Limping in cats

No matter how slight the limp, your cat is limping because walking normally and applying full force to the limb hurts.

Cats can limp for many reasons. Active or heavy pets can twist and strain things just like humans do. Cats can misjudge jumps and fall off of things, they can also jump or run and twist or turn a joint in a manner that causes temporary discomfort. Most lameness or injury caused by acrobatics are short-lived. They arrive suddenly and disappear within a day if not a few hours. In most cases, simply restricting activity will solve the problem.

If limping/lameness continues for more than a day or so, had a gradual onset or is severe enough that the pet is uncomfortable, then it’s time to see your veterinarian.

Limping can be a sign of:

Abscess or puncture in the foot

Abscess or puncture higher on the leg

A broken bone

A torn ligament/tendon

Structural damage or deformity

Valley Fever

Muscles strain or injury

An unseen bruise or cut



Issues caused by declawing earlier in life

Certain cases of limping are considered an emergency: Possible fracture, hit by car, attacked by larger/bigger animal, bleeding, any signs of collapse, or a possible snake bite should be seen immediately.