My cat is limping; what to do now?

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There are many ways your cat can injure a leg or paw and wind up limping. When a cat is limping, it is a sign of pain.


Limping in a cat can result from traumas like jumping, falling from a high surface, or being hit by a car. Cats tend to hide their pain. But if you see your cat showing signs of discomfort or pain, it may be suffering from a limp.


So, here, in this article, we will discuss the causes of limping in your kitty and measures you can take to heal it.


Causes of your cat’s limping

There are many reasons which can cause limping in a cat. Common causes of limping in cats are arthritis, infected or torn nails, bitten by an animal or a bug, and injured or broken leg caused by trauma (being failing, hit, or landing wrong).


However, these causes are described below in detail.


  • Trauma

Usually, a cat’s limping is caused by trauma like getting hit by a car or falling off a high perch. Injuries like broken bones, open wounds, strained muscles, ligaments, and tendon tears are also trauma-related injuries. As a result, you will see swelling, cuts, or bruises on your cat.

  • Jumping from heights

Cats are curious. If the windows of your house are open, they may jump or fall from an open window and be injured or more. Orthopedic conditions like kneecaps being out of place can also cause limping.


  • Paw problems

Cats’ paws get hurt if something is stuck in their paws, like a thorn or a piece of broken glass. A nail that grows into the paw gets torn, or becomes infected can also cause discomfort. Cats’ paw pads also suffer pain while walking across a bleach-coated surface. Therefore, your cat’s limping can also result from an injured paw.


  • Arthritis

As cats get older, their cartilage (material between bones) starts to wear down. Because of this, there is more friction in those joints, which ultimately leads to irritation. It is known as arthritis. Cats start walking stiffly or develop a limp when they have arthritis.


What are the symptoms that indicate your cat is limping?

Your cat will show some signs from which you can identify that your cat is in pain and might be suffering from limping. These symptoms are as follows.

  • Lack of appetite in your cat.
  • There will be swelling on the injured leg.
  • Your cat will show behaviors like panting, meowing, and crying.
  • There will be difficulty in walking and noticeable personality changes.


Things you should do at home to comfort your cat that is limping

If you are taking care of your cat at home, here are some things you should do to make your cat feel good:

  • Try to encourage your cat to drink more water.
  • Keep your cat in a room with no other pets or children. And keep the noise level down.
  • If you feel that your cat’s suffering has increased, you can turn to medication.
  • Give your cat warmth to keep your sick cat comfortable.


Limping in your cat may indicate a veterinary emergency

If you see your cat’s leg hanging at an awkward angle and it cannot walk, there is an open wound causing bleeding in your cat, or your cat is limping for more than a day, you may have a veterinary emergency.


Cats tend to hide their pain, so take your cat immediately to the vet if you notice it is showing signs of distress.


Some first-aid measures for non-emergency cat limp

If your cat’s limp is not very serious, you can apply some first-aid measures to tackle it. Below are some of the first-aid measures that you can use for your hurt cat.



Any foreign body between toes Remove the foreign body and clean the wound with antibacterial soap. Also, soak the foot in warm water to get relief from swelling. Apply antibiotic ointment.


Cut or torn footpads and broken nails First, control the bleeding and clean the wounded area. Then treat it carefully.
Swelling because of sprain, bruise, or tendonitis First, apply the ice packs to the affected area for 15 minutes twice daily.
Abscesses First, apply compresses to the affected area and then soak in a warm salt bath.



Examination by veterinary

When you take your cat to your vet, they will first examine its condition. They may need X-rays or opt for other diagnostic imaging techniques to check if there are broken bones or damage otherwise not visible.


Treatment of cat’s limp

Treatment of your cat’s limp depends upon the severity of your cat’s condition. After going through all medical reports, your vet will explain your cat’s treatment plan.


What kind of environment is needed for the cat at home to heal faster?

Your cat also requires a special environment and treatment when sick like humans. Here’s what you can do for your cat.



  1. For fast healing, try to place your cat in an environment where it cannot run or jump.
  2. Put your cat in a big crate so that there is enough room to roam around.
  3. Give your cat a water bowl, bed, or a small, low-profile litter box in its crate.
  4. Keep your cat away from other pets or children in the house so it doesn’t get disturbed and can easily sleep.
  5. Spend some time with your cat during the healing process. Like humans, our pets also need someone during difficult times. You know they cannot speak, so you have to understand this.
  6. Your cat will be less active because of the injury, so you can feed them by following your vet’s suggestions to avoid weight gain and any further leg injury. In addition, you can try feeding your cat some readymade, nutritious, and healthy food.


For instance, Purina Fancy Feast Gravy Wet Cat Food is the best seller and most recommended food for cats. This readymade food has essential vitamins, nutrients, and a super delicious taste. It is one of the best nutrients for cats to support their overall health and wellness.




Cat limping is a common problem. But you need not worry about it. Your cat’s limping can be treated correctly. Just follow the guidelines given above when your cat is suffering from a limp, and it will be jumping again in a few days.


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