Limping in Cats

Symptoms, Causes & Natural Remedies

Limping in cats can be a common issue that cat parents may encounter. It can range from a minor discomfort to a serious problem that needs urgent attention. Limping can affect cats of any age and breed and can occur due to a variety of reasons. In this guide, we will discuss the symptoms, causes, and natural treatments for limping in cats.

Symptoms of Limping in Cats

The most obvious symptom of limping in cats is that they will not put weight on the affected leg. They may also appear to be in pain, have difficulty moving, and become lethargic. Other symptoms that can accompany the limping can include:

  • Swelling or bruising around the affected area
  • Licking or biting at the affected area
  • Fever
  • Loss of appetite
  • Behavioral changes such as aggression or avoidance

Causes of Limping in Cats

There are several causes of limping in cats. Some of the causes include:

  • Injuries: The most common cause of limping in cats is an injury such as a sprain or strain. These injuries can occur due to falls, accidents, or fights with other animals.
  • Arthritis: Arthritis is a common condition in cats, especially in older cats. It can cause stiffness and pain in the joints, leading to limping.
  • Infections: Infections such as abscesses or osteomyelitis can cause limping in cats.
  • Tumors: Tumors can grow in the bones or soft tissues of cats, causing pain and limping.
  • Degenerative joint disease: This is a progressive disease that affects the joints, causing them to deteriorate over time. It can lead to limping and other mobility issues.
  • Spinal cord injuries: Trauma or damage to the spinal cord can affect the cat’s ability to move its limbs properly, leading to limping or paralysis.
  • Intervertebral disc disease: This condition occurs when the cushioning discs between the vertebrae in the spine deteriorate or rupture, causing pressure on the spinal cord. It can lead to limping or paralysis.
  • Feline ischemic encephalopathy: This is a neurological condition that affects the brain and can cause sudden onset of weakness or paralysis in one or more limbs, leading to limping.
  • Polyradiculoneuritis: This is an autoimmune disorder that affects the nerves and can cause muscle weakness, including in the limbs, leading to limping.

Natural Treatments for Limping in Cats

There are several natural remedies for limping in cats that can be effective in providing relief. Some of these include:

  1. Rest: The first step in treating limping in cats is to provide rest to the affected area. Restricting the cat’s movement can help reduce inflammation and provide relief.
  2. Massage and stretching: Massage and stretching can help increase blood flow to the affected area and reduce inflammation. However, it is important to be gentle and avoid putting too much pressure on the affected area.
  3. Heat therapy: Applying heat to the affected area can help reduce pain and stiffness. You can use a warm compress or a heating pad on a low setting for 10-15 minutes at a time.
  4. Acupuncture: Acupuncture can help stimulate the body’s natural healing process and provide pain relief. It can be an effective treatment for limping in cats, especially if the limp is due to a neurological issue. 
  5. Supplements: There are several natural supplements that can help reduce inflammation and provide relief to cats with limping. These include glucosamine, chondroitin, antioxidant enzymes and omega-3 fatty acids.


Limping in cats can be a common issue that cat parents may encounter. It can occur due to a variety of reasons and can range from a minor discomfort to a serious problem that needs urgent attention. It is important to monitor your cat’s symptoms and consult with a veterinarian if you notice any signs of limping. Natural treatments such as rest, massage, heat therapy, acupuncture, and supplements can be effective in providing relief to cats with limping.


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