Japanese Journal of Veterinary Research;Volume 69 Number 1


Investigation on the cushioning characteristic of cat paw pad in motion: A synergy of its histological structure and kinematic mechanical characteristics

Mei, Ye;Wang, Guolin;Zhou, Haichao;Li, Jingsong;Liu, Congzhen;Yu, Kangying

Permalink : http://hdl.handle.net/2115/80617
JaLCDOI : 10.14943/jjvr.69.1.19
KEYWORDS : Paw pads;Cats;Cushioning characteristic;Biomechanics;Microstructure


The paw pads of cats had evolved to exhibit strong cushioning characteristic that could attenuate ground impacts effectively in motion. The purpose of this study was to explore the realization mechanism of the cushioning characteristic of paw pads. Ten adult domestic cats were included for this study and three experimental investigations, i.e histological experiment of tissues, ground reaction forces experiment and contact strain experiment of the paw pads in motion, were undertaken. The results of the study proved that the realization mechanism of the cushioning characteristic of the paw pads was a result of synergy of multiple factors. First, on the histological level, a multi-layer structure of the paw pads, which were made of the stratified epithelium layer, dermis layer and subcutaneous tissue layer, helped to achieve outward and inward contact stress and strain decaying. Next, the results from the ground reaction forces experiment showed that the fore-pads played a more important role than that of the hind in achieving cushioning characteristic. And the contact strain experiment revealed that, the movement characteristics of front-back and left-right swing deformation occurred in paw pads, especially in metacarpal pad, was beneficial to the exertion of the cushioning energy storage. The histological structure of paw pads revealed its natural advantage to realize the cushioning characteristic, but the mechanical characteristics were the acquired adaptive habits responsible for the realization of cushioning characteristic. These exploratory investigations gave the insights into the cushioning characteristic of the cat paw pad.

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