Paws are very sensitive. more sensitive than your hands. Landing on them can cause pain and/or that \”ringing\” you might experience if you hit your elbow (\”hit ones funny bone\”). This can be exacerbated by age, arthritis, or other conditions. If you want to diminish this you can provide a soft thing to land on. I often find that my \”grrls\” will preferentially jump onto soft surfaces. Your cat could have arthritis, rheumatism (as you suggest). As Beo suggests being overweight could contribute. Even in the absence of any conditions cats deal with this differently, some may experience more pain than others. If you\’re concerned you could take her to the vet, but, unless it is something odd the vet can\’t do much. Still it might be better to rule out anything else bad. There are medicines for arthritis / rheumatism.
There are lickable oils with glucosamine that could help your cat. With the cat I had who go to 22, she seemed to show some slight improvement from glucosamine (she didn\’t shake her paws but did have decreased mobility, probably from pain).
Hello again, Thank you for the additional detail. It sounds like Maggie is fortunate to have your patient care. Intentional paw shaking is not usually a chronic condition in cats. Typically, it s an attempt to shake something off the paw- commonly something stepped in, like water, or cat litter for example. The clumping cat litters used now can form very stubborn hard rock-like lumps which get stuck ion the fur between the toes of cats. Usually the affected cats are either long-haired, or elderly.
I m not sure if Maggie is long-haired. Pain in the paw is more likely to manifest as limping or favoring. So that seems unlikely. Regarding the head-shaking, it sounds mild and infrequent. However, the first thing to rule out would be ear mites( a parasite), wax buildup, or an ear infection. You can try to gently get a look inside her ears while you re petting her. Ear mites typically produce a dark discharge which looks like coffee grounds. An ear infection may cause redness, and/or malodorous discharge, but sometimes there s no obvious signs. You can read more below: Another possible cause for the shaking may be itchiness, although it s not the classic presentation. Itchiness around the head and front feet of cats is sometimes caused by food allergies.
Usually those cats have more severe signs than Maggie – hair loss or lesions on the skin, and frequent scratching with the hind legs. Another very common cause of itchiness is fleas, which even indoor cats can get. You can read more below: A condition known as feline hyperesthesia syndrome can cause acute itching in cats. These cats exhibit a constellation of signs, such as twitching back, racing around, overgrooming. She s not doing all those things, so that seems like a long shot. At home, I would suggest carefully examining each paw, if she ll let you. Press each toe individually and look at the nails (there are 5 toes on each front foot and 4 toes on each back foot). Make sure no nail is overgrowing into the pad. Feel with your fingers between the toes for any foreign substance.
Clumping cat litter can be pulled out, or dissolved with lots of warm water. If you re not able to see anything on your own, the next step would be a vet exam. I hope that at this time, Maggie is more comfortable, and will allow you to take her to a vet. Cats only vets offer a quieter atmosphere for a shy girl like Maggie. Here is a link to the American Association of Feline Practitioners. You can search for a cat vet in your area: You vet will be able to examine her ears and feet, and do an overall exam – listen to her heat and lungs and feel her abdomen, examine her skin, check for fleas, etc. I hope this was helpful. Please let me know if you have further questions about Maggie. I would be happy to talk more with you. Regards,