Your Cat Is Overweight
Weve all enjoyed a funny video about a chubby cat once or twice in our lives. Its somewhat sweet to see them clumsily move around while chasing a treat or lazily paw a ball.
But the truth is that no one wants their cat to be ill, and obesity is a threatening condition that can make the lives of our furry friends harder than theyre ought to be.
59% of cats in the USA are qualified as overweight or obese.
Overweight and obese cats are prone to develop serious health conditions during their lifetime. They are also more likely to get injured while playing, jumping, or running around.
Too much weight puts a big burden on your cats joints. It makes her more lethargic, and less willing to play and exercise. This leads to weaker joints, tendons, and ligaments.
The best way to treat overweight or obesity is to prevent it in the first place. Make sure that your cat is only ingesting a healthy diet recommended by your vet or follow the portions written on the back of your foods package.
You can complement your cats diet and make sure that she receives all the nutrients that she needs by introducing a supplement, like our TRI-ACTA formula, to her diet.
Helping Your Cat Limping To Heal From Trauma
After a visit to our clinic or your family veterinarian, you will know if your cat limping or treatment means that you should limit your cats movement. Placing your cat in an environment where they will not run or jump may help with healing. Placing your cat in a large dog crate where the cat has enough space to walk around, with a small, low-profile litter box, water bowl, and bed or blanket is one approach. It may also help to place the cat in a room away from other pets, kids, and noise so that they can easily sleep and potentially speed their healing.
Provide a litter box in the room that is easy to enter and exit, like a baking tray or pan for kittens to prevent additional injuries and accidents, along with easily accessible water, and food as prescribed.
The Most Common Reasons Your Cat Is Limping
- Hip dysplasia or loose hips. This is rare but more likely in heavy-boned cats like Maine Coons.
- Patellar luxation. This is a dislocation of the kneecap.
- Neurological diseases. Lumbosacral disease or degeneration can affect a cats ability to walk.
- Ingrown toenails. These may be hard to see on long-haired cats like Maine Coons and Persians
- Cancer. Bone tumors, injection site sarcomas, and lymphoma are among the cancers that can cause cats to limp .
- Broken bones.
- Foreign bodies. These are things like glass or outdoor hazards/grass awns that can get embedded in cats paws.
- Infections. Bug bites or cuts can lead to infection.
- Other illnesses. Diabetes, nerve damage, and progressive polyarthritis can all lead to limping.
- Fungal infections.
- Unable to walk or stand
- Loss of muscle mass around the affected limb
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Lameness Might Still Need Veterinary Help
If your cat has something stuck in their paw pads or if they have a minor muscle or other soft tissue injury or strain, it could be enough to cause them to limp. Note that most cats will not walk on a broken leg or dislocated joint. If your cat is clearly in pain, do not try to examine them for broken bones or dislocations.
If your cat is lying down and calm, you may try to inspect the paw on the leg that is causing the limp. Stop if there are indications of pain . Do you see signs of:
- excessive licking
- lameness ?
If any of these conditions are present, please call or bring your cat to our vet hospital.
Even if you do not see anything but your cat is limping for more than 24 hours, please contact your family veterinarian or make an appointment with Veterinary Specialists of the Rockies. There could be a soft tissue injury, broken bone, or infection that needs treatment.
Object Stuck In Its Paw
If your cat is suddenly limping on its back leg, you should always check to see if there is anything stuck in the paw pad. Sharp objects can easily get lodged in their paw pads after stepping on them. Examples could include pieces of glass, shards of metal, or thorns and spines from plants.
When your cat walks, the foreign object will press into your cats paw. This will cause them pain and discomfort. It can also push the object deeper into the skin, making the injury worse. f you can easily grab and remove the object with tweezers then go ahead. Otherwise, leave it alone and take your cat to the vet for their help.
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When You Should Take Your Cat To The Vet
It is always a good idea to take your cat to the vet for limping to prevent infection or 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 dangling in an odd position
Don’t wait 24 hours if there is a visible cause such as bleeding, swelling or the limb is hanging in a strange way, call your vet immediately to prevent infection or a worsening condition. You should also call your vet if you do not know how to handle the situation, your vet will be able to give you advice on the actions you should 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.
Cats Lameness And Calicivirus
The lameness may also develop due to infection contamination with feline calicivirus. Before developing further, calicivirus may cause temporary lameness in certain felines, and the condition has even got a title of its own a lameness syndrome. Infected cats often show pained reaction to the palpation of joints, there is an increased sensitivity to a touch. Other symptoms of calicivirus are sneezing, runny nose, fever, mouth and nose discharge, etc.
