Paw prints – the marks cats and dogs leave behind
The word ‘paw’ (from the Middle English ‘pawe’) originated in the 17th century. ‘Paws’ is the word we use to refer to the hands or feet of various land-dwelling mammals.
Pet paws are the equivalent of human hands and feet and, in most cases, are used to complete the same tasks. In poetry, the paw print is a sign of both individuality and transience.
Generally speaking, pet paws are used for safe movement on different surfaces. The paw pads are mainly made up of callus and fat, which compensate for unevenness, absorb shocks and protect against injuries.
Paws’ texture gives cats and dogs excellent agility and traction. They are also very sensitive sensory organs that give pets a great deal of important information about temperature, vibrations and the ground. Dogs and cats, for instance, become aware of earthquakes occurring much earlier than humans.
Dogs’ paws are characterised by the following features and properties:
- Dogs walk only on their toes
- Dogs’ paws have six pads
- Hairs in the spaces between the paws protect the sensitive skin
- Sweat glands on the paws release a personal scent mark
- Scent is a big part of how dogs communicate
- The paw size depends on the breed and is between 3 and 15 cm long
- Great Danes and Saint Bernards have the biggest paws
Cats’ paws are characterised by the following features and properties:
- Cats’ front paws have five pads and five toes
- Cats’ hind paws have four pads and four toes
- Cats often use their paws to climb and chase
- Cats’ paws are moistened and used for grooming
- Paw size depends on the breed of cat and is between 2 and 7 cm long
- The Amur or Siberian tiger has the largest paws among the big cats, measuring in at approx. 12 cm long
The paw print is a popular design, especially as a cat or dog paw tattoo. Pet owners immortalise the imprint of their precious pet on jewellery, paintings or on their body. Every paw is as unique as a human fingerprint.
Since dogs and cats in particular are increasingly viewed and loved as full members of the family, saying a final farewell to them is all the sadder for those left behind. Many pet owners choose to make a paw print to say goodbye to their cherished companion as a custom keepsake.
If you’d like to express your love for cats and dogs in general, there are many ways of buying paw print products online. In these cases, stylised paws serve as the design for the background in question.
Cat paws are clearly distinguishable from dog paws in visual terms. But these products are often series produced and are impossible to customise.
If you like taking time and getting creative, you can resort to simple DIY methods and create a one-of-a-kind paw print:
- Salt dough is easy to make and shape, hardens quickly and is ideal for a paw print
- Plaster can be used to easily create the negative mould of a paw print
- You can also make an impression with the help of homemade modelling clay
- Colourful finger paint is ideal for colourful paw prints on paper
At our ROSENGARTEN Pet Crematorium, pet owners can have a paw print of their pet made by our team as a special keepsake, which they can take away with them in physical form, before cremation.
Having this done gives our guests a beautiful and very personal memento of their precious pet, which they can keep in the perfect place in their own four walls.