Cat Limps After Going Outdoors

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

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.

See more articles by Arnold Plotnick, DVM>>

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Cats · Health and Care