Skin Inflammation of the Paws in Cats

Cecilia de Cardenas
Jan 19, 2009
Image: Photo Grapher / via Image Bank

Pododermatitis in Cats

Pododermatitis is a medical term for skin inflammation, particularly inflammation of the cat's feet or paws. Fortunately, prognosis is positive with treatment.

The disease is more common in dogs than it is in cats. However, if you would like to learn more about how this disease affects dogs please visit this page in the PetMD health library.


The following symptoms are commonly seen:

  • Lameness
  • Reddened/swollen paws
  • Painful paws and itchy paws
  • Fluid buildup in the paws
  • Small, solid masses
  • Thickened, raised, or flat top areas
  • Loss of the top portion of the skin
  • Discharge from the paws
  • Inflammation of the soft tissue around the nail


Bacterial, fungal and parasitic infections can cause this skin inflammation to develop. Other potential causes for it can include cancer, trauma, poor grooming, decreased levels of thyroid hormones, increased levels of steroids present, and irritants from the environment.


In some instances, a skin biopsy is performed to ensure that pododermatitis is brought on by cancer. A thorough skin examination may be done as well.

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