Pet Care 101: What Causes Limping in Cats?

Is your cat hindered by a limp, and you’re not sure what’s causing it? They might be hurting elsewhere on their body, like a paw, a muscle, or a joint, but they won’t be able to tell you where it hurts by meowing. There are several potential causes of a limp in a cat. As a result, knowing the warning signals to look for and the best ways to ease their suffering is crucial.

Prevalent Causes of Cat Limping

Pain is often indicated by limping, which should never be disregarded. A limping cat can be concerning, but how can you know if it’s an emergency or you can wait it out? It’s safe to presume that a limping cat is in pain because most cats will do anything to conceal their discomfort. Your cat will benefit significantly from the care a veterinarian provides, so don’t hesitate to take it in.

There is a wide variety of causes for a cat to limp. All of these factors are related to the age and health of the pet. Keep in mind that limping is a symptom, not the actual ailment. The following is a list of the most commonly recognized causes of cats limping.


You will most likely be present when your pet suffers a leg injury and see the ensuing limp. The most typical way for cats to hurt their legs and begin to limp is by landing awkwardly after jumping off decks, furniture, arms, or stairs. Depending on the severity of the injury, different amounts of damage will be done to the bone, cartilage, and tendons of the injured body part.

A vet surgeon often resorts to operating on injured animals for less invasive methods if the damage is too significant.

Cardiovascular Disease

Surprisingly, problems with the rear legs are another symptom of circulatory (heart) disease in cats. In cats, hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) is the leading cause of congestive heart failure and is associated with weakness in the hind legs. Blood clots, also known as feline aortic thromboembolism (FATE), can form due to this condition and cut off blood flow to the hind legs.

If your cat cannot walk, is dragging one or both rear legs, or is making painful noises, you should either bring it in immediately or call for an emergency appointment. Moreover, a wellness plan and regular veterinary visits can help keep your cat healthy and prevent this kind of problem from ever occurring. Learn more about pet wellness plans on 

Paw Problems

Paw issues are a common cause of limping cats. A burr, cactus spine, foxtail, splinter, cut, or bruise could cause this, as could an ingrown toenail or other foreign items stuck in the paw. If you find an issue with your cat’s paw, examine it gently to determine if it is something you can handle at home (such as removing a little splinter) or if it requires the care of a veterinarian.

Visiting professional vets that provide pet grooming services regularly, and paying specific attention to its paws and fur, will help stave off paw issues.

The Takeaway

Whether your cat’s limp is moderate or severe, it’s essential to spend quality time with them and help them stay comfortable. Providing extra affection and tasty snacks throughout their healing phase will also help. Seeing your pet in discomfort is upsetting, but if you stick to the vet’s orders, your furry friend will return to its usual, playful self in no time.