Said Dr. Hanen Abdel Rahman Feline acrobatics of jumping, running quickly around corners and flying through the air to pounce on items can cause a sprained leg. Sprains are warm, swollen, and painful to cats, but they usually heal themselves within a few days with rest and home treatment.
Said Dr. Hanen Abdel Rahman If you know for sure your cat’s injury was caused from a steep fall or some kind of traumatic incident (like by being hit by a car), take your cat to an emergency veterinary clinic immediately. He may have suffered dangerous internal injuries and should be examined by a professional as quickly as possible. If your cat hurt his leg in a more innocuous way like during an awkward landing or a rowdy string-chasing session, it’s fine to assess the injury yourself before calling the vet.
symptoms of sprains and breaks are very similar:
- aggression or biting when you try to examine the leg
- bruising, swelling, or a noticeable lump
- avoiding putting any weight on the leg
- vocalization (meowing, hissing, yowling)
- hiding or avoidance behavior
Unless you’re a veterinarian, it can often be pretty difficult to tell whether or not an injury is a sprain or a break, and even then it sometimes takes x-rays. The good news is, immediate treatment is more or less the same.
How long does it take for a cat’s sprained leg to heal?
Said Dr. kristina.karelina in cats, Bones usually take 4 to 6 weeks to heal. Most people with mild sprains and strains can treat these injuries at home by following “RICE” therapy (see below).
Feline Limping Causes
Your furry feline may be limping for a number of reasons. A limp is an abnormal gait because of minor to major injuries from arthritis, joint dysfunction, pain, and most often from a sprain.
A sprain occurs when a joint is suddenly stretched, or ligaments are torn in the joint. The joint becomes tender and a cat will not bear all of his weight on the affected limb, resulting in a limp.
Sprained Leg Symptoms
Sprains occur commonly on a cat’s rear legs and can be caused by his leaping onto an object, misjudging the height and then falling down, or scrambling with the hind legs to reach the top of the object.
A sprained leg is usually swollen and warm to the touch over the affected joint. Some cats may refuse to bear any weight on the affected limb.
Ice or Cool Packs
Ice packs on the joint help to reduce swelling and pain associated with a sprain. You can put ice cubes in a bag, use frozen vegetables, such as peas or a commercial cool pack. Place the ice or cool pack on the sprained leg while your cat is resting. Leave it on for about 15 minutes every hour for about three hours.
If the sprain seems severe, contact your veterinarian, who may prescribe pain and anti-inflammatory medication.
If your cat’s condition doesn’t improve greatly in about four days, it’s time to see the vet. There could be a more drastic underlying cause making your cat limp. He could have a torn tendon, a ruptured knee ligament, or a torn muscle that needs additional treatment after diagnosis with veterinary X-rays and tests.