Why Is My Cat Limping?

A limping cat is an upsetting sight to see, especially if they also appear to be hurt in some way. Understanding all of the possible causes for limping in cats can help you to properly care for them before taking your cat to the vet for their limping.

Most of the time, limping in cats is a sign that something is making walking painful or uncomfortable for them. This is usually a problem with a cat’s paws or legs such as something being stuck in a cat’s paws or a leg injury.

In this article we will be explaining everything that cat lovers need to know about limping in cats. Let’s get right into it.

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Causes For Limping In Cats

There are many potential causes for limping in cats. Most of the time, this is a sign that there is a problem with a cat’s paws or legs. This could either be an injury or a medical condition that makes a cat’s walking painful or uncomfortable. Here are some of the possible causes for limping in cats.

Your Cat Has Something On Their Paws

Cats will often limp or walk strangely when they have something stuck on their paws or in between their toe beans. If these items are easily removed, and the removal of them fixes your cat’s limping, then there is nothing to be too concerned about.

However, if there is something sharp stuck in your cat’s paw then you should take them to the vet immediately. The vet can safely remove the sharp object and see if your cat is at risk for an infection or not.

Your Cat’s Nails Are Too Long

reasons why cats limp lakeland fl

Cats will sometimes limp when their nails are getting too long. Your pet’s nails can make walking uncomfortable when they pass a certain length. As a result, it is always a good idea to trim your cat’s nails on a regular basis or provide them with an outlet to file them down themselves. Unfortunately, if you have trimmed your cat’s nails and they continue to limp, this could be a sign that something else is wrong.

Your Cat Has A Paw Injury

Injuries to the paws are another fairly common reason why cats limp. This can include cuts, burns, and any other kind of injury to a cat’s feet. Things like ingrown toenails and insect bites may potentially cause limping in cats as well.

Broken Bones and More Serious Injuries Can Cause Cats to Limp

Of course, more serious injuries like broken bones can also cause limping in cats. This could include fractures or injuries to a cat’s paws, legs, or even other parts of their body. If you suspect that your cat has a broken bone or any other kind of serious injury, you should take them to the emergency vet for proper treatment immediately.

Arthritis Can Make Cats Limp

Arthritis is a very common cause for limping in senior cats. Unfortunately, the signs of pain in cats are often very subtle, so limping may or may not be the only sign of arthritis that cat owners notice. Some other symptoms of arthritis in cats that owners of elderly cats may want to look out for include but may not be limited to:

  • Your cat no longer jumps or climbs like they used to
  • Lethargy
  • Walking with a hunched back or a strange gate
  • Grumpy or irritable behavior
  • Having thinner legs than usual (a sign of muscular atrophy)
  • Excessive grooming of painful areas

It is recommended that you take your cat to the vet as soon as possible if you suspect that they may have arthritis. Most of the time arthritis in cats is treated through prescription pain medications to make them more comfortable. It is also recommended that owners of arthritic cats make things more accessible to their cat. This includes their food, water, litter box, and a comfortable place to rest.

Some Cancers Can Cause Limping In Cats

In some more rare instances, cancer can cause a cat to limp. Most often this happens because a tumor is located in a spot that makes walking difficult, uncomfortable, or painful to the cat. Of course, cancer in cats is very serious and requires veterinary attention for proper diagnosis and treatment. Cancer is more common in older cats than it is in younger ones.

Other Conditions May Cause A Cat To Limp

In some more rare cases, other kinds of medical conditions can cause limping in cats. These mainly include medical conditions that affect a cat’s movement. Of course, if a cat has a condition that makes walking difficult, then this illness is likely the cause of their limping.  Most of the time, these conditions cause pain in a cat’s back, which makes walking very painful and difficult for them.

Even more unlikely but possible causes of limping in cats are neurological conditions. These conditions could affect walking and movement because their brain is not working properly. These conditions are fairly rare in cats, and treatment of neurological conditions may require care from a veterinary specialist.

When To See A Vet About Your Cat’s Limping

You should always take a cat for their limping if it is not caused by something that is easily fixable. For example, if your cat stops limping after you get some stuck cat litter off their paw, then a vet visit isn’t necessary. The same goes for a cat that just needs a nail trim.

However, if your cat is still limping after these kinds of fixes, or if they are limping with no known cause, then it is important that you take them to the vet as soon as you can. If your cat seems to have a very serious injury such as a broken leg, then going to the emergency vet is a good idea.

Parkway Veterinary Emergency Clinic in Lakeland, FL is here to help you and your cat. Reach out to us at (863) 665-3199 or visit us online.

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At Parkway Veterinary Emergency Clinic, our team consists of experienced veterinarians and veterinary professionals dedicated to providing exceptional after-hours emergency vet care to the pet community of Lakeland.