There's this cat near my house that has gradually (over several months) become semi-domesticated. Yesterday I noticed it limping and, when lying down, licking its paw (right foreleg) more than usual. Today I was able to observe it from up close and take some pictures:

injured footpad picture 1 injured footpad picture 2

Does this have to be treated by a vet or at home? The reason I ask is that this is still very much a feral cat. Despite coming inside the house to eat and nap (for a very limited time), it doesn't allow me to pick it up or sometimes even to pet it, and there's no way I'd be able to take it to the vet or do anything to its paw (to treat it) without tranquilsing it (if that's even normal). Please let me know if I should give more details.

Some minor details: In this picture it's sleeping on a doormat (which I've laid out for the cat to sleep on and is not used in any other way) and that small white object near its paw in the first picture is leftover food. Like I said, it spends a very short time indoors, and on some days does not come by at all, so it's still very much an outside cat.

Edit: The black patch that @Elmy points out in the comments indeed appears to be pigmentation, based on this picture from last month (March 11), when the cat was completely alright (it wasn't limping or licking its paw too much or anything of the sort): older picture

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    This question should not be closed, considering it is about a feral cat, which makes vet visits harder.
    – ck1987pd
    Apr 6, 2022 at 19:18
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    I'm not a vet and cannot assess the severity of this injury, but you should keep the cat indoors if you can. Don't give it any reason to leave, like trying to touch it too often. Put a food and water bowl really close to it, and a litter box at the opposite end of the cat..
    – Elmy
    Apr 7, 2022 at 5:04
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    Would it be an option for you to send this pictures to a vet and ask for their opinion? Apr 7, 2022 at 11:47
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    I just noticed a patch of deep black on the injured pad. It could be pigmentation, but it could also be necrosis. If the deep black spreads any further, you must get the cat treated by a vet ASAP, no matter how you drag it there. Necrosis is a medical emergency that can lead to sepsis and death very quickly.
    – Elmy
    Apr 7, 2022 at 12:53
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    @Elmy Thank you for bringing that up. I checked some older pictures and found (only) one in which this paw is visible, from about a month ago, and it looks like it's just pigmentation (I've added the image to the question). [Sorry about the poor quality of the picture, it's a quick snap taken on an iPad.]
    – M. Vinay
    Apr 7, 2022 at 13:25


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