Cat Limps After Going Outdoors

CatChannel veterinary expert Arnold Plotnick, DVM, discusses possible causes and suggests an immediate veterinary visit.

By Arnold Plotnick | Posted: March 25, 2011, 3:00 a.m. EST

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Q: My cat was outside one day, and he came back in with a limp. I applied pressure to his paw, shoulder, and one of the joints on his leg. He meowed in pain when I touched his shoulder and top joint (of his left front leg). Do you think he wrenched his shoulder? He's been limping for three days now.

A: I cannot tell from the description you've given exactly what kind of orthopedic injury your cat has. Shoulder injuries are uncommon in cats. Paw problems are more likely, although any part of the leg could be affected. Since your cat was allowed outdoors, a cat-bite abscess could be the cause of your cat's pain.

You need to take your cat to your veterinarian for further evaluation. Your vet might need to take X-rays of the leg to see if there's an orthopedic problem. If your cat has a fever, then a bite-wound abscess would have to be high on the list of causes, and antibiotics should be administered.

Three days of limping is a pretty long time. You need to take your cat to the veterinarian right away.

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Cat Limps After Going Outdoors

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Reader Comments

O-    O-, MA

4/21/2011 12:10:51 AM


-O    P, MA

4/17/2011 12:04:57 AM


edgar    farmington, NY

4/10/2011 7:46:52 AM

my cat limpd for more than three weeks. vet found small puncture but otherwise normal. bloodwork good,no breaks,etc. the cat is batter now after wo month.

Lisa    Oak Creek, WI

4/6/2011 11:07:25 AM

yes, I wonder the same thing, why would a person wait for an on-line response, not even knowing if their question will be picked to have the Dr. tell them that the cat needs to see a vet. Well, in instances like this, of course the cat needs to see a vet. Not sure why they ask. The cat could be worse by the time they wait for a possible response.

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