How to act in case of an emergency:
Cuts in a cat’s paw will often be very painful, therefore, be careful to not get bitten or scratched while trying to examine it, even with a very kind cat.
Begin by washing the cut with clean, safe water. If there is an object such as a piece of glass or metal stuck in the cut or if the cut is quite wide, deep or is bleeding a lot, you must put a tight bandage around the foot and take it to a vet as quickly as possible.
If the cut doesn’t look too bad, it still must be properly cleaned to avoid infection using antiseptic. The cut then must be protected with a small bandage attached just above the joint without tightening too tightly and leave the animal to rest.
The bandage surrounding the cut must be changed every day until it is fully scared over. Make sure the area surrounding the cut is never wet. If the cut gives of an usual smell, still hurts or is leaking liquid, it must be looked at by a vet immediately.
A cut in the paw is a real medical emergency or not depending on the size, origin and how painful the cut is. Contaminated and dirty cuts must be very closely watched.
Main possible causes:
Fights, shards of glass and bits of metal (fence, barbed wire, …), sharp objects, …
Who to get in touch with?
If your usual vet is open and available, there are of course the people to talk to.
However, in case they are away, this type of emergency needs immediate care. Especially if the cut is deep dirty or difficult to get to and examine.
If the cat is making it tricky to check yourself or is suffering, anaesthetic could be necessary which would be done in an emergency centre. As this is a very delicate and important time, anaesthetic is usually the best and safest option.