Can Cat Paw Pads Change Color? What You Need To Know

One of the nicest characteristics of a cat must be its pinky toe. They enjoy grabbing you, scratching you, and delicately wrapping their paws across your hand. They extend their tiny pink tootsies during sleep time and moan loudly at you. However, you might be thinking about the standard color of cats’ paw pads. Can Cat Paw Pads Change Color? Is altering shades of cats’ paws normal?

Normally, a cat’s fur and nose color relates to its paws’ color. Moreover, it might be possible that due to old age, their paw pads lose pigmentation. Also, cats’ paw pads may change color due to trauma or sickness such as broken glass, insect attack, getting burned, or having ingrown toenails. Vitiligo, plasma cell pododermatitis, and anemia are additional conditions that can cause abrupt changes in cats’ paw color.

You might be thinking now what’s the natural color of cats’ paws, why does it vary, and which color reflects which disorder? Let’s clear away all the misunderstandings with this article! Here we’ll look at different cat paw colors and what they indicate about your cat’s general health.

What Color Should a Cat's Paw Pads Be

What Color Should a Cat’s Paw Pads Be?

The cat’s fur color and genetics determine the color of its paw pad. So, according to this, a black cat will have black paw pads. Whereas a cat with numerous colors will have distinct pad colors, a ginger cat will have a pinkish pad, and a grey cat will have grey paws.  Also, as you know the Bombay cat is entirely black, and its paw pads are also entirely black.

Also Read: How to Clean Your Cat’s Paws? 

Can Cat Paw Pads Change Color?

Yes, the color of a cat’s paw pad may change. The cause might or might not be a major problem. Age-related issues and health issues can both play a role. As the cat pad ages, its color may occasionally change. The pad may become completely black with time.

How Do Cat Paw Pads Get Their Colors

The color variation may be caused by a reaction to specific things, an allergen, trauma, or anxiety. Yet, in certain circumstances, the paw pad may recover its original color in only a few hours or even a week.

The color of the paw pad might also change due to trauma, illness, or genetic mutations. In these situations, the cat has to be taken to the vet right away because this change might be an indication of an underlying medical condition.

Find Out: A Guide To – How To Heal Dry Cat Paw Pads?

How Do Cat Paw Pads Get Their Colors?

Cat’s paw pads are colored by melanin present in their skin. Melanin is a pigment that gives skin its color. Moreover, the type and heredity of a cat may also affect the color of its paw pads.

The quantity and dispersion of melanin within the skin determine the color of the paw pads. (Cats with more melanin will have darker paw pads, while cats with less melanin will have lighter paw pads.)

For example, ginger cats have yellow paws, pink cats have pink and black have black paws. But it can be possible that pink cats have black or black cats have pink paws. It may be due to genetic variation, aging, or some medical issue.

Why Do Cat Paw Pads Change Colors?

It’s important to pay attention to a cat’s unexpected changes. There may be a major underlying condition if the color of your cat’s paw pads changes.  The mentioned medical issue may be the cause of the cat’s changing paw pads:

Do Cat Paw Pads Change Colors


Skin pigmentation is lost as a result of the disease vitiligo. Acrofacial vitiligo might well present in your cat if its black paws become pink.  The skin loses pigmentation as a result of the skin disorder vitiligo.

Your cat won’t get harmed by vitiligo because it’s only short-term and not uncomfortable. However, sometimes it can be brought on by other uncomfortable medical problems.

There are several kinds of vitiligo, such as general vitiligo, in which white spots of skin are dispersed randomly. Acrofacial vitiligo, on the other hand, impacts the lips, nostrils, and anus as well as the paw pads. Skin color is produced by melanin, which is produced by melanocytes. Melanin is produced if melanocytes are damaged.

There are two primary causes of vitiligo:

  • Hereditary

Some cat breeds are thought to contain a gene that causes vitiligo, which can occasionally cause cats to become entirely white. This gene might be passed onto a cat’s progeny, yet it isn’t definite. Even if the gene is present, vitiligo can still manifest in cats, and it can be brought on by trauma or anxiety.

  • Autoimmune Conditions

The immunity is in charge of defending the body against foreign invaders. Autoimmune diseases are conditions in which the immune response destroys the body. Certain autoimmune diseases can occasionally induce the immune system to target melanocytes, which can result in vitiligo or epidermal discoloration in cats.

Moreover, neurological disorders and exposure to chemicals are two more reasons for vitiligo. Vitiligo will spread for three to six months. Each cat will have vitiligo to a different degree, but when the discoloration ends, it won’t return.  The areas that have lost their pigmentation may subsequently regain or perhaps lose it.

