The temperature of your cat's paws can offer various insights into how your cat is feeling. While your cat's body temperature will change naturally from time to time in the same way that a person's does, knowing what is normal and what is out of the ordinary can help you identify any problems. If hot paws are a sign of a health problem, you will be able to get your cat the help she needs quickly.
What Hot Paws on a Cat Can Mean
Your cat's paw pads will naturally feel warm to you since her body temperature is higher than yours, ranging from 99.5 to 102.5 degrees Fahrenheit. But when her paws feel hotter than normal, this can be a sign of:
- Cooling Down - Exercising or spending time in the sun can elevate your cat's body temperature. Because her paws play a role in heat regulation, they may feel warmer to the touch as she cools down.
- Heatstroke - If your cat is not able to cool down, she may have heatstroke. In addition to feeling warm, her paws will also feel moist and she may also be excessively grooming and panting. Apply cold towels to your cat's paws, neck, and stomach and transport her to the vet for emergency care.
- Hot Ground - A cat's paw pads are tough, but she can still be burned by ground that is too hot. If your cat goes outside, feel the ground with your bare hands on warm days. When the ground is too hot for your hand, keep your cat indoors.
- Fever - A fever raises the body temperature. If your cat has a fever, her paws may feel warmer, and the illness will also be accompanied by low energy, change in appetite, decreased grooming, and a withdrawal from normal behavior.
- Injury - Any injury to a paw or foot can cause the paw pads to feel warm as they heal. Common injuries include bee stings, cuts, scratches, a broken bone, pulled muscle, or ingrown claw.
If you have deduced that your cat's warm paws are not from activity, warm ground, or time in the sun, going to your vet is the advised next step. Your veterinarian can confirm what is causing the elevated temperature and recommend any necessary treatments to bring temperatures back to normal.