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What Are Cat Toe Beans? TOP 15 Interesting Facts

What Are Cat Toe Beans? TOP 15 Interesting Facts

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Every meow, especially when you wake up in the morning and your cat sits there grooming themselves with their paws, just makes you want to snuggle them like a plush toy.

Cats are the cutest, and cat toe beans just add to that cuteness. Cat toe beans are not just cute, they are necessary as well.

In the list below, you will find the top 15 facts about cat toe beans.

1. Definition Of Cat Toe Beans

close shot of Cat Toe Beans

Cat toe beans are the little pads on a cat’s paws. They are called toe beans because they resemble jelly beans.

It is not officially known who invented this name, but it is widely used to describe cat’s paw pads, especially amongst people on the internet.

The official name for a cat’s paw pads is digital pads. Digital pads are divided into metatarsal (paw pad on hind feet) and metacarpal pads (front feet).

The name digital pads comes from the anatomy of a cat’s feet; carpal means wrist, digits are toes, and tarsal pad is for the ankle area.

2. Function

Some of a cat’s scent glands are stored in between the toe beans, just as sweat glands are.

These glands are between the toe beans, so whenever your cat does anything with their paws, these glands are used.

Cats sweat with their sweat glands (in between paw pads), and they mark territories with their scent glands. They do this by scratching and releasing pheromones.

Cat toe beans also serve as shock absorbers when a cat jumps, for example, from a high tree down to the ground, the toe beans’ squishiness helps to absorb the shock of the fall so your cat is not injured.

Toe beans are really like jelly beans, they contain fatty tissues and are able to absorb the shock of falling or stopping suddenly.

3. Cat Toe Beans Are Sensitive

cat playing with hand

The toe beans have many nerve receptors in them, so cats often do not want them to be touched.

Cat’s toe beans being extremely sensitive helps cats when hunting and staying silent while hunting or hiding from danger.

4. Cat Toe Beans Serve A Cooling Purpose

A cat’s sweat glands are located only between the toes. By sweating, they cool their bodies.

Cat’s toe beans come in very handy; it’s like your cat has its own AC. When cats sweat, this helps them to regulate their body temperature. Sweating cools your cat’s body.

You may think that these pads are not enough to cool the whole body because they are small, and that is true. This is why cats prefer to lay in the shade during hot weather, and they groom themselves a lot.

Cats sweat when feeling too hot, but also when they are feeling nervous. When it gets too hot, you might find cute paw prints all around the house.

5. Cat Toe Beans Are Buttons?!

Cat toe beans are not real buttons, but if you press them gently, your cat’s claws will appear.

The claws do not grow out from the beans but from the bones, however they are hiding inside of the paw pads. If they weren’t, your cat would scratch everything it touched and this would not be cute at all.

For cat parents who need to cut their cat’s nails, you can use this hack to do it more easily.

6. Color Of Toe Beans And Cat Fur Is Related

Cat Toe Beans on pillow

Orange cats usually have orange paw pads while black cats’ paw pads are black. In most cases, the color of a cat’s pads will be the same as their coat color.

White cats have pink pads because they lack melanin in their skin. Tabbies usually have gray, brick red, or black colored pads like black cats.

Calico or multicolored cats can have multi-colored pads.

Purebred cats often have the same colored pads, coat and nose. Naked cats will usually have pads the same color as their skin.

Cats are fashionistas; fur color has to be matchy-matchy with paw pad colors.

7. Color Of Beans Changes

This is not that common, but it can happen. If you notice any change in color, you should consult your veterinarian.

Your cat’s beans can change their color as a result of injury, or even worse, conditions such as anemia or pododermatitis.

8. More Toes More Toe Beans

Extra toes are always welcome, because more toes means more beans. Cuteness overload!

Cats usually have 5 on each front, and 4 on each hind paw, a total of 18 toes and beans. Polydactyl cats have more than 18.

The fifth toe bean on the front paws is called dewclaw since it does not touch the ground, instead it is in the position where humans have thumbs.

Polydactyl cats are the ones that have more than 18 toes, so it might be worth having a count next time you are cuddling your cat!

