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What’s the Obsession with Cats’ Toe Beans (aka Paw Pads)?

No one can resist the cute nature of cats’ toe beans, but what is it that causes our obsession with their paw pads?

Cat Toe Beans

If you are a serious cat lover and enthusiast, you know that cats’ toe beans are irresistible. Those soft padded things under your cat’s paws are oh-so-squeezable, and you’re even known to try to squeeze or kiss their toe beans while you hold your cat close. There is simply something about those little squeezable paws that make each of us cat lovers go nuts! Not to mention when they do a big stretch and their toe floof peaks out! But besides our human obsession with toe beans, also known as paw pads, what function do they serve?

Shock Absorbers

You have probably heard tales of cats always being able to land on their feet. Part of this ability is actually attributed to their paw pads! Because they are squishy and contain a lot of fatty tissue, cats’ paw pads allow them to absorb the shock of a hard fall.

Silent Stalkers

Cats need to be able to sneak up on their prey. By walking on the balls or tiptoes of their feet, cats’ toe beans allow them to prowl silently and stalk their prey.


Did you know cats can sweat? But only through their paw pads! Typically, this goes unnoticed, but during periods of high heat or stress, such as during a trip to the vet’s, you may notice tiny, wet paw prints.


In addition to sweat glands, cats also have scent glands in their toe beans. This releases their smell as they scratch, and some animal behaviorists think this may be the reason cats knead and scratch! It’s the cat’s way of marking their territory. When they scratch, they leave their scent, signaling to other cats that this is their spot.


Those toe beans have an important job to do — they act as “housing” for your cat companion’s claws! Though claws grow from bones, they are able to retract inside the pad paws for safe storage. This means if you ever need to trim your feline friend’s nails, all you need to do is gently press on your cat’s toe beans. It’s like a magic button!

Color Coordinated

Just like their coat, cat’s paw pads are all unique! In fact, the color of their toe beans is typically related to the color of their fur.

  • Black Cats: Black cats typically have black paw pads.
  • White Cats: White cats typically have light-pink paw pads.
  • Orange Cats: Orange cats have orange paw pads to match their fur.
  • Tabbies: Typically, tabbies have brick red or grey paw pads.
  • Multi-Colored Cats: If your cat is multiple colors, they most likely have multi-colored paw pads!
  • Solid-Colored Cats: Most solid-colored cats, and some purebreds, have paw pads that are the exact shade of their nose!

Now that you know more about the importance of your cat’s toe beans, you can appreciate them even more! But before you get caught up in admiring them, post a picture of your cat’s paw pads and tag us @MyCatsEssentials!


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