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How can I tell if my cat's leg is broken?

Regardless of whether your cat is a curious outdoor explorer or a chilled-out homebody, accidents can happen. Today, our Fremont vets share signs that may indicate that your cat has a broken leg, and what you should do.

Even The Most Agile Cats Can Have Accidents

Cats are playful and curious creatures that tend to get into trouble now and again. Because of this, accidents are bound to happen. It's important to be able to recognize signs of pain in your cat in order to have them treated promptly.

Causes of a Broken Leg in Cats

Some common causes of a broken leg in cats include trauma from falls, being hit by a car, or getting caught in a tight space. It is important to seek veterinary care immediately if you suspect your cat has a broken leg to prevent further complications and ensure proper treatment.

Assessing The Signs

Although the symptoms of a sprained or broken leg are very similar, a sprain is a stretched ligament or tendon, whereas a break is a bone injury. Sprains and leg breaks can result from a variety of factors, including car accidents and falls.

How to Tell if a Cat Has a Broken Leg

If you notice any of the following symptoms in your cat, there is a chance that they could have an injured or 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

What To Do If You Think Your Cat May Have a Broken Leg

If your cat's leg is broken, it's time to act so that your cat's pain can be relieved, the leg can be treated, and it can begin to heal properly. Try to keep your cat as still as possible and warm by wrapping her 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 to your injured cat to the emergency animal center as quickly and safely as possible.

Treating a Cat's 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. X-rays will likely be taken to assess your cat's leg and determine the details of the break.

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 perform the operation.

Caring For a Cat With a Broken Leg

Your veterinary team will provide you with detailed instructions on how to care for your kitty once you get back home.

It's likely that you will 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.

Keep your cat in a warm room, free of furniture that may cause her to jump. Consider purchasing a cage that allows your cat to move while preventing her from jumping. Make sure your cat has easy access to food and water, and follow your veterinarian's instructions on 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.

Do you think that your feline friend might have a broken leg? Contact our experienced Fremont vets right away to book an urgent examination for your kitty.

New Patients Welcome

Ace Animal Hospital is accepting new patients! Our experienced vets are passionate about the health of Fremont companion animals. Get in touch today to book your pet's first appointment.

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