Cat ownership is great, and can be extremely rewarding, but it’s important to care for you cat the best you possibly can, which means that you should always be keeping an eye on your cat’s behavior and health, as even the smallest little thing can cause a drastic change to your cat’s health, so it is vital that you ensure that your feline friend is healthy at all times!
Cat’s are curious animals, so it’s natural for them to go exploring in and around your home, and whilst cats are usually particularly cautious animals, there are times where they might manage to injure themselves on their adventures.
So, if you notice that your cat is limping, then there can be a number of reasons why this is the case, so to understand more about what might be causing your cat to limp, as well as what you can do to help them, then read on as we provide you with all of the information you need to know about cats limping!
Before We Start
Before we begin to look at the reasons why your cat might be limping, it’s worth knowing that cats are actually really good at hiding their pain, which means that if your cat is visibly limping, then whatever the problem is must be severe enough if your cat to be unable to hide it, which means you should try to help it as soon as possible in order to ensure a full recovery.
Lameness And Limping Signs
One of the reasons why your cat might be limping is because it has something lodged or stuck in its paw pad, which would make it uncomfortable for it to walk on naturally, alternatively, your cat may have a suffered a minor muscular or soft tissue injury, which will also be enough to make your cat visibly limp too.
If your cat has been limping and is now lying down, then you should be able to very gently examine their injured leg to try to see what the problem is, some of the things you need to be looking for include:
If your cat is exhibiting any of these signs, then you should make an appointment with your cat’s veterinarian as soon as possible so that they can evaluate your cat’s injury and help it to the best of their abilities.
It’s worth noting that if you suspect that your cat has a broken or dislocated leg, that you should not make any attempt to examine or inspect their leg any further, as this can cause extreme stress and might even make their injury worse.
Other Reasons Your Cat Might Be Limping
You may never fully discover exactly why your cat has been limping if it’s managed to injure itself, but there are also a few other reasons why your cat might be limping that will be easily answered once they’ve been seen by a vet, so if your cat is limping but doesn’t seem to have any visible signs of injury, then here are some of the possible causes for your cat’s limp.
Big Jumps And Leaps
As we all know, cats love to explore, and this often involves them finding a high place to perch on and relax. Whilst this is natural behavior, it can also end badly for your cat if they fall, and whilst cat’s are notorious for landing well, a significant drop can still have a massive impact on your cat if they’re small or elderly.
So, you should always ensure that you leave the highest windows in your house closed whilst you’re not in to monitor your cats, and you should always install window guards to prevent your cats from falling out of windows onto the ground below.
Much like us humans, as cats begin to get older, they become a little less mobile, but did you know that if a cat is showing signs of limping and stiffness as they go about their daily lives, that it can actually be a sign of arthritis?
So if your cat is limping and it lasts for more than a full 24 hours, then you should make an appointment with your vet in order to get your cat seen.
It might surprise some people, but Cardiovascular disease can have a big effect on a cat’s mobility, especially in their hind legs, the disease known as hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM for short) thickens the heart muscle, which in turn means that the blood can clot, and prevent blood flow to their rear legs, this actually has a specific name, and is known as feline aortic thromboembolism (FATE).
If you notice that your cat’s hind legs aren’t working properly, or your cat is limping as a result of its hind legs, then you need to take your cat to the vet immediately in order for them to be treated.
Did you know that cats can also suffer from neurological conditions that can affect their movement just like humans? These include things such as a stroke, or even compression on the spinal cord (referred to as IVDD). So if there’s no evidence of a physical injury, the vet might consider checking for neurological issues!
Overall, understanding exactly why your cat might be limping can be difficult to know, and the reality is that if it’s simply an injury that occured because of their curiosity and exploration, then you never know.
But there’s also a few conditions and other possible causes for your cat to be limping. So, just remember that if you notice that your cat is limping, and has been limping for over 24 hours, then you should make an appointment with the veterinarian to have them examined!
At Love4Cats, our practice involves consistent collaboration with licensed veterinarians and reputable industry experts. However, it's important to note that the content provided on Excited Cats is not intended as veterinary advice. While we strive to enhance your understanding of feline care, the information presented on this blog should not replace professional veterinary guidance.