An injury to the footpad may result in damage to the outer protective layer if it is punctured, cut or burnt. The most obvious symptoms are bleeding and lameness, and the cat may lick excessively at the affected paw. This denotes trauma to the footpad such that the pad is painful or doesn’t respond normally when the cat places weight on it.
Cats are silent stealthy hunters, thanks in part to cushioned footpads which allow them to pad silently after prey. The footpad itself is made up of an inner cushion of fat that is richly served with blood vessels, covered with and protected by a tough outer layer of keratin.