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Holistic Regimen for Pododermatitis or Pillow foot in Cats

Posted 2020-10-02

What is plasma cell pododermatitis? Pododermatitis, aka “Pillowfoot” is a rare condition in which kitties will experience inflammation of the foot pads – typically caused by immune stimulation, although the exact cause is unknown.

pillow foot in catspillow foot in cats herbie

The paw pads become infiltrated by plasma cells, a type of white blood cell. This can cause splitting, cracking, and irritation, no fun for a kitty who is eager to jump and romp around! If it becomes severe enough, the pads can become painful and cause your kitty to limp. Cats may also lick and chew at their feet.

This handsome tuxedo, Little Herbie Johnson is one of the kitties affected by this, but his playful manner cannot be quelled.


We originally heard from pet parent Sarah in October after she was looking for some relief for little Herbie. She noticed her kitty’s paws were getting bruised and tender, due to pillowfoot. The vet created a steroid formula for him. She knew he was full of so much life, and wanted to look for natural ways to keep inflammation down. She didn’t want to give medication for too long, as she was concerned it may cause long term kidney and autoimmune issues.

Herbie JOhnson tuxedo cat with pillowfoot

Common symptoms of pododermatitis:

  • Swollen, soft, scaly foot pads
  • Quick to bleed
  • Tender, puffy, mushy, purplish and bruised
  • Sores can develop on the pads and may split open
  • Limping and biting at paws


If your cat has pododermatitis, your vet may administer antibiotics to fight infections and steroids to fight inflammation and regulate the immune system. Most cats will see improvements after going through a round of treatment. In some cases, if the pillow paw is bad enough, your veterinarian may suggest surgery. Diet also plays an important role in helping to target inflammation. Your vet may suggest an elimination to find which foods your kitty is reacting to, or test for environmental allergies.


We were happy to hear of Herbie’s progress soon after starting. Pet Mom Sarah has enthusiastically gotten him started on a holistic regimen:

I give NHV supplements to my Tuxedo baby, Little Herbie Johnson. Herbie is around 6-7 years old. He found me when he was a young cat. He suffers from what is called Plasma Cell Pododermatitis or pillow foot. It causes painful calluses, bruising and cracking on the pads of his feet. It would hurt him to walk; he was always holding up his paws.

herbie johnson cat

The vet told me he would be on steroids the rest of his life; they would shorten his life. All while the serious health issues caused by them would shorten his life. I refused to accept this. I’d seen several cats on Twitter talk about NHV products and decided to try them.

We use 5 NHV supplements for him. We mix in an empty bottle. Herbie is extremely finicky so the food and treat option was out. He gets 2 droppers of the supplements a day. He doesn’t put up a fight or fuss so there’s likely no taste, just the slight annoyance of opening his mouth for the droppers.

I just started using it with other NHV supplements for 2 of his siblings.

I will say the combination of the 5 has made difference. He’s acting like he was when he first found me. He’s a bit spunky (he’s always been chill) he’ll play a little, zip around and now wants to be back on my lap every day. The symptoms of pillow foot are much better. The cracking/flaking is a lot better. The bruising is lessening. I know this part will take some time. Your staff is wonderful. I told a friend about you. She ended up ordering for some for her cats and dogs! NHV is a blessing. Thank you so much!


Update January 2019- We kept in touch with Herbie’s mom, Sarah- and she had wonderful news to share about Herbie’s progress.

Awwh, my baby. We’re grateful for NHV. Herbaloo is doing great! We have a routine now. Herbie, 2 siblings & 1 pup sibling on NHV products. All feel great! He’s getting into occasional trouble! OK, he can do no wrong . It cracks me up he’s feeling so good he’s NAUGHTY! I love it.


herbie johnson

AM supplement we take them in box or on floor. Herbie’s pillow foot gets Stimmune, Felimm, Yucca, ES Clear and Milk Thistle. He rarely raises his paws in pain now. There are 2 spots which looked like extra claws were growing, slowly shrinking. He’s talking to us now.”


Which supplements is Little Herbie Johnson getting? 

herbie with other cat

To target the inflammation, Herbie is getting a daily blend of Stimmune, Felimm, Yucca, ES Clear, and Milk Thistle. These various supplements have unique herbal properties that support the immune system.

Stimmune helps support the immune system and is beneficial for autoimmune conditions, skin allergies, infections, and food allergies. It helps restore immune function and is especially beneficial in the case of allergies.

Felimm helps strengthen your cat’s weakened immune system, increases their ability to fight infections and encourages detoxification of the lymphatic system.

Yucca contains steroidal saponins, which assist the body in using and producing its own corticosteroids and corticosteroid-related hormones

ES Clear similarly helps the immune system but also helps with overall well-being. It helps with energy levels and appetite as well. We have seen very good success with these supplements and various autoimmune conditions. Milk Thistle helps to cleanse and detoxify the vital organs, and is full of antioxidants for your kitty’s health. It improves the function and regeneration of the liver and kidneys especially when they have been overworked.

We have also recommended NHV Heal Care Ointment for Herbie’s paw pads. It can help reduce pain and inflammation.

Is your fur kid suffering from inflammation? Especially as these cold winter months are upon us, your pet’s skin may just need a little bit more TLC. If you need assistance choosing the right supplements, please contact one of our NHV Pet Experts.

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4 replies.

  1. Hi, I would like to thank you for your Stimmune product, it’s less than one week and my cat’s pillow paw infection is all cleared up. This is an amazing product.. My cat is feeling so much better no more irritation or pain. I will be definitely a future client. Thank you so much..
    From Montreal Canada

    1. NHV Natural Pet Products says:

      Hi Kathy,

      That makes us so happy. Thank you for sharing this lovely update. We would love to see pictures of your little one and of course, we’d love to help you whenever you need us.

      Sending much love to you and your furkids.

      Yours in wellness,
      Team NHV Natural Pet Products

  2. SHEILA SMITH says:

    My sweet cat, Bella, has Pillow Foot. She was diagnoised last March 2020 by my vet and received one shot of [pharmaceutical name removed] and they tested her for the Fel V/FIV, which was negative. It seemed to give her some relief, but only a few days. Do not want to do the steroid. These NHV Natural products seem very expensive, especially if you use the 5 products. Can you tell me how to approach this problem w/my Bella. It seems to be all 4 pads now. In March of this year it was only her 2 front pads.

    1. NHV Pet Expert says:

      Hello Sheila,

      Owh, we’re sorry to hear about Bella’s pillow foot issue. We can imagine how worrisome it can be when our little one is not feeling well. We’re so glad to hear that Bella does not have FelV/FIV, that’s great! We have Yucca that can help to support Bella’s body by producing natural corticosteroids and balance her immune system and ease the paw inflammation. Here’s the link to Yucca

      You can add Felimm as a supporting supplement to help keep her body strong and fight any existing viral infections that may be causing the pillow foot. Here’s the link to Felimm

      We’re just a message away if you need anything. Sending lots of love and healing vibes to Bella

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