9. Cats Use Their Toe Beans For Walking

Cat Toe Beans in front of background

Cats are digitigrade, i.e. mammals that walk on their tiptoes. Cats do not walk on their feet, but on their toes i.e. toe beans. If humans did this, it would hurt and look quite silly!

This is probably why cats are so flexible and such very good hunters. Just as when people walk on their tiptoes when surprising someone or wanting to stay silent while coming home late at night!

Cats do this so they are not heard or noticed, especially when hunting.

10. Cat’s Toe Beans Help Mark The Area

As we discussed, while scratching or using their paws, scent glands are also being used, and this is one way that cats mark their surroundings.

They do this in order to mark the territory, while scratching or stretching with their paws touching some spot.

11. Cat Might Need Help Cleaning Their Jelly Beans

Cats clean themselves by licking themselves, especially their paws. They can bite or lick them, and sometimes it is good to help keep their paws clean so nothing gets stuck in there.

The best way you can do this is by cleaning their paws and in between the toe beans with warm water and a cloth. Also, check their toes every now and then for cuts or cracks.

If there is something concerning you about your cat’s paws or toe beans, go to the vet.

12. Cat’s Toe Beans Can Get Injured

cat sleeping on carpet

Like every other part of their body, cat toe beans can get injured as well. Something can get stuck in between the toe beans and hurt your cat, or they can get scratches or cracks on them.

Examine your cat’s toes weekly, or right away if your cat starts behaving oddly or limping.

13. Cat’s Toe Beans Can Get Dry

Despite the injuries, cat toe beans can get dry too. It can happen from climate changes, or if you live in a too hot or too cold climate.

You can consult your veterinarian to see how to help and take care of your cat’s toe beans. In most cases, you will need to moisturize the skin on their toe beans.

You need to be very careful when choosing what to use as a moisturizer, your vet will tell you what is best but many pet owners use some coconut oil or olive oil.

Some other ingredients, like vaseline for example, can be toxic for cats, so always make sure any product you use is safe for cats and listen carefully to your vet.

14. Beware of Puffy Toe Beans

Puffy toe beans are commonly called “pillow foot”, because the condition resembles small pillows. This is a medical condition officially called pododermatitis.

Popodermatitis is a form of autoimmune disease; it happens because the cat’s immune system reacts to something inside the body and the reaction manifests through the cat’s feet.

It has not yet been discovered why this happens, but it can be treated. This condition is not that common, but it can happen to some cats.

15. Toe Beans As A Genealogy

You can guess your cat’s breed or ancestry by checking their paw pads. Many people are interested in this, especially the ones who have rescue pets.

Oriental breeds, for example, have dark colored pads, and the shape of the paws is oval.

While your furry friend is just a kitten, you can guess whether it will be long-haired or short-haired by checking their toe beans. If the spots in between pads are furry, your kitten will be long-haired.

Q & A

Cat Toe Beans on floor

Do cats have feeling in their toe beans?

Yes. Cats can feel vibrations through their toe beans, they can feel pressure, pain, and temperature.

What is the extra toe bean on a cat for?

The primary purpose of the extra toe bean is to prevent the injuries from jumping and stopping suddenly. It also provides extra grip on the ground.

Do cats like their toe beans touched?

No. Cats do not usually like this, mostly because their pads and paws are highly sensitive.

What is the name of the extra toe bean on a cat?

The extra toe bean is called the carpal. The carpal pad also provides extra grip so a cat doesn’t injure itself.

Do cats have five toes on their front paws?

Yes. Mostly they have five but some cats have more.


Cat Toe Beans on carpet

To conclude, our feline friends are cute, but cat toe beans really are the cutest. All cat lovers will confirm this!

Cat toe beans can be different colors and shapes. Interestingly, their color is connected to the color of their fur.

Cats walk on them, and spend a lot of time cleaning them, but they may sometimes need help keeping them clean.

You have definitely learned something valuable about caring for your cat’s paws, but I hope that you also enjoyed these fun facts.

It is important for cat owners to educate themselves about their cat’s health, and cat toe beans are no less important.

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