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Dr. B.
Dr. B., Board Certified Veterinarian
Category: Vet
Satisfied Customers: 21658
Experience:  General practice veterinary surgeon with extensive experience in a wide range of species.
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My cat is limping, trying in part to avoid putting too much

Resolved Question:

My cat is limping, trying in part to avoid putting too much weight onto her hind left paw. She also seems unwilling/unable to scratch herself using that leg. That said, she is playful, bright-eyed, eating and using the pan. She has also jumped onto my sofa, and does not appear to complain when I touch the foot, although once she did meow when I pressed on the toes.
What should I do?
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Vet
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 3 years ago.

Hello & welcome, I am Dr. B, a licensed veterinarian and I would like to help you with your wee one today.

How long has Mieke been lame?

Do you feel any crunching or swelling when you feel the foot/toes as compared to the other foot?

When she puts her foot down, can she place it the right way up or does she just drag it?

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thank you, ***** *****

I noticed this when I woke up this morning, so it would have happened sometime between 11pm and 7am.

I see no swelling nor do I feel any crunching. (Is it a good or bad sign that she is sleeping now, and has not responded to the manipulations? It does feel a bit more floppy, but this could be me... because any distinction between the two feet now is minute).

The foot is right way up. No dragging. It's more of a gingerness with the weight.

Expert:  Dr. B. replied 3 years ago.

Thank you,

Sleeping and not being disturbed by your poking and prodding is a good sign, since manipulating a very painful foot with a possible toe fracture would likely have lead to an unhappy awake kitten.

Now with her being a young cat, there is a chance of serious damage from a misadventure (ie missed jump, fall, etc) is a risk here. Still if she can bear weight on the leg, then a fracture or dislocation would be less likely. As well, since we know that she has feeling and is not dragging the leg, nerve damage is less likely as well. Therefore, in this situation (especially as you haven't felt any bone crunching or instability), she is more likely to have experienced a strain or muscle sprain from the graceless fall.

Since she is putting some weight on this leg and is otherwise herself, you can consider monitoring and supportive care at this stage. In regards ***** ***** we would want her to continue to show improvement and further weight bearing over the next 12-24 hours. Otherwise, we want to rest the leg (just as we would rest a sprained ankle). Since she is young she may need to be strictly rested to achieve this. This may mean restricting her to a room where she cannot jump onto furniture, windowsills, or climb stairs.

As well, if she is amenable to it, warm compresses can be used on the sore limb. If you don't have anything to use as a compress at home, you can make one by filling a clean sock, 2/3rds full with uncooked white rice. This can be tied closed and microwaved (~1-1.5 min). Make sure to shake it before using to allow the heat to distribute. Of course, do make sure it isn't too warm (as we don’t want to burn her). If it cools, you can re-warm as required. Alternatively, if she feels a bit stiff and sore, then she may even appreciate access to a heating pad or heated cat bed.

If you do this over the next few hours and we aren't seeing improvement or she is still quite sore, then we'd want to consider following up with her vet. They can ensure nothing more sinister is afoot and can prescribe cat safe pain relief like Metacam (since human pain relievers can be fatally toxic to kitties). Often with rest, warmth, and pain relief for the very sore, we can get them back to moving comfortably and settle this for quickly.

I hope this information is helpful.

If you need any additional information, do not hesitate to ask!

All the best,

Dr. B.

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If you have any other questions, please ask me – I’ll be happy to respond. Please remember to rate my service once you have all the information you need. Thank you and hope to see you again soon! : )



Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thanks so much. I'll keep an eye on her and try the warm compress once I can bear to get up since she is now cuddled in my lap for her sleep.

Expert:  Dr. B. replied 3 years ago.
You are very welcome, Smile

If she is resting, then it is fine to continue to let her do so. Hopefully after her nap, her sore muscles will also feel rested and she will be more keen to use that foot.

All the best,

Dr. B.

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If you have any other questions, please ask me – I’ll be happy to respond. Please remember to rate my service once you have all the information you need. Thank you and hope to see you again soon! : )






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