Cat Paw Print VS Dog Paw Print | What’s The Difference?

By Kelsey Apley 2 years agoNo Comments

I love dog and cat paws, I think they both are unique, and I like the squishy feel of their pads. But have you ever stopped and thought, what is the difference between a cat paw print and a dog paw print?? Or maybe I am one of the only ones who thinks that way. I thought it would be fun to share the difference if anyone is interested as much as me! Next time you see a paw print in soft dirt, snow, or even after a rain in mud, you will be able to decipher if it was a canine or a feline.

#CrazyCatLady #CatPaws #CatCare cat paw print vs dog paw print

My husband grew up on the farm, so he knows many types of paw prints he would come across in the yard, drive, or around the home. Possums, raccoons, coyotes, dogs, cats, and the list goes on. He can even tell what type of tire it is by the tread. It is safe to say he is very observant and over the years of looking at prints, he began to learn what each animal was, and even tire tracks that come in the drive. Since we have been married and moved to the country, you see all kinds of prints out here. We have a lot of deer, turkey, possums, raccoons, skunks, coyotes, and even more wildlife. I am slowly beginning to learn what tracks are what. It can be kind of fun trying to guess! But today I will keep it pretty basic, dog vs cat paw prints!

Do You Know The Difference Between A Dog and A Cat Paw Print?

#CrazyCatLady #CatPaws #CatCare cat paw print vs dog paw print

Paw Shape of Pads 

If you look at the pad shape in a paw print or even comparing a cat paw to a dog paw the pads are different. Cat paws are more circular in shape where a dog’s paw is more of a triangular shape. Cats have three lobes on the hind and one to two lobes in front where a dog has two lobes on the hind and one in front.


Dog paws are more symmetrical than a cat. f you were to draw an imaginary line from the bottom of a dog’s paw up to the top, they are more straight. Whereas if you drew that same line with a cat’s paw, it would be more horizontal instead of up and down.

Claw Marks 

In most cases, unless the cat is running or pouncing, you will not see claw marks. Cats retract their claws, so you won’t see them as they walk. A dog, on the other hand, has claws that stay in place, and if you look at the paw print, you will see the nail prints as well as the paw.

Top Three Ways to Compare a Cat Paw Print to a Dog Paw Print

Those are the top 3 ways that you can truly tell the difference between a cat paw print and a dog paw print. If you find a larger dog, the size compared to a cat is a dead giveaway, but for smaller sized dogs, you have to look and compare.

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 Kelsey Apley

  (188 articles)

I am a city girl who has now moved to the country for a more relaxed lifestyle, with my husband and son! We love to be outdoors in nature, doing crafts, and just taking each day as a new adventure. I am a freelance writer and stay at home mom by day!

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