Why Do Cats Paw Pads Turn Black?

Why Do Cats Paw Pads Turn Black?

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Paw pads are usually soft and pinkish but can also be black, purple, or even have spots on them. The paw pads support the cat’s feet and keep them from getting hurt.


They are also very sensitive because they have a lot of nerve ends that let them feel different textures and vibrations. This helps them determine how far away their prey is.


Why do cats paw pads turn black? The feet can handle rough weather, but they don’t like temperatures that are too high or too low. They can get damaged very quickly when they touch hot asphalt or icy sidewalks. This can lead to the pads turning black.


If a cat’s paw pads have turned black recently, it may be because it has been in very hot or cold places.

In this article, we will talk about the colors and functions of cat paw pads and give possible explanations for why cat paw pads turn black.


Why Do Cats Have Paw Pads?


Why Do Cats Have Paw Pads? Why Are My Cats Paw Pads Black?

a cute cat paw


The cat’s paw is an exciting and complex part of its body. Even though it is small, a cat’s paw is firm and can serve multiple functions.

Paw Pads portions

The claw,


digital pads,

metacarpal pads,

and carpal pads

These parts help the cat creep, respond quickly, and hunt well.


One of the main things a cat’s paw does is absorb shock. When a cat jumps or lands, its paws act like shock absorbers, cushioning the force and protecting its joints. The foot also gives the cat grip, making it easy to move over different surfaces. The digital, metacarpal, and carpal pads all help provide this grip and support.

Read: 13 Stunning Cats With Big Noses (with Pictures) 


Why Are My Cats Paw Pads Black?


Let’s talk about why your cat’s paw pads might turn black.


Burns Or Frostbites


When you touch your cat’s paw pads, you’ll notice they’re spongy. Cat paws are great at cushioning jumps and landings. These are delicate and have lots of sensory receptors.


Cat paw pads are not as thick or tough as dog paw pads, designed for outdoor adventures.


In summer, surfaces can get hot, up to 60 degrees Celsius. It’s really hot and can hurt your cat’s paws. If your cat walked on a hot surface outside, its paw pads might have burned.


why do cats paw pads turn black?Why Are My Cats Paw Pads Black?

a close look at a cat paw


Keep your cat indoors when it’s chilly outside. When it’s freezing, cat paw pads can get frostbite. Frostbite occurs when cold weather reduces blood flow to your cat’s paws, causing the tissue to freeze.




Lentigo develops when there are more pigment-producing cells in your cat’s skin.

If your ginger or orange cat has black spots, it’s probably lentigo. Lentigo is like freckles on your cat. Unlike human freckles, cat freckles aren’t caused by the sun.


Lentigo happens when your cat’s skin has more pigment-producing cells called melanocytes. When these cells increase, black spots may appear on your cat’s face, nose, lips, and paw pads.

You can also find lentigo spots on your cat’s gums.


Contact Dermatitis


Contact dermatitis is a skin condition that occurs when your pet’s skin comes into contact with certain substances. It can cause redness, itching, and irritation. Contact dermatitis in cats can occur when they step on something and their skin reacts to it.


Two types of contact dermatitis can affect your cat.


Irritant contact dermatitis is a skin condition that happens when something irritates the skin. This occurs after being exposed once to a dangerous material, like a chemical or cleaning product.

Some cleaning products at home can have harsh chemicals that may hurt your cat’s paw pads. Your cat might have walked on a poisonous plant like poison ivy.


Allergy Rash


Your cat’s immune system may overreact to something harmless, causing this.

Certain foods, dust mites, and materials like rubber or metal can irritate a pet’s paw pads and make them darker.


Injury or Wound


Even though cats are agile and cautious, they can still get hurt by their paws. Pets can get hurt by stepping on sharp things, getting scratches on their paw pads, or breaking a toe. A paw pad changing color could mean an injury, like scarring or damage.


Why Are My Cats Paw Pads Black? why do cats paw pads turn black?

cat napping peacefully on an old floor


Discoloration can happen from injuries like burns, cuts, bites, or rashes. Some injuries, like an open wound, are easy to spot, but others might need a vet to check them out. Your cat may need stitches, bandages, or medicine to heal in severe cases.


