Many cats are curious and active animals, which means they may injure themselves at some point. This goes for both indoor and outdoor cats. There are numerous reasons why your feline friend may start limping. Our vets in Torrance will explore these reasons and provide guidance on what to do if your cat is limping.
Why is my cat limping but not in pain?
Cats can't communicate how they feel, so it can be difficult to determine why your furry friend is limping. Your cat may be limping from their back or front leg due to various reasons, such as a sprain, a break, an ingrown claw, or an object stuck in their paw. Even though your cat may not show it, they may be experiencing significant pain, which is why it's important to take any limping seriously.
Cats are known to hide pain as a natural way of protecting themselves from predators. Therefore, it's crucial to remember that if your cat is limping, they are likely in pain, even if they don't show it. To avoid further complications, it's best to take your feline friend to the vet to determine the cause of their limp and prevent the possibility of an infection.
The cause of your cat's limp may not be obvious, but the solution could be as simple as trimming their claws or removing a tiny splinter from their paw. However, it's important to keep an eye on your pet's health by monitoring any changes in their gait, lumps, bumps, swelling, redness, or open wounds. If you notice any of these symptoms, it's best to consult your vet right away. At all times, it's better to be cautious when it comes to your cat's well-being.
Why is my cat limping all of a sudden?
If your cat is limping, it's likely to come on suddenly and may be caused by any of the following reasons, which are among the most common:
- Something stuck in their paw
- Sprained or broken leg caused by trauma (being hit, falling, or landing wrong)
- Walking across a hot surface (stove, hot gravel, or pavement)
- Ingrown nail/ claw
- Being bitten by a bug or other animal
- Infected or torn nail
What should I do if my cat is limping?
If you notice your cat is limping, gently run your fingers down the affected leg to check for any sensitive areas and to observe their reactions. Look out for signs of swelling, redness, open wounds, or dangling limbs, as these may indicate a serious injury.
Start at the paw and work your way up the leg. If you find a thorn or splinter, gently remove it with tweezers and clean the area with soap and water. Watch for any signs of infection as the wound heals.
If overgrown nails are the issue, trim them as usual or take your cat to the vet to have it done. If you cannot determine the cause of your cat's limp and it persists for more than a day or two, schedule an appointment with your vet.
It can be difficult to tell if a cat's leg is broken because the symptoms of a fracture can be similar to those of other injuries, such as a sprain.
While you wait for your vet appointment, limit your cat's movements to prevent further injury by placing them in a room with low surfaces or in their carrier.
Ensure they are comfortable with a cozy place to rest and their favorite blankets, and continue monitoring their condition.
Should I take my cat to the vet for limping?
It is always a good idea to take your cat to the vet for limping to help prevent infection and get a proper diagnosis. If any of the following situations apply to your cat, make an appointment with your vet:
- You can't identify the cause
- They have been limping for more than 24 hours
- There is swelling
- An open wound
- The limb is clearly broken
- Your cat is hiding
- Your cat is howling or showing other clear indications of pain.
If you notice any visible signs, such as bleeding or swelling, or if the limb appears to be hanging in an unusual manner, it is important to contact your vet immediately. This will help prevent any potential infections or worsening of the condition. Additionally, if you are unsure how to handle the situation, your vet can provide helpful advice on what steps to take next.
Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.