Lameness in Cats
May look very innocent at first but it is anything but normal or innocent

Lameness in cats can be present your pet with several challenges as it can be a temporary situation, a quality of life condition, it may cause paralyzes, or it can a life threatening event in some cases.

It can affect just lone of your cats limbs, or several all at the same time.

It can also be very subtle at first, or it can attack with such force that your cat may not be able to walk at all.

If your cat is obese, the chances of them becoming lame are much higher the normal weight cats.


Lameness in cats has absolutely no breed favorite as it can attack any breed and either sex equally, as well as both young and old cats.

If lameness starts off slowly in your cat, in the long run it can be much just as serious as if it is a very sudden attack.

The slow forming causes of lameness in cats are generally from a disease or a medical condition that is just starting to build.

However, a very sudden problem with your cat’s limbs can signify that your pet has some type of a spinal condition.

Lameness in cats is a condition where you pet has a decreasing or a very sudden inability to place weight on their limbs.

It can affect just one leg, or it can affect more than one.

This condition is so confounding that there is no real predisposition of when the pain can set in as it can be worse in the morning than at night, or it can be worse at night.

It can also be a lot more painful after exercise; it can be more painful after a lot of rest.

But there is one thing that is a sure thing with lameness.

It is not a normal condition and at the first sign of any type of a gait or a problem with walking it should be taken very seriously.


Green Eyes in CatsLameness in cats is not always caused by an injury

There are several potential causes of your cat developing a degree of lameness or difficulty with placing weight on their legs.

The first and most obvious cause will be some type of a traumatic injury that has occurred especially if the symptoms just suddenly appear.

There is a misconception that cats can jump off of very high places and land with a great resiliency in almost every case, but it will all depend on the actual health and condition of your cat.

Your cat has two definitive bone structures that can become fractured; the carpus and the tarsus. The carpus in your cat is what we refer to as our wrist, and their tarsus would be our ankle.

It is not common for them to fracture, but if they do, it can cause an instant gait or limping in your cat, especially if they are overweight.

Sudden lameness in cats may also be something very simple such as a stick or some type of debris that has become lodged in their foot pad, or it can be caused by some type of a bee or insect sting.

These types of injuries can be very difficult to find or see, but there is usually a degree of swelling.

But even these forms can cause a very sudden gait in your pet.

However, a sudden onset of lameness in cats does not always signify an injury.

It could also be caused a several different types of spinal disorders.

If your cat has developed a very sudden gait or a limping in their front legs, it may be caused by an extruded injury or some type of deterioration that is developing.

This is a condition where your cat’s disk material is actually hitting their spinal cord due to the extrusion.

However, it can also be something much more sinister and the rapid onset of the lameness is the first warning sign. There is a disk disease that is known as fibro cartilaginous emboli, or FCE.

Your cat’s vertebrae column is made up with individual vertebrae, which are cushioned by disks that actually allow your cat to flex their back.


These disks are very soft and almost gelatin in nature.

This allows them to absorb several external forces when they are moving.

However, if one of the pieces of this gelatin like material becomes dislodged, it can enter an artery and form a blockage of the arteries that feed the spinal column.

This is a condition known as FCE.

With no blood supply to survive, it affects one or more limbs in your cat. If not treated very quickly, it can paralyze your cat.

Your cat may also have an underlying problem that has suddenly erupted.

If your cat has a partially torn cruciate ligament, it can quickly turn into a full blown tear.

Also referred to as cruciform ligaments, these are pairs of ligaments that actually look like the letter X.

They are located in several joints of the body, but in this particular case they are located in your cat’s knees.

It allows for a range of motion, but if becomes weakened and then tears, the freedom of motion is lost with your cats affected limb.

The final potential cause of lameness in cats will be more of a slow developing one that is the result of a tumor that is located on one of your pet’s limbs.

These tumors can very easily lead to fractures which will stop the mobility in the limbs as well.


The symptoms of lameness in cats will be very obvious in most all cases, but it will be extremely important for an owner to take some metal notes of exactly when and how this lameness occurred.

The first symptom will be the obvious inability of your cat to either walk, run, or in some cases, even get up or down normally.

Other symptoms may not be as obvious, and will include your pet starting to become very reluctant to jump up or down from a bed or a couch, or walk up or down stairs.

The final symptom will be the reluctance or the inability to place any weight at all on the affected limb or limbs.

When any of these symptoms do occur, it will be very important to note how long they have occurred, does it seem to be getting better or does it look like it is getting worse.

The other questions that will help your veterinarian with properly diagnosing will be does it seem to come and go, and if so, does your cat winch or cry out in pain.


The treatments will of course very on the actual cause, but in most cases, unless it is a tumor and is cancerous and spreads, your cat is extremely resilient.

They will almost always recover once the condition has been either surgically corrected or corrected with medications.

But there is one very important factor that should remain constant.

Lameness in cats in not a normal condition and can be the first signs that your cat has something very seriously wrong with them and should never be ignored.

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