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How To Tell If A Cat Has A Broken Leg

How To Tell If A Cat Has A Broken Leg

Accidents can happen to both indoor and outdoor cats. Today, our Visalia vets tell you how you can tell if your cat has a broken leg and what you should do.

Cats Can Get Into Accidents

By nature cats are very playful and curious, which means they can occasionally get into trouble. If you notice that your cat is hurt you are most likely wondering if it is a serious injury or something that will heal on its own.

How To Tell The Difference Between Sprains & Breaks

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

Sprains and broken legs can both happen for various reasons, from car accidents to falls.

Signs & Symptoms of a Broken or Fractured Leg in Cats

If your cat is displaying any of the symptoms detailed below, they may be suffering from a broken leg or another internal injury that requires immediate veterinary attention.

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

If you believe your cat may have a broken leg it's important to bring them to your vet as soon as possible. A broken or fractured bone can be very painful for your kitty. Cats are often stoic animals but it's important to have your vet diagnose the problem and provide your cat with medication to help alleviate the pain.

Steps To Take If You Think Your Cat Has a Broken Leg

If you think that your cat may have a broken leg, you have to take immediate action.

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 and tell them what has happened and that your cat needs urgent veterinary care.

Remain 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 emergency animal center as fast and safely as possible.

Treating Cats With Broken Legs

When you get to the veterinary hospital, your vet will start providing your kitty with emergency treatment, which may include intravenous fluids, pain relief, and/or ventilation. 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 feline companion.

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 needed. If your cat's injury is complex, a veterinary surgeon might need to be called in to perform the operation.

If your cat requires an overnight stay at the emergency clinic, be sure to ask the staff about visiting hours, and when you will receive an update from the vet.

Caring For Your Cat's Broken Leg at Home

Your vet will give you detailed instructions on how to care for your cat once you get home.

You will probably need to restrict your cat's activities. It's essential to prevent your cat from jumping and running, so the injury can heal as quickly as possible.

Try keeping your cat in a warm room, free from furniture that may encourage them to jump. Or consider purchasing a cage that will give your cat room to move but prevent them from jumping. You also have to provide your cat with easily accessible food and water bowls 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.

If you think your cat may have broken their leg, contact our after-hours emergency vets in Visalia as quickly as possible.

Compassionate Emergency Care for Pets

Tulare-Kings Veterinary Emergency Services is a pet emergency animal hospital providing urgent care to cats and dogs in the Visalia area. Contact us right away if you are experiencing a veterinary emergency.

(559) 739-7054 Contact