How to Remove Hardened Kitty Litter From a Cat's Paw

Things You'll Need

  • Damp washcloth

  • Small bowl of water

  • Heavy bath towel

  • Clips to hold bath towel closed

  • Helper


Cats who truly do not want to be handled may need to be muzzled as well. If you cannot safely handle your cat well enough to avoid injury to yourself or the cat, do not attempt to restrain him yourself and instead go straight to the veterinarian. Some cats may require sedation.

The safety of clumping cat litter has been debated, especially when used with young kittens. Do your research and talk to your veterinarian when selecting a litter product.


If you are having a regular problem with your cat getting kitty litter stuck in his paws, try alternative types of kitty litter. Clumping litters may be more likely to get stuck in your cat's paws and have been speculated to cause health problems if ingested, the ASPCA reports. You can also put a mat outside your cat's litter box in hopes that it will help remove any litter that your cat tracks out of the box before it can become stuck in the paws.

Some types of kitty litter are more likely to get stuck in your cat's paws than others.
Image Credit: axelbueckert/iStock/Getty Images

Most kitty litters consist of small, absorbent particles which can become stuck to your cat's paws fairly easily. Kitty litter can cause health problems if your cat ingests a significant amount of it while he is grooming himself, so it is better for your cat if you remove the kitty litter from his paws for him. Switching litters can help cut down on or eliminate this problem. Try using different types of kitty litters to see what litter works best for your cat without getting stuck to him.

Step 1

Restrain your cat by wrapping him snugly in the bath towel with all four feet tucked inside. Leave his head and tail loose. Use clips to fasten the bath towel closed. Have your helper hold onto your restrained cat to soothe him and keep him in place while you work.

Step 2

Extract one paw at a time from inside the towel by pulling it out through the nearest opening. Gently brush as much of the trapped litter loose from his paws using your fingers. Depending on the type of litter that is stuck in his feet, most of it will likely come free with just a little bit of effort.

Step 3

Wipe the paw down with a damp washcloth. Kitty litter that is stuck in between the paws should dissolve relatively quickly once water is applied. Apply as much water as necessary to dissolve the litter and then wipe any remaining debris away.

Step 4

Take your cat to the veterinarian if you cannot get the litter loose from his paws. If litter is seriously embedded, it can cause your cat significant discomfort.