Stray Cat with very swollen paw

I’ve been feeding a pretty tame stray cat for a couple of months and he started coming in and napping on my couch before going on his way. Today when he came, he was on 3 legs. His paw is about twice the normal size. Really would rather not have an emergency weekend vet bill; still paying off vet expenses after euthanizing my horse. I can’t tell what is wrong; it doesn’t look any different other than being large. Any suggestions on what I can do or give him temporarily?

One of my In/Out cats had the same.
Came in with a comically huge paw.
Must have been a sting - wasp? bee? - as the swelling went down in 24h.
If that is not the case with your guy, it could be an abcessing injury that will need a vet to treat.
You can try giving benadryl, but the dosage has to be correct or it can do harm, even kill them.

Thanks; definitely don’t want to do any harm! Hopefully I can keep him in for a couple of days and see the vet as a non emergency if I have to.

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If you’re lucky it could be a bee or wasp sting as 2DogsFarm said. Or it could be infected, in which case he needs to see a vet as soon as you can manage it. If it’s an infection from a bite wound from another cat you won’t necessarily see the injury. Or he could have torn a claw in a fight and gotten his foot infected that way. You could try soaking the foot in a warm epsom salt solution if he’ll let you (not likely with a cat) or maybe wrap it with a warm soapy washcloth to try to draw out any infection.

Thanks! In trying to further pinpoint what happened, I felt a small place on his ear and just below it on the same side. So very possible that another cat attacked him. :frowning:

One of my barn cats had a swollen paw and it was an abscess. I could tell quickly as it definitely had that look. It was far enough along on its process and small enough that I cleaned it up really well and kept an eye on him and it was ok. I did have a call into the vet though as I thought he might need an antibiotic injection.

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Caryledee, how is the cat today? Paw any better?

Unfortunately he slipped out when I was letting the dogs out. He hasn’t come back today. :frowning: It’s not unusual for him to be gone a few days but I am worried with the paw. I’ve looked around but have no idea where his normal hiding spots are.

I hope he comes back. Thank you for caring for and about him.

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He did come back tonight. There was a place on top of his paw that looked like an abscess might have blown out. He was walking fine. I was very happy to see him!