Pododermatitis with Plasma Cells

Your cat might develop pododermatitis if they have several inflammatory paw pads having a violet tinge.

This inflammation of the paw brought on by plasma cells is known as plasma cell pododermatitis. The fact that an inflammatory cat’s paw resembles a cushion has led to the disease’s more well-known name, pillow foot.

Plasma cells are responsible for creating antibodies that defend against bacterial or viral infections, which are the reason for pododermatitis. According to experts, immunity-related diseases are the main reason for pododermatitis.

The following are some of the signs:

  • The paw pad has a purple tinge.
  • The paw pad seems to be squishy.
  • A paw pad assumes the form of a cushion or balloon.
  • Both paws can be affected
  • Cats frequently appear pain-free, yet they will favor the non-affected foot.

A plasma test will tell you if your feline has pododermatitis since cats with the condition have significant concentrations of lymphocytes and antigens. To eliminate other potential causes of inflammation, your veterinarian could take biopsies of the troublesome foot.

Your cat can receive medication to cure pododermatitis. After roughly two months of treatment, about 50% of cats with diagnoses become well, but doctors will keep prescribing antibiotics for several more weeks.


Your cat might have anemia if the pink color of its paw pads changes to a dull white color. In this situation, there are fewer red blood cells in the body.

Since they transport oxygen to the bloodstream and eliminate carbon dioxide, red blood cells are crucial to life. Cats who have reduced red blood cell counts may experience weakness, fatigue, and decreased appetite.

Below are some of the reasons:

  • Medication, botanical, and toxic compounds can cause anemia. Cats are poisoned by medicinal herbs and foods including field beans and water maple, as well as by metals such as copper.
  • Bacteria, viruses, and some other species can lead to infection.
  • Hypophosphatemia is a disease in which the body’s phosphate levels are inadequate.
  • The absence of nutrients (such as iron, nicotinic acid, and vitamin E) necessary for the production of red blood cells may result in anemia.
  • Bone marrow disorders can also lead to anemia such as Leukemia.

A full blood test will be needed by your veterinarian. This will influence how the bone marrow reacts, the health of the RBCs, and the degree of anemia in your cat.

The following are some of the signs:

  • Whiteness develops in the eyes, paw pads, and general pallor
  • Lethargy and sluggishness
  • Having no appetite
  • Blood in the vomiting, feces, pee, and nose

Paw Pad Damages (Injury)

Injury can occasionally induce alterations in paw pad color, which are frequently marked by a pink tinge or black crusts along the damaged area. The paw pad will immediately take on its original color after healing.

The following are some of the signs:

  • Ingrown or excessively grown claws
  • Paws cut from glassware, steel, stone, and other sharp corners
  • Bite marks
  • Burns

The following are indications of a damaged paw pad:

  • Wobbling
  • Excess foot sucking
  • Hemorrhaging
  • Because of an infection, the paws emit foul odors.
  • Fever brought on by an illness

Finding out if a paw pad is damaged is not difficult. This is how it works:

  1. Puncture injuries: Instead of being on the exterior, the majority of the injury is performed deep inside the pad. Cats will probably limp, though it’s not always obvious.
  2. Nails growth: Nails that are enlarged or ingrown will pierce the paws and result in hemorrhage, irritation, and infection.
  3. Burns: Burns result in sores and induce days-long inflammation of the paw pads. The epidermis will eventually dry out, break, and flake.
  4. Cuts: Blood and swelling may result from cuts on the paw pads.

Any foreign bodies, like glassware, must be removed before treatment can begin. After that, the area must be disinfected. Burn victims must immediately hold their injuries beneath cold flowing water for 10-20 minutes.

Any leakage from bruises and cuts must be released. Bigger incisions could require splinting, and the incision must be covered to promote healing. The paw pads on a cat are an essential component of its body. A cat’s paw pad may occasionally exhibit an abrupt change in color as a visible sign of a medical condition.

Is It Normal For Cat Paw Pads to Change Color?

Yes, it is normal for cats’ paw pads to change color, often corresponding to their fur color. White cats tend to have pink paw pads, black cats typically have black paw pads, and orange cats have orange paw pads.

Is It Normal For Cat Paw Pads to Change Color

However, these colors can change due to factors such as age, injuries, illnesses, or exposure to chemicals.

