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Signs That Your Cat Has a Broken Leg

Cats are adventurous and while they are usually fairly graceful, there may be times when unexpected injuries or accidents happen. Here, our Killen vets discuss the signs that you may see if your cat has a broken leg and what to do if it happens.

Even Cats Have Accidents

Cats sometimes find themselves in a predicament that can lead to trouble. Because of this, accidents are bound to happen. It's important to be able to recognize signs of pain in your cat to have them treated promptly.

Is it a sprain or a break?

Although the symptoms of a sprained leg and those of a broken leg are very similar, a sprain is a stretched ligament or tendon whereas a break is an injury to the bone.

Both sprains and leg breaks can be caused by anything from car accidents to falls.

How to Tell That Your Cat Has a Broken Leg

The following signs may indicate that your cat has experienced a broken bone:

  • Refusal to put weight on the leg
  • Crying or howling
  • Wincing
  • Hissing or biting at you 
  • Lack of appetite
  • Refusal to groom 
  • Visible deformity or open wound
  • Noticeable bruising or swelling

Steps to Take if You Think Your Cat Has a Broken Leg

If there's a chance that your cat has a broken leg you will want to seek veterinary care right away.

Try to keep your cat as still as possible, and keep your cat warm by wrapping them in a towel or blanket.

Call your emergency vet clinic to let them know what has happened and that your cat requires urgent veterinary care. 

Stay calm and follow any instructions that may be given to you by the veterinary professional on the phone. Then bring your injured cat to the nearest emergency animal hospital as quickly and safely as possible.

Treating a Cat With a Broken Leg

When you arrive at your veterinary hospital your vet will begin emergency treatment which may include intravenous fluids, pain relief, and/or ventilation. Your vet may request an X-ray of the area to determine if the leg is broken.

Once your cat is stable and comfortable the vet will explain the various treatment options available, and advise you on which treatment will be best for your pet.

Your vet may recommend non-surgical treatments such as cage rest, a cast or a splint, to help your cat's broken leg heal, but in many cases, surgery will be required. If your cat's injury is complex, a veterinary surgeon may be called in to operate.

How to Care for a Cat's Broken Leg

Once you are ready to leave the hospital, the veterinary team will provide you with detailed instructions for the ongoing care of your cat.

You will likely need to restrict your cat's activities. Keeping your kitty indoors and preventing your cat from jumping and running will be essential to healing the injury as quickly as possible.

Try keeping your cat in a warm room, free from furniture that may encourage her to jump. Or consider purchasing a cage that will give your cat room to move but prevent her from jumping. Be sure to provide your cat with easily accessible food and water, and follow your vet's instructions regarding any medications prescribed for your cat.

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.

Is your cat suddenly limping or showing signs of pain while walking? Contact our experienced Killen vets right away to have your kitty examined.

Walk-ins Welcome

Center Star Veterinary Services offers walk-in veterinary services. Our experienced vets are passionate about the health of Killen companion animals. Get in touch today to learn more about our services.

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