Fungal or Bacterial Infections


Cats often get fungal infections that can cause skin and claw problems. Fungal spores cause these infections and can be found everywhere. Fungal infections can make the skin peel, but different fungi can cause similar symptoms. Testing is essential to diagnose and treat a fungal infection.


If your pet’s paw pads get hurt, they may have black growth on cat paw and start peeling. Outdoor cats are more likely to get infections because their wounds can quickly get dirty. Cats can get fungal and bacterial infections from breathing or eating bad stuff or if they have cuts or scratches. Cats with weak immune systems are more prone to getting sick.


Cats can get fungal and bacterial infections like Staphylococcus, Streptococcus, Clostridium, Aspergillosis, Histoplasmosis, and Cryptococcosis. Cats can get yeast infections, especially in hot and humid climates. Darkening of the paw pads is a typical sign of these infections.


Plasma Cell Pododermatitis


Plasma cell pododermatitis, or pillow foot, is a condition in cats where their foot pads get swollen and inflamed. This happens when a cat’s immune system gets too worked up over something.


When the foot pads get filled with plasma cells, they swell up and turn dark like a bruise. Other signs of pododermatitis include sores, pain and limping, discharge, and extensive licking or biting.


Plasma cell pododermatitis makes your pet’s paw pads swollen and purplish. The paw pads might feel soft and squishy. This condition can affect multiple paws.


To diagnose plasma cell pododermatitis, a vet will test for high levels of lymphocytes and antibodies in the cat’s system. In some cases, a biopsy of the diseased foot may be necessary.


To treat plasma cell pododermatitis, your vet may prescribe antibiotics like doxycycline to help reduce inflammation. It’s essential to treat the immune system issue causing the condition. Treating the swelling and inflammation can help your cat feel better.


Do Cat Paw Pads Change Color?


Cats’ paw pads can change color as they grow older. Kittens have pink paw pads that get darker as they grow up. Paw pads can lighten or darken due to age or wear and tear. Paw pad color changes can be expected, but sudden and dramatic changes may be problematic.


If your cat’s paw pads look hurt or have discharge, take them to the vet. Fungal or bacterial infections need antibiotics and topical cream to treat them.


What Breed of Cat has Black Paw Pad?



Cats with black fur usually have black paw pads. Some breeds include Bombay, Domestic Long Hair, and Domestic Short Hair. A cat’s paw pad color matches its fur color. If a cat is black, its paw pads are usually black too. But not all black cats have black paw pads, as there can be variations within breeds. Different paw pad colors can be a sign of health problems.


Why Are My Cats Paw Pads Pale?


If your cat’s paw pads turn pale, it could mean they have anemia.
Anemia in cats happens when their red blood cells decrease because of low iron levels. You can tell if your pet has this condition by looking at their pale gums and paw pads.


They might also show signs of being tired, lacking energy, and sleeping more than usual. Blood tests are the standard method used by veterinarians to diagnose anemia and evaluate its severity.


Anemia in cats can be caused by things like poor nutrition, infections, toxins, or feline leukemia. Lab tests are important for finding out the exact cause of a problem, so we can make a treatment plan that works.




What Makes a Cat’s Paw Pad Color?

Your cat’s paw pad color is determined by its genes and can differ between cats. Paw pads can be pink, black, or a mix of both colors. Cats’ paw pads match their nose color.


Why Are My Cat’s Paws Pink and Black?

Your cat’s paw pads can come in different colors, like pink, black, or a mix. It’s usually because of their genes and breed. Just like human skin, paw pad color can vary naturally.


Final Thought Why Do Cats Paw Pads Turn Black 


If you see a change in your cat’s paw pad color, check for other signs of potential issues. Most likely, there will be signs or symptoms.


Taking your cat to the vet for a checkup is important to find out what’s causing the problem. It could be something small and harmless. Sometimes, additional treatment, testing, or suturing may be needed. Always pay attention to any physical changes in your beloved pet companion.



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