other reasons which make the paws white in color. Viruses and bacteria can also change the color to white. Cats are allergic to things like onion, copper, zinc, and red maple. This can be toxic in nature.

Why Is My Cat’s Paw Pad Red In Color?

The paw of the cat might become red if it is suffering from infection or has put its foot on something sharp.

Pododermatitis is a skin infection that can be behind the cause.  If your cat’s paws look irritated and it is continuously licking her foot off then it could be an infection. Check for the foul smell.

In such cases, it is recommended that no ointment should be put on the paw or it will lick it off.

Another reason for the red paw pad can be an injury. Look if any injury has occurred.

Why Is My Cat’s Paw Pad Pink In Color?

The pink paw pad of the cat might be natural or due to the condition of vitiligo. This is the depigmentation of the skin hence making it lighter in color.

The paw pad of dark color might look pink in color.

In some cases, the red color can be confused with the pink color. Though this condition is called pododermatitis. It is a skin infection.

The pink cat can be due to fungal infection too.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do cats’ pads stay pink?

No. the cat’s paw pad might change to black from pink in old age.

How to tell if the cat paw is infected from the color of the paw pad?

In infection, the paw pad of the cat might change to pink or red in color. Keep an eye on the color.

When should I be worried due to the paw pad’s color?

Any change in a cat should not be taken lightly. The cat’s paw pad color can tell the health status. Like the infectious paw might be red or pink in color. A cat with a problem in the kidney might have a black paw pad.

Final Words

Practically you cannot talk verbally with your little friend so you must understand her body language.

The slightest change in the cat’s paw color should not be taken lightly. Even its body is trying to tell you that something is not right.

Be attentive with your kitty.


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