Everything You Wanted To Know About Cat Paws AKA Toe Beans

Cat paws toe beans

Everything You Wanted To Know About Cat Paws AKA Toe Beans


If you are a kitty cat lover, a feline fanatic, a scroller of kitten insta images than you may already know that cat paws are often referred to as toe beans or jelly beans. Although paws might seem like nothing spectacular on your average animal, I believe you might indeed find that the cat paw is quite extraordinary. This post is all about cat paws AKA toe beans.

Why Are Cat Paws Called Toe Beans?

Kitty cat paws have buffer cushions on the bottom; the non-technical name for these protectors are digital pads.

The technical name for the cat paw digital pad in the front two legs of a cat is metacarpal. The technical name for the back is metatarsal.

Here is an image to make it super easy to identify, but I linked an ever more in depth diagram below if you are interested.

The little pads up front are the ’digital’ pads. They refer to little digits, and why cat lovers refer to feline toes as toe beans.

Cat paws toe beans

If you are like me, this image is plenty and you will simply continue referring to your cat’s pads as toe beans. (Because it is so dang cute!)

But if you want more, check out Cat Paw Anatomy, which will provide you with an in depth exploration of a cat’s paws.

While we are on the topic of cat anatomy, here are some other blog posts here at Kritter Kommunity you might love too:

The Anatomy Of A Normal Cat

The Anatomy Of A Cat’s Tongue

The Anatomy Of A Cat’s Claw

The Anatomy Of A Cat’s Tail

Even though toes beans on felines are uber adorbs, they also serve an important purr-pose to your favorite feline. They help your cat handle the weight of the rest of her body. They also act as little slip ons, protecting her paws a little bit more from hot sidewalks and cold icy surfaces. She will still get hot or cold though, so think of them as thin socks. Not much insallation, but a little covering.

How Many Paws Should My Cat Have?

Well your cat should have four furry paws; two in the front and two in the back. Your cat should then have four toes PLUS one dew claw (total 5 toes) on the front paw. He should then have four toes on each of his back furry paws. If he has the ’normal’ toes, this brings his toe total to eighteen toes.

His cute little toes house his claws.

These can be pretty sharp and as a cat owner I highly suggest getting comfortable trimming your cat’s toes at home, or bringing him to a professional groomer or to your vet. I bring my cat Finnegan to his vet and they do it super fast. I love the way they trim his claws because they are blunt and perfect! When I trim them, they are all jagged and still sharp or rough on the tops.

Keeping your cat’s claws trimmed regularly is important so he does not get them stuck into anything and hurt himself; especially important when you are away from home. A cat who gets his paw stuck in a window screen can quickly turn into a tragic situation; you can easily see why.

When I do try to trim my cat’s murder mittens, these are the exact trimmers I use. They work well, the problem is, I do not. But these are great.

Why Does My Cat Tap Me With His Paws?

Your cat will tap you on the leg, shoulder or face because he wants your attention. Tap, tap, tap is like knock, knock…. Can you come out and play with me? A few other reason your cat may tap you with her paw for attention is simply for you to watch her and tell her she is beautiful. Another reason is for food or cat snacks, and of course she might just want you to move out of her favorite spot.

Should I Clean My Cat’s Paws?

You can help your cat out by cleaning her paws daily, especially if she gets dirty or is older and is not grooming herself. She might get litter stuck between her paws so using a damp cloth to wipe her gently down can be very helpful.

As cats age, grooming because less of a practice and more of a chore that gets put on the back-burner. She might be too tired, less instinctual about grooming or in pain from senior ailments such as arthritis.

Having an older kitty cat is usually less work than having a kitten though (I have had both). Kittens also can get their little toes dirty and litter often gets stuck between their fur pads. If you are considering a new kitten or adopting a senior cat, or are experiencing cat ownership for the first time, these posts can be very helpful!

The Ultimate Guide To Adopting An Older Cat

10 Kitten Adoption Essentials

Should I Moisturize My Cat’s Paws?

Some veterinarians recommend gently massaging coconut oil on your cat’s paws if they are dry and cracked. If your cat licks it off, it will not be harmful; but only use a small amount.

You should really consult with your vet if your cat has dry paws. Most indoor cats do not have dry paws. There could be an underlying medical condition that your vet can help with, like adding more moist food to your cat’s diet or a prescription for extra dry skin.


Cats are pretty fascinating creatures. Their paws are cute as all get out, but they are also useful to your cat. A cat will instinctively wash herself through grooming, but might need some assistance from time to time.

Your cat probably does not use her paws for hunting and gathering, but if she is an outdoor cat, she probably does!

Paws are a very important tool for her to kill her prey.

If you want to fulfill that drive with some great toys she can bat around, these might do just the trick!

TOYSFeaturesPriceLearn More
Spring Cat Toysbouncy, colorful$4.00-8.00SPOT Ethical Products
Spring Tube Toybouncy, colorful patterns, stretchy$8.00-10.00Cacovedo
PlushToyfuzzy, soft, crinkle$8.00-10.00Potarama
Pillowscolorful, catnip, toss-able$9.00-20.00Kitty Kick Stix
Skitter Crittermice shape, catnip$5.00-8.00SmartyKat
Interactive Toy Ballsbouncy, colorful, lightweight$8-22.00PETSHOW Store
Cat Toys To Bat Around

Until next time, purrs and wags!

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