Investigation of the mechanical and grounding characteristics of the domestic cat’s paw pads based on gait analysis
The paw pads, which can produce moderate changes that are reflected in mechanical and grounding characteristics,
play an important role for domestic cats in realizing their biological characteristics. The purpose of this study was to
investigate these moderate changes of paw pads in various gaits i.e. walking, trotting and emergency stop gaits based
on the ground reaction forces and contact strain experiments to obtain the mechanical and grounding shape
representations. The results proved that with the change of gait, the representations changed obviously. For the ground
reaction forces, the response of the fore paw pads was more sensitive than that of hind and the point of force also
changed from the outside to the middle of the pads with the gait from walking to trotting. In addition, in the walking
gait, the contact shape was in the natural state but the contact shape pointed to the inside deflection and appeared
discrete in the trotting and emergency stop gait respectively. The peak value of contact principal strain was little
different between the three gaits but there were obvious differences in distribution characteristics and strain direction.
These findings could help to understand the relationship between paw pads and cat biological characteristics.