Most people experience sporadic bouts of dry or chapped skin, especially during the winter. Your cat probably experiences the same thing; the skin on a cat's paws is particularly sensitive. Before you go rushing to the veterinarian's office, there are several remedies you can try at home to soothe your cat's paws.
Cracked cat paws can be a sign that your cat's diet is low in omega-3, an essential fatty acid that supports hair, nail and skin growth and condition. Feeding your cat foods rich in omega-3, such as flax seed, fish oil and salmon, can help improve the condition of your cat's paws. Omega-3 supplements that can be added to your cat's regular diet are also available.
Vitamin E also supports skin growth and condition. You can buy oral supplements specially formulated for your cat, or if you have vitamin E oil or a cream or lotion containing vitamin E, you can rub it on your cat's paws to hydrate the skin.
Cocoa butter can be rubbed onto the pads on the bottom of your cat's paws to hydrate the skin, as cocoa butter contains fatty acids (some of which are found in olive oil) which moisturise the skin. Some cocoa butter-based lotions are also enriched with vitamin E.
A dab of petroleum jelly can be used to soothe your cat's cracked paws, especially in the winter. You can also put some on your cat's paws before you let your cat outside; petroleum jelly will protect your cat's paws and help keep any wounds clean. The dirt will stick to the jelly, and you can easily wipe away both the jelly and dirt when your cat comes back inside.