A paw was the soft foot (or hand) of an animal, generally a quadruped mammal, that included claws. The term catspaw, referred specifically to the paw of a cat, with a figurative meaning comparable to a pawn.
During the visit of Enterprise NX-01 to Kreetassa in 2152, Captain Jonathan Archer's dog, Porthos, acquired a native pathogen that nearly cased his death, where at one point Archer believed Porthos to have "one paw in Beagle heaven". Later, during a dream, Ancher witnessed Phlox giving a eulogy for the deceased canine, stating how he was "[a] friend who would never hesitate to offer his paw in exchange for a simple smile or a slice of cheese." (ENT: "A Night in Sickbay")
In 2267, during Doctor Leonard McCoy's observation of the White Rabbit, first encountered on the Shore Leave Planet, the character evoked "Oh, my paws and whiskers!" when proclaiming his own tardiness. (TOS: "Shore Leave")
In 2268, McCoy later described how Korob took control of Montgomery Scott and Hikaru Sulu and used them "as catspaws to lure" himself, James T. Kirk, and Spock to the surface of Pyris VII. (TOS: "Catspaw")
During first contact between the United Federation of Planets and the Ferengi Alliance in 2364, a confrontation on the surface of Delphi Ardu IV between the two groups, witnessed by Tkon Portal 63, observed the Ferengi's attitude towards females first hand, where Letek specifically stated how Humans "shamelessly clothe their females." Another Ferengi, Mordoc approached the lone Human female, Tasha Yar, adding "[i]nviting others to unclothe them," as he moved toward her. His physical approach made Yar speak up to him to keep his hands of her, warning, "Paws off, Ferengi." (TNG: "The Last Outpost")