However, if you observe a sudden or significant alteration in your cat’s paw pad color, consulting a veterinarian is advisable to rule out any underlying medical issues. Monitoring your cat’s paw pads can provide valuable insights into their overall health.

What Does an Infected Paw Pad Look Like Cat?

An infected paw pad in a cat can manifest as a red, swollen, and warm pad, often accompanied by pain, bleeding, or a foul odor. It may exhibit open sores or cracks as well.

Additional signs include limping or reluctance to use the affected paw, excessive licking or chewing of the pad, and possibly a fever.

If you suspect your cat’s paw pad is infected, swift veterinary attention is crucial to prevent the infection from spreading or causing more severe complications. Early intervention is essential for your cat’s well-being.

Do Cats Change Foot Pad Color When Sick?

Yes, a cat’s foot pad color changes when ill or dealing with a medical issue. The color, appearance, and thickness of the cats’ foot pads may alter because of swelling or disease in the furry paws.

It’s crucial to bring your feline to the vet for a correct evaluation and therapy if you observe any abnormalities in your cat’s soft paws, such as inflammation, discoloration, or blisters.

Getting your cat immediate veterinarian care might help stop the illness from getting severe and perhaps harming its health as a whole.

Why are Cat Paw Pads Turning Black?

A cat’s paw may become black with continuous aging due to which the grayish or pinkish color becomes dark. However, serious problems can arise if there is scaling and inflammation of the paws.  Moreover, cats’ paws may turn black due to ailments such as a swollen pad, diseases, kidney issues, and immune issues.

Why are Cat Paw Pads Turning Black

Due to these problems, cats may also face bodily inactivity and trouble walking.  In such a case, bring your cat to the vet as soon as possible.

In addition to this, certain cat breeds, including domesticated short-to-lengthy-haired cats and Bombay felines, naturally have black coats, which gives their paws that color. So, if your cat’s fur color is black no need to worry about their black paw pads.

Interesting Reading: Do Cats Have Hair or Fur? What’s the Difference

Frequently Asked Questions

Does Cat’s Paw Pad Change Color With Age?

Cats’ paws may become fade in color as they get older. This is a typical feature of aging and is typically not something to worry about.

Can a black cat have pink paw pads?

Yes, a black cat may have pink paws. Genetics control the color of a cat’s paw pads, which can differ based on the variety, coat color, and particular cat. Certain black cats might have pinkish paw pads instead of the usual black ones. This is regarded as a typical variance in cats and isn’t a sign of any illness.
A cat’s paws might change color as a result of disease, trauma, or aging, therefore it’s advisable to get your cat’s paw examined by a vet if you detect any serious variations.

Why are my cat’s paw pads black and pink?

Cats commonly have paw pads that combine the colors black and pinkish. The variety and coat color all affect the color of a cat’s furry paws. Some cats might have primarily pinkish paw pads with certain black patches, whereas other cats might have primarily black paw pads with certain pinkish spots. This is a typical variety and typically poses no threat.
But, it’s crucial to get your cat’s paws examined by a vet when you observe any alterations in them, like inflammation, discoloration, or blisters.

Can I prevent my cat’s paw pads from changing color?

Paw pad color changes are often a natural part of a cat’s life. There is no way to completely prevent your cat’s paw pads from changing color. Ensuring your cat’s overall health and well-being through proper nutrition and care can help maintain healthy paw pad colors.

Are black paw pads common in all cat breeds?

No, black paw pads are not common in all cat breeds. The color of a cat’s paw pads is usually related to its fur color. Black paw pads are more common in cats with darker fur, but they can be found in various breeds.

For example, white cats usually have pink paw pads, black cats have black paw pads, and orange cats have orange paw pads. However, there are some exceptions. For example, some tortoiseshell cats have black paw pads, while some Siamese cats have dark paw pads even though they have light fur.

Final Verdict

Normally, the cat’s fur color determines the color of the paw pad. However, it may change due to age, genetics, health, environment, and seasonal influences but if you notice an abrupt change, you must look for other indications that something may be wrong. There will probably be other symptoms or indicators.

To identify the underlying problem, it’s essential to take your cat to the veterinarian for an examination. It can be something completely safe or controllable. Other times, it can need additional medical attention, diagnostics, or suturing. Never ignore your cherished kitty pals’ physical changes.

LearnAboutCat Author Isabella

Who is Isabella?

My name is Isabella, and I am a dedicated and knowledgeable cat enthusiast. With years of experience caring for cats and a deep love for felines, I made a mission to help other cat lovers navigate the challenges of cat ownership.

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