Many studies indicate that when exposed to the influence of calicivirus, a systemic infection sometimes thrives. And in its turn an SI causes the localization of the virus directly in the tissues of a joint. Thus, the calicivirus is more than capable of causing temporary polyarthritis. It happens more often to senior cats than to small kittens.
It should be noted that lameness, when it is directly associated with calicivirus, would mainly manifest itself in kittens. In cases where lameness is beginning to tell on a cat after the vaccination, it is usually caused by an allochthonous infection. However, sometimes the reason is in the vaccine itself.
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Common Signs Of A Limping Cat
The clearest sign of a limping cat is, you guessed it, a limp. Watch your cats movement for that telltale lurch and, of course, any signs of major injury.
Some milder limps may not be as obvious, but other changes in your cats behavior can indicate something amiss.
- Difficulty breathing: Heavy breathing or hyperventilation could be a sign that physical activity has become very difficult for your cat. Difficulty breathing can also signify other health issues, so its a good thing to ask your vet about it.
- Wont jump: Cats are known for their incredible leaping ability. If your cat starts avoiding jumps that they used to nail with ease, it may be a sign that something is amiss.
- House soiling: If your cat starts using the floor or furniture like a litter box, you have every right to be upset, but dont assume bad intentions on their part. Failure to use the litter box can be a sign of distress and mobility issues in cats.
- Overgrooming: Cats are notorious neat freaks. They spend up to 50% of their waking hours licking themselves! However, excessive grooming could be a sign of an underlying issue. The act of grooming releases endorphins in a cats brain, so injured cats sometimes lick themselves compulsively to soothe their discomfort.
What Should I Do If My Cat Is Limping Suddenly
If your cat is limping, it’s important that you wait for them to calm down before you take any action or try to access their leg.
When your cat has had some time to calm down after suddenly starting to limp, assess their paw carefully by running your fingers down the site for any sensitive areas and keep an eye out for any potential causes of their limping. This can include open wounds, redness, dangling limbs and swelling. Start at their paw and work your way up their leg.
If it is something such as a thorn or nails that are too long just gently pull the thorn out with tweezers or cut their nails as usual . If you are unable to figure out the cause of the limp and your beloved kitty is still limping after 24 hours make an appointment with your vet.
It may be difficult to tell if your cat’s leg is broken because their symptoms could mirror other injuries or a sprain , Because of this, if your suspect a broken limb , contact your vet as soon as possible.
While waiting for your veterinary appointment, you have to limit your cat’s movements to keep them from causing further injury or making it worse. Do this by keeping them in a room with low surfaces, or putting them in their carrier.
Make sure they are comfortable by providing them with a comfy place to sleep/kitty bed and keep them warm with their favorite blankets. Continue to monitor their situation.
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Sprained Or Broken Leg
Finally, your cat could be limping because they have sprained or broken their back legs. If you cannot see any other sign of injury such as an ingrown claw, infected wound, or burn marks a sprain or break is highly likely. Aside from limping, common symptoms are:
- Avoiding putting any weight on the leg whatsoever
- Wincing in pain when moving
- Vocalizing, such as meowing or hissing
- Aggressive behavior toward you when you try to look at the leg
- Bruising and swelling around the break or sprain
How Can I Tell If My Cat Has Cut Her Paw
Try to look at the bottom of her paw. Be careful, as cats can be testy about letting people observe their wounds. If there are any foreign bodies stuck in the wound, you can pick them out. If its very deep, you may need a vets help.
A mild anti-bacterial soap or can disinfect the wound. If there is bleeding, control it with pressure with a clean towel for ten to fifteen minutes. If it hasnt stopped, take her to the vet.
You can bandage it by putting gauze on the wound and wrapping it. Dont do this too tightly. You should be able to get two fingers in. If she really hates the cone of shame, you can spray the bandage with something foul tasting to make her leave it alone.
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My Cat Is Limping All Of A Sudden
Infections, abscesses and infestations may develop over time. The limping might become more and more acute if left untreated. If we see the cat starts limping all of a sudden, then it is more likely caused by a physical trauma to the leg. Since cats are naturally inclined to spend time up high, falling from a great height can lead to a fracture of the bone or a snapped tendon. This is something known as high rise syndrome which can affect some cats more acutely than others. Similarly, cats often don’t understand road safety and can be prone to road accidents.
As with other causes of limping in cats, they may not manifest many other signs of evident pain. In most serious cases, however, the cat may be limping or trembling due to shock. They may have dilated pupils, visible hemorrhages , breathing difficulties or other expected symptoms of a serious injury.
Whether or not the cat has more symptoms, the sudden presence of a limp will require a veterinary visit. It is possible a fracture occurs and the broken bone is unable to heal because the cat is walking on the limb. In these cases, a specialist will x-ray the cat to confirm a fracture. There may also be non-visible injuries such as internal bleeding or a pneumothorax.
Does Arthritis Cause Cat Limping
Lameness caused by arthritis is common in older cats. In fact, this is one of the telltale signs that there is something wrong with your cats joints. You may notice they no longer jump on or off from top shelves. Some walk stiffly due to the joint pain they experience.
There are several other glaring behavioral changes as well. For instance, you might often find their litter box lopsided. Almost like they deliberately turn it over. But this happens because your kitty finds it difficult to get in and out from the box due to joint pain.
You might also notice she no longer likes being petted and shows signs of discomfort when you handle her. General lethargy becomes a part of your kittys daily life.
All of these are symptoms of arthritis. It can be caused by aging, infection of the joint, or injury. Obese cats are more likely to develop this at a younger age because of the extra strain, put on their joints, by their increased weight.
The mechanism behind arthritis induced lameness is that the cartilage, which serves as a cushion between two bones at the joint, deteriorates or loses its flexibility due to age, injury, or infection. This makes it painful for the cat when she moves around and causes inflammation in joints.
You cannot self-diagnose arthritis at home. A vet will run various diagnostic tests including radiographs to determine if arthritis is indeed the reason behind your cats limping.
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When To Be Concerned
Unfortunately, some cat leg injuries will take time to heal. You may have heard of athletes suffering from an anterior cruciate ligament tear, but did you know cats can also have ACL injuries? The Atlantic Veterinary Hospital writes that kitty ACL tears usually result from jumping or falling from high places, and are more common in overweight cats. A visit to the vet will confirm if the injury requires surgery, pain medication, or another treatment.
When cat limping is more severe due to an injury or serious illness, it is very important to limit your cat’s movement and not allow her to jump or run. Consider borrowing a large dog crate to keep your cat contained while she heals. Make sure you get one large enough for her to have space to walk around between a small litter pan, water bowl and bed or blanket. You can also give her a room in your house, away from other pets and children.
Even if you don’t give your kitty a private room, you’ll need to make sure her litter box is one that does not require much effort to get into and out of. A shallow baking tray or a small pan for kittens will keep her from injuring herself further or eliminating outside the box from pain.
It is also important that you never give your cat medication for her pain that your vet did not prescribe. Over the counter medication that is made for humans can be toxic to cats and can make the situation exponentially worse.
Cat Sprained Leg Symptoms
Before we get into the details of detecting a sprained leg, its important to understand what it means and what our furry baby might be experiencing.
A sprain is a soft tissue injury that happens when a ligament is stretched far beyond its capabilities. This over-stretching causes the ligament to pull or even tear, causing pain and inflammation.
Sprains can be easily confused with other types of soft tissue injuries because their symptoms are very similar.
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How To Treat Lameness
First of all, take care to be very gentle. A cat in pain may react by lashing out. Cage rest may be required. You may need to keep her in a crate with bedding, a litter box with low sides and low food and water bottles.
Keep her company to let her know she isn’t being punished, she just needs her rest. If she likes TV or radio, you can keep it on for her. Let her have any comfort objects that make her comfortable and the odd low calorie treat.
Only give her the medicine prescribed for her. Human medications, even topical ones, may do more harm than good.
Why Is My Cat Limping How To Help Your Cat
The vet, medicines, and therapy may put your cat back on her feet. Depending upon the severity of her condition she may or may not require a private room.
But the most important thing to remember while caring for your cat is that they tend to hide their pain. Give her special attention, a few extra cuddles, and the treats she loves. She might not show it but deep down she is thankful and relaxing.
Keep her litter box in an easily accessible spot such that she doesnt have to walk around much or jump. Treat her with medicines prescribed by the doctor. Do not give over the counter human pain medicines to your cat. They can be toxic to them.
If your cat has ingrown nails, make sure you clip and trim them from time to time. Some cats are prone to ingrown nails, so you need to keep a constant eye. Again, if you notice that the nail is growing at a strange angle, do not self-treat. It could be a trauma to the nail bed or a case of broken nails.
Lameness caused by hip dysplasia might improve when you put your fur baby on the vet recommended diet and treatment. If your cat had surgery, monitor her appetite, water intake, and behavior. If you notice anything unusual, call the vet right away.
You might need to get an Elizabethan collar even for minor cases because cats have a tendency to lick and scratch the bandage or the sutures.
Purr kitty purr!
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