Why is My Cat Limping?

Have you noticed your cat limping a lot lately? Or have they just started limping suddenly, causing you to worry? If any of this sounds true of you, then you’ve come to the right place.

cat limping milwaukee wi

Common Causes

Limping is almost always a cause for concern in cats. However, some of the underlying causes of limping may be considerably less of an issue than others, and it’s important to work to figure out what’s going on with your pet that is causing the limping.

In this article, you’ll find a list of potential causes of limping in cats that can help you understand when to talk to a vet in Milwaukee, WI.

Listed below are the main causes to look out for:

Broken Bone

You may be able to tell by looking if your cat has a broken bone. However, in many instances, cats are so good at hiding their pain that they may make it difficult for you to recognize a broken bone following an injury.

If you know your cat has been recently badly injured or if you suspect they might have been, quickly take them to the emergency or urgent care vet for a full checkup. A broken bone should be evaluated and treated by a veterinarian right away to help your cat have the best possible chance at recovering without further complications.

Joint Pain

Joint pain is one of the most common causes of limping in cats. This problem may occur as a result of trauma (strain or sprain) in pets of any age, and if your cat is older, he or she may be developing arthritis as well. No matter the cause, joint pain can cause difficulty with mobility and may contribute to limping behavior in your cat.

If you know or suspect arthritis is the cause of your cat’s limp, talk to a vet for more information. Your cat may need to be put on medications to help alleviate the pain and help them stay as mobile as possible.

Paw Pad Injury

If your cat walks on very hot pavement or steps on broken glass, there is risk of burning or cutting their paw pad. Even inside the home, there are hazards that could cause injury to your cat’s paw pad.

When you notice a new limp in your cat, it’s important to check their paw pads for any signs of damage. If you see a cut or other type of injury to your pet’s paw pad, it is important to see a veterinarian so they can appropriately treat and heal the injury.

Nail or Nail Bed Injury

Sometimes, cats may injure their nails or nail beds. This can happen in a variety of ways. For example, if your cat’s nail becomes caught in something, they may panic and accidentally pull it out as they try to escape.

Nail and nail bed injuries can be painful and can lead to more serious problems, so your cat should be checked by a vet for this type of condition.

Bite from an Insect or Snake

If your cat is bitten on the leg or foot by an insect or snake, they may develop a limp as a result. Even if the bite is not a venomous one, it is still likely painful, and your cat may try to avoid putting weight on the affected leg for a few days.

If you don’t know what bit your cat but you suspect that something did, keep a very close eye on them. If you see any swelling in your cat’s leg, face, or neck, or they become lethargic, go the urgent care or emergency vet right away.

Saddle Thrombosis

Saddle thrombosis is by far the most concerning and most dangerous potential cause of limping in cats. This serious condition is caused by a blood clot in the heart and typically leads to sudden hind leg paralysis.

If your cat’s limp is only affecting her back legs and if it has come on suddenly, take her to the urgent care or emergency vet immediately. 

If Your Cat Is Limping, Contact Our Milwaukee, WI, Urgent Care Vets Immediately

As you can see, many of the potential causes of limping in cats are concerning, and they require a trip to the urgent care or emergency vet. However, in some instances, your cat’s limp may be a more benign issue that will resolve with exercise restriction and pain management. 

If your cat is limping, please reach out to our Milwaukee, WI, urgent care vets immediately at (262) 